(Twenty to Thirty-minute read)
Do not read this if you are depressed or are easily depressed.
If you do read it try not to click the moron like button, but comment.
We, humans, believe that we are the most intelligent beings on the planet.
We believed that are superior to the animals due to our exclusive ability to reason.
In simple terms, this comes about when we select only the ‘survivors’ – those that outperformed the rest, whether people, machines, or companies – and come to conclusions based on their attributes, without looking more broadly at the whole dataset, including those with similar characteristics that failed to perform as well.
Our collective ingenuity has got us into the mess of Climate Change and now a Pandemic that is not just killing us but shining a light on our collective stupidity.
The Earth’s carrying capacity could absorb our endless acts of stupidity.
So to answer this question one could go back over the history of humanity and pick out numerous examples since man emerged from his cave.
From the Nuclear bomb to stepping on the moon. From Michelangelo to Albert Enstine. From the Stone age to the Tec age we have put greed and power before looking after what we had in the first place – Earth.
As there is no escaping our interconnected world in this post I want to address the origins of Planetary realism when it comes to that interconnection.
Because we are now engaged in two possible futures for the world, the worst or the best.
Are we going to continue shooting ourselves in the foot?
Are we going to recognize that Human DNA is too similar to split us into subspecies or races of stupidity?
Can we act like one?
I firmly believe we know enough to solve our problems, I just doubt we have the collective will to work together to get the job done. We should be much better than our collective selves.
We have to start accepting our common vulnerability and therefore our common interest instead of just National Interests which is paramount to decisions that have to be on a global scale.
When the stakes are high, we want those making decisions – whether they be machines or human, to be correct, trustworthy, and responsible.
However, now we are handing these decisions more and more to machine learning algorithms and neural nets.
We implicitly grant artificial intelligence a degree of agency that not only overstates its true abilities but robs us of our own autonomy... It is always humans who choose whether or not to abdicate this authority, to empower some piece of technology to intervene on our behalf. It would be a mistake to presume that this transfer of authority involves a simultaneous absolution of responsibility. It does not.
Perhaps technology can be correct. But can it be trustworthy and responsible?
While it’s hard to judge even if another person is trustworthy or responsible, it may be even harder to judge something that thinks in such radically different ways as humans.
We once viewed ourselves as the only creature with emotions, morality, culture, which is not true, they can be found in the animal kingdom.
“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”
This is to say that intelligence is the ability to recognize our weaknesses and one of our greatest weaknesses is the impenetrable barrier now being created right in front of our eyes between Artificial Intelligence and Capitalist Greed.
If we measure the IQ of AI it would be against its capabilities of reasoning and its problem-solving ability and nothing else.
Rational thinking and intelligence don’t tend to go hand in hand.
This measurement doesn’t measure curiosity or creativity.
Unlike the robotic world, people desperately believe they’re smart because they desperately want to see themselves as smart and sometimes because they really can’t tell.
Most of us measure our IQ as being five points higher than it actually is.
Thinking AI might work in the same way as a human brain is not only misleading but dangerous.
Up to now AI only takes orders and does not think by itself so there is a massive disconnect from biological networks. They, that is AI lacks some crucial components essential to navigating the real world…. they do recreate something like human intelligence that has the ability to analyze all matters from multiple angles while not or never will be prepared to take on responsible decision making.
In short, Dunning and Kruger discovered that the less intelligent you are, the more confident you’re likely to be that you know what you’re doing and the more likely you are to be wrong. Being unsure, in this context, is often a mark of intelligence.
Without being curious, an intelligent person won’t ever use their intelligence to learn and form new ideas.
At the same time, a person without curiosity it seems, be less likely to question themselves or the world around them in the first place. As a result, it seems they would also be unlikely to ever use what intelligence they had to learn new things and question their own misperceptions.
But AI is learning to manipulate human behavior, creating more problems for the world.
Of course, there is just one thing that nags away at the average man or woman in the street in amongst all this academic and government research and analysis, how safe is AI going to be for me – can I trust big business and government to behave ethically?
It is already exploiting vulnerabilities in ways people make choices. Click like and the AI steer you towards particular actions by filtering your choices.
WE now have “behavioral modification empires.”
The purpose of organizations such as Google and Facebook ceased to be building connections, and instead became about adapting your habits and thought patterns in the name of profit.
With so much misguided thought and active disinformation online, it has become difficult for people with insight worth sharing to do so. Behind the anonymity of the web, anyone can claim to be an expert. When everybody is an expert, nobody is.
In other words, the AI learns how people make choices.
Broad, anonymous social networks breed collective stupidity.
This has enormous ramifications for the future as AI could be used to steer people away from stupid choices or to make them.
AI can outwit us on the virtual battlefield so let’s not put them in charge of the real thing.
This is already happing with drones that identify, track and kill people without any human intervention. They have no moral capability to decide who lives or who dies, no empathy no compassion.
However, if a machine can beat us at a game does it make them more intelligent than us?
Despite the many warning raised not only will we see robots fighting wars they will be planning them too.
David Dunning and Justin Kruger, “The miscalibration of the incompetent stem from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others.”
This goes directly into how people view themselves and their abilities. For instance, most people think they’re above average when that literally cannot be true.
In any leadership role, you’ve got to establish trust.
It’s trusting that the person is going to do things and trusting that they’re telling the truth and being upfront and honest.
But how you go about doing that virtually is a little different – it’s a different skill set.
We have seen that Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter transform Donald Trump into one of the worst presidents of the USA and a proud country England into a whaling nation of Nigel Farage has beings.
Because of our collective stupidity, social media transformed both into remote winners with lies.
Therefore it is reasonable to say that with the current Coivd-19 Pandemic that hopefully, people are now more likely to be seen based on what they actually do, not based on who they are.
Because they simply don’t translate into anointing leaders by virtual leadership.
Neither of them got better at the skills, such as reasoning from given data. Indeed smart people are more prone to silly mistakes because of blind spots in how they use logic.
Considering the benefits accruing from AI.
Let’s start with how much data we produce globally.
It’s about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data produced every day in the world.
Next, if you Googled “how much energy do Google’s servers use?”
Unsurprisingly, it’s a lot. An estimate in 2017 claimed that the amount of power required to run Google’s servers is 2.26 million megawatts per year – enough to keep 200,000 homes going for the same time.
Facebook, in contrast, uses a wee bit more than Google, at about 3.43 million megawatts per year. Between them and Google they could power over 20% of the houses in Scotland.
When we come to the internet as a whole, it uses a bit more than 10% of the world’s energy consumption.
All electricity generation systems have a ‘carbon footprint’, that is, at some points during their construction and operation carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted. Then again all electricity generation technologies emit CO2 at some point during their life cycle. None of these technologies is entirely ‘carbon-free’.
While the energy involved in all bitcoin transactions in one year is 77.78 terawatt-hours – equivalent to the entire electrical consumption of Chile.
It’s no wonder that even without co2 emissions have climate change.
We are going to have to find a way to generate more electricity to power the economies and societies of the future, but in a manner that doesn’t wreck the planet.
There is a saying that “Mad dogs and English men go out in the noonday sun.”
Did you know the sun produces the equivalent of 38,460 SEPTILLION watts – that’s 3.846 x 1026 watts) PER SECOND. That’s almost enough to power a Metallica gig.
So you would think that it is a no-brainer that we have solar panels to enable everyone to use this source of energy by giving nonrepayable grants to every home to install them. To stop Co2 emissions. We have to fit our species into the energy flow of its biosphere.
That is the meaning of life in case you are so stupid still looking for a meaning.
Instead, we have Paris Climate change conferences promises and the forthcoming Glasgow Zome dribble turning CO2 into a product – for profit.
One thing is certain:
The original purpose of the internet has been lost. It set the stage for a technological revolution that could harness human intelligence and advance our shared knowledge.
Its click-baiting algorithms and lack of regulation have brought with them chaos.
As social media came to dominate the landscape, it made using the internet for the purpose of collective intelligence increasingly difficult.
The rise of social media was supposed to bring us closer together but instead, I argue, it has done the opposite.
A system based on generating clicks and interactions has created an environment for the outlandish and bizarre to flourish, with expertise falling by the wayside. With so much content being generated, how can experts possibly stand out from the crowd?
Machines and AI are great, but we have to retain some capacity to think for ourselves.
No matter how algorithms are retrained they will continue to impact the millions who use them.
The results will be that AI over time, will not categorize people into races on traits it thinks are most important – but into stupid or clever.
For obvious reasons, this year is different.
The pandemic has, of course, transformed how most workplace in-person teams are now all or partially digital operations in the wake of the pandemic, removing Joe Soap from any say about the Future.
At the moment we have a warlike philosophy – if we continue to develop AI it might not overtake our individual stupidity but our collective stupidity, putting our very existence in danger.
Tech should never be any more than a tool that helps us to bring out the best in humanity. Many of the issues we throw billions at and attempt to solve with technology could be easily achieved if we were able to better utilize our collective intelligence.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.