If we could all agree that a more advanced state is a more positive state, then maybe we could all work together to get there.
A fear of change, coupled with a fear of something more intelligent than us, lends itself rather readily to technophobia — a trait which is exhibited by great portions of the world, and is preventing us from building for the future.
The question of what fuels this fear is, I think, at the core of trying to solve the problem. Why do we not like change?
For one thing, it’s been suggested that “fears about technology, and certainly fears that technology will destroy our jobs, have been with us for as long as jobs have existed” in the article written by Adam Jezard on the Financial Times website.
Perhaps it’s that we are worried about our purpose, and what this could be beyond true automation.
Someone suggested to me only last week that one of our biggest mistakes might have been the naming of “Artificial Intelligence”, and presenting everyone with the concept that something may have the potential to thinkbetter than us.
I think that they might be on to something. By giving such impressive names — which excite me, personally — to the technology which is coming, perhaps we are scaring people who don’t quite understand it.
Every day, we witness the restrictions that this imposes upon us. Products are built not to scare us, but to seem comfortable, and governments invest in infrastructure which doesn’t push boundaries — for fear of something going wrong.
Fundamentally, there is a conflict between what makes money and what actually stimulates the advanced development of our existence.
Does this mean that economic decisions need to be made by looking through a different prism? Almost definitely.
Taking AI as an example, the reality is that it has a huge potential to relieve us of tedious jobs and free us up to further advance our exploration of the world, the universe and technology at a higher level than possibly ever before.
And potentially, we need to think about what it would mean to let go of some of the nostalgia and sentimentality around how important we are — and consider what legacy we would like to bring into existence, rather than whether humans in our current form will be here to experience it?
Placing better definitions around what success is, and what we want to aspire to achieve in the years to come (less about conservation about what has been, and more about the introduction of new ideas) could enable us to come together and achieve something exciting.
After all, isn’t the desire to reach to the stars and understand what makes us human very much the essence of what defines our existence?