I have a fear of artificial intelligence or, perhaps more specifically, I have a fear in the rise of artificial intelligence. I strongly promote the idea of progression and exploration and understand that curiosity is basic human nature and has undoubtedly aided us greatly in the past. Curiosity has made discoveries, solutions, progression but curiosity killed the cat and it’s likely it’ll kill us too.
Charlie Brooker has made an excellent UK thriller series of a technological dystopia that delves into the dark realms of a possible humanitarian apocalypse. It’s called Black Mirror and is one of the most beautiful, yet heart numbingly eery series I have ever seen. Isn’t it scary how so much of our personality, and so many of our thoughts can be stored in a mass sphere of information called the internet – the web. Mine and your Skype calls, text messages, tweets, Facebook status’, Facebook messages and blog entries can be logged and stored in an online filing cabinet with the name ‘Sarah Snow’ printed in times new Roman; and there we go an infinite virtual store of my memories and of my thoughts.
Accessing these memories and thoughts is always going to be second best to actual face to face communication, or at least current communication . But what happens when a tie is cut, when the person is no longer available to talk to, to communicate with, but we still want them, we still need them. We often forget the importance of natural order when we live in a world where almost anything and everything can be made easier. In times of grief and desperation our inclination is to do anything to ease the pain. We would seek an immediate outlet for our suffering and if accessing thoughts and feelings of the person we are grieving is an option, it’s sure to be a popular one. If we could in anyway recreate the person we so long for how could we say no? Ignoring what they left behind would be so close to impossible especially if only a tap of a few buttons away.
Latching onto our vulnerability is what temporary inhumane solutions thrive at. What offers a moments comfort takes away from our recovery and steps in the way of a natural process causing a chaotic spiral we do not know how to solve, Artificial intelligence could take us to an unknown scenario and give us no solution. Artificial intelligence could strip humanity of what humanity is and leave us as shells seeking momentary satisfaction again and again until we are nothing more than robots ourselves. I’d rather knowingly have an imperfect life with bumps along the way because every bump is a human struggle and every struggle dealt with adds to my character. Artificial intelligence would instead chip away, slowly and painlessly at our soul and we’d let it because by the time we realised we’d be too hooked.
‘Want to come to church with us tomorrow morning Sarah?’ ‘no.. sorry’ I replied. Sorry? Why am I sorry? I’m a perpetual atheist and hold strong beliefs against the idea of ‘religion’. I mean surely my well rounded parents of intellect can understand that their Christian beleifs have been determined by the culture they’ve grown up in. If they’d been born in china they’d be Buddhists if they’d been born in India they’d most probably be a Hindu. I told my parents this but they said ‘well.. Lucky I’ve been born in England then!’. Now there’s a lot I have a problem with about that reply. 1. They’ve not explored other religions, or the hundreds of other gods 2. They are pretty much admitting they’d be a different religion if born in a different country, surely undermining the omnipotent quality of god, I mean he’s really not powerful enough to penetrate manmade culturalisation?
I like to think debating and philosophy are, in comparison to my other qualities, the strongest ones I have, so, I often debate with my theistic, Christian parents. But there comes a point where I begin to feel bad, after I’ve shut down point after point and the only argument standing is ‘god works I’m mysterious ways’ not only do I want to hit my head repeatedly against a hard wall but I also want to hug my parents and almost apologise. Its because I know their beliefs, although dillusional, are so very close to their hearts. I know that’s where their hope that everything will be ok lies. I know preying (a concept that has numerous flaws, such as relying on an occasionally intervening, non perfect god) offers the a source of comfort. And I, their daughter am attacking this? Surely it’s wrong, in any sense, to tear away someones comfort blanket, even if they should’ve grown out of it.