Artificial Intelligence will destroy the future of the world as we know it.
“Artificial Intelligence”, heretofore referred to as “A.I.” is about to ruin everything that we once held dear.
After spending one hour trying to resolve a glitch on my website, the frustration welled up inside of me. It released itself as a dream in the wee hours of the morning. Artificial Intelligence is now haunting not only my waking hours…but my sleep as well. This does not bode well. Awakening from a mini-nightmare, I forgo my morning coffee and open my computer to write what must be shared.
A conversation with my son who is a Vice President of a U.S. tech company gave me much to ponder. His company has no option but to delve into the technology which will make it possible for their customers to receive virtual visits from employees who will address their product needs. The problem with this, is that it will not be the actual human being on the telephone/computer video screen, but a manifestation of that person, programmed to speak to the client about his/her needs. The mouth will be moving…the information will be streaming in his/her own voice… but the person speaking will never have actually uttered any of the words that the client is hearing. This is called “progress” in the tech world. However, it bodes disaster for us all.
Whilst you and I might naively suggest that his company could take the moral high ground and not use this new technology… it is all about money. They must compete with other companies using A.I. or they will lose their clients … who will take their business to competitors. That cannot be allowed. Gross revenues will decline. That is the “bottom line” that fuels the decisions which severely impact the world today.
The use of such technology will reduce the need for a human workforce on multiple levels. Just as “bots” now respond to many online inquiries… the need for human beings continues to decline in service-oriented spheres. My experience with “bots” has been totally unsatisfactory. When the “bot” does not like (i.e. does not understand) …how I phrased my very specific and clear question, it asks me to “rephrase” it. My immediate response has become: “Find me a human being to talk to!” Even reaching a human being to speak with is of limited value these days. We all know that our inquiries are being handled at call centers in countries where labor is cheap, and the person at the end of the line has only the ability to use his/her computer program to refer to, in order to assist us. After at least one hour with my website’s out-sourced “helpline”, my issues are never resolved… and ultimately, I am provided with a phone number for a real person who will speak to me in real-time from headquarters in the United States. The corporate offices still exist for the really difficult problems that require two-penneth (a British saying… two pence…ie. two cents) …of common sense from a real, breathing, flesh covered, human being. Unfortunately, the human “carrot” (or is it “karat”…something as valuable as gold…) is only offered after wasted time, exhaustive efforts and frustration produce no results.
There are much more serious issues to discuss. With jobs being rapidly replaced by artificial beings in the near future, our children and grandchildren will quickly need to re-assess their career choices. It is likely that manual labor… plumbers, electricians, construction, will be the highest paying sector of employment. They are actually well paid at present, but their rates could skyrocket as “hands-on” skills will be some of the few rare professions not to be replaced by A.I.
Extreme technology is impacting on our lives in ways unimaginable. Young children sitting at their play stations, tablets, cellphones and computers are losing the ability to make friends and have relationships. A constant diet of violent gaming (and films) has encouraged social misfits to exact their revenge for perceived injustices…by acquiring automatic weapons, in order to enter schools, nightclubs, cinemas and shopping centers to commit mass murder. The argument that it is the gun that kills, not the person is laid impotent when we consider that before violence became a cash-cow in the entertainment industry… there were no such atrocities perpetrated in Western nations. Guns were in homes even then, as they are now… but not being used by disaffected youth on innocent victims.
While much of the world is excited by the idea of having the ability to make a phone call to Chat GPT when no friends have offered a plan for the evening, it is a sad commentary on the state of communication between friends and families…that a relationship with a sophisticated brain of a computer may become preferable to someone who can smile, hold your hand and return your warmth and love. It is inevitable, that with time, this power for synthetic relationships will be abused by those wishing to mobilize masses for their own purposes.
More terrifying than anything addressed thus far, the worst is left for last. While we are already aware that technology directs information to us through our cellphones, laptops, computers, tablets… based on algorithms which intend to please us by determining what we want to see and hear. We are also aware that electronic media can self-edit that which it decides is “undesirable.” A philosophy, a political concept, discussion of issues, and even a candidate professing a specific ideology, can be erased from our viewing options. We have seen these issues time and time again on social networks intending to control our attitudes. What is waiting for us, is far more invasive.
In the near future, we will be witnessing the sophisticated application of A.I. to the goals of those wishing to change the world in a direction of their choosing. We will turn on our televisions and internet news to see leaders we respect, making statements that they never uttered. Their lips will be moving… and their voices will be their own… spewing words their brains never considered, to convince us to concede to political views that those same leaders never envisioned. The use of “A.I.” will take the concept of “fake news” to a level never before imagined. We will trust no one, and the power to shape opinion and manipulate the public …nay the entire world… will be in the hands of those who hold the real power. Not our elected officials, but those who hold massive wealth and can afford to manipulate the masses with this new technology.
There are already clear signs that such wealth and power exist and are being used to manipulate media, politicians and opinion. Artificial Intelligence will make their power so vast, that there will be no return to our previous way of life.
It is inevitable. It is undeniable. We have witnessed the inability of governments and legal systems to rein-in the role of technology in our lives thus far. It moves at lightening pace and just as we think we have put limits on its ability, it morphs into something entirely different.
Decisions made now, by all of us, will determine just how damaging this new technology will be for future generations.
It was once glorious science fiction. It is now our unfortunate reality.