‘The genie is out of the bottle. We need to move forward on artificial intelligence development but we also need to be mindful of its very real dangers. I fear that AI may replace humans altogether. If people design computer viruses, someone will design AI that replicates itself. This will be a new form of life that will outperform humans.’
Space enthusiasts have been forever arguing for the existence of life beyond earth. Researchers and popular culture speculate on alien encounters and potential alien take-over. Scientists suggest that Artificial Intelligence can help us to find aliens on other planets. Yet it seems like we may have been creating aliens all on our own even if we didn’t know it. These aliens have not come from ‘out of space’. Informed by the data we inevitably give they are not only a mirror of us but an exaggeration of our good, bad and our terrifyingly ugly. They know who we are and increasingly what we think. They are becoming better at predicting what we will do and where we will be. In the seminal book by George Orwell, 1984 that I’ve read more than once, there were few places where you could just be in a world characterised by surveillance. It’s the same today for anyone using technology or anyone who happens to be in its vicinity.
It’s worth reading/watching Wired Magazine’s ‘When Tech Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself’ which features an interview with Yuval Harari author of 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Sapiens and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow and Tristan Harris, from the Center for Humane Technology. They explain how our brains have been hacked, what have been the real world consequences, and what may be yet to come. They also give some practical ideas on how to start dealing with this by suggesting you acknowledge what is happening and gain more self-awareness. I agree it’s not a solution, but it’s the only way to start.
Aliens are watching you right now.
Aliens are already here…