IS AN ALIEN MIND TRANSFORMING THE HUMAN RACE?
Two new books offer a single choice: merge with machines or be left behind
Artificial intelligence operates on a different plane than human reason. As described by various futurists and technologists, AI is literally an “alien mind.” In advanced artificial neural networks, the modes of cognition—the logical steps behind any given conclusion—are completely incomprehensible, even to their creators.
The craziest part? It’s oftentimes correct.
In the coming years, this nonhuman intelligence will change everything about our personal lives, our social organization, and how we think. That’s the premise of two books published back-to-back this year—one from the West, the other from the East.
The Age of AI: And Our Human Future is a primer on technetronic civilization for Western policy makers.
AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future is a similar effort for an Asian readership, with nods to TED Talk snobs and the Davos elite.
The former argues that artificial intelligence already displays unearthly powers of perception. It will soon determine the fate of nations. The latter envisions algorithms becoming quasi-spiritual entities who cradle a new humanity. These beings are “inevitable,” the authors maintain, and the risks to our freedom are profound.
As legacy humans, our choice is to either reject this alien intelligence and fall behind, or to forge a “human-AI symbiosis”—to let ethereal tentacles probe us, analyze us, and guide our evolution.
Normal people are horrified by either prospect, but that’s irrelevant. The future doesn’t care about your feelings, nor do the people creating and directing it.