"Information technology is continuing to leap forward; biotechnology is beginning to provide a window into our inner lives—our emotions, thoughts, and choices. Together, infotech and biotech will create unprecedented upheavals in human society, eroding human agency and, possibly, subverting human desires. Under such conditions, liberal democracy and free-market economics might become obsolete."
We're swirling in the clamour of Brexit over here in the UK, and it's hard not to hear his words and not think it already has. I mean, great goodness are we ever tired of sounding the alarm bells? Of course, he had to get his sample material for "because AI, no democracy" from somewhere, right? I wonder what he would have written were when fire was invented/discovered.
One of the "last generation great tech companies" (maybe next generation great tech companies) built a machine which, in 2017, beat a chess computer that had been trained on human learnings without having learned a human chess strategy in its life. Google's AlphaZero fought 100 games against the Stockfish 8, its human-trained rival, and never lost; not once. We maybe have to square ourselves to the idea that today's dominant companies don't naturally lead to bigger and badder human companies. Maybe they lead to big machines.
As our organisations advance in capacity we need to start talking about plugging the gap they leave behind - obviously. And our argument here is most certainly not "there goes that Google again, mucking everything up." We released our Android version of the HAT
last month - we're all about the Goog. I guess instead, we are trying to find ways to show off more of our humanity in
technology. Find the new and exciting stuff that enhances us and our worth in the world. AI probably does that somehow. Yuval and I need examples how.
His point in the article is tinged with sadness. He argues that the common citizen today cannot feel valued, important, or even useful anymore - not when the headlines sing with bioengineering and AI. In an era where we feel we are losing our connection to the humanity that has brought us here, it is probably natural to feel passionately about plotting a course home. The instinct of the human person to always strive to come back to the middle, almost immediately after trying to touch the edge. Will that save us all?
Personal technology in all its iterations is just that - a way to be human and technologically advanced at the same time.
Yours in HAT