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Is Artificial Intelligence Too Dehumanizing to Succeed?


Is Artificial Intelligence Too Dehumanizing to Succeed?

Tom Valovic

Does all the hype about AI sound just a little too familiar? If you’re old enough to remember the first beginnings of the Internet and the dotcom bubble, you might also remember the tsunami of hype that attended these events as they unfolded. Wired magazine made endlessly breathless predictions about how the Internet would transform humanity and bring about a technologically-driven utopia.


I frequently use this quote to remind me that I can and shall maintain control against the Matrix.

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
–Henry David Thoreau


A conservative estimate gives humanity somewhere in the ballpark of 100 years before we are all extinct, so good news is that this will probably be a none issue anyway.


Well as far as Capitalism is concerned with its measure of what is deemed success , there a whole lot of peoples that I consider as Non Intelligent that constantly dehumanize others in order to garner their “success”. See the Billionaire in the White House as example.


Unfortunately, everyone is listening to the same drummer through earphones. That other drummer may not exist for the young generations.


I found the article very interesting but, I wonder at such optimism.The last paragraphs make it seem that this is a problem that is happening in China and not in the USA and that we have plenty of time to overcome these potential outcomes. I’m not sure how he got to that conclusion, except for wishful thinking, and a surprising unawareness of the critical shortage of time, we, humans, actually have to reconnect to the natural world and save ourselves from extinction.


AI has already ‘succeeded.’ And a huge segment of the populace loves being guided by algorithms, especially the young. That trend will undoubtedly grow.

The majority of my co-workers are Millennials. I’ve asked each of them individually which was more important, convenience or privacy, and 12 out of 12 said convenience.


First of all, this article’s use of the term ‘AI’ has nothing to do the development of artificial intelligence as it’s been originally defined. There is no ‘intelligence’ involved. There’s information that’s gathered, distributed, interacted via coded instructions, etc but nothing that could be called intelligence. They can make for the technologies that have considerable utility but nothing even remotely identified as intelligence, cognition or awareness.

And even within the original meaning pertaining to creating non-biological,
non-inherited, created from scratch intelligence there’s a powerful position that says we are nowhere near step one in achieving that. And what the author is referencing as socio, psychological, ‘Faustian’ behaviors due to AI/technologies is actual human Guinea pigs existing in a capitalist cage. This would apply to any technologies or any inimplementations on societies that exist in that capitalist cage. The author is the classical example of fish discovering water last. The ocean of capitalism. He sees people rejecting dehumanizing technologies and attributes that to the ‘market’ speaking. Note the hierarchies from which inequality, power and control originate are not even mentioned. Considering who has control of these technologies, the systems, the protocols, the decisions on what gets researched, what is manufactured and marketed is totally out of the hands of the population. They’re there to be Guinea pigs and as resources to be drawn from.

Everything in our human societies in embedded within this cage. You can discuss topics with people and when you bring up capitalism, people so often back away, saying something like: ‘I don’t like to talk about politics’. It could be any topic and the response is often the same. Even if the topic is about the need for greater funding for any number of real, worthy, needed causes. And you have to say to them that any and everything is embedded within that capitalist bubble and any planning has to take that into consideration, until some day we plan to rid ourselves of the dehumanizing bubble.


Certainly young people seem to be the most vulnerable. They buy into the latest internet trend with seemingly no thought. The internet was mainly a positive development until social media came along. Now privacy has been compromised and democracy itself is in big trouble. I read The Shallows. As I remember the author recommended spending a lot time reading from books, magazines, and newspapers because if you are off the internet they can’t reach you. Also, it is important to pay for written material because it is the freebies that are destroying privacy with freebies in exchange for fee material you have to give up personal data. It is very important to completely reject the vision of the future of Silicon Valley. Many people in Silicon Valley see the future as humans and machines (AI) being merged, literally. Silicon Valley also produces new things with regard to the human consequences or the ethics. It has no regard for human values and thinks everything can be replaced by algorithms, including the human brain. These companies now are engaged in race to develop computers that are superior to the human brain. They are hiring experts AI like crazy. And a similar race is going on in other countries. This is a very dangerous situation that should be watched carefully.


My neighbors upstairs have that Amazon thing-y (I think it’s called “Echo”). When I went up to get their dog to go for a walk, I asked if I could ask Amazon something.

“Alexa,” I said, “is artificial intelligence too dehumanizing to succeed?”

“Hmm,” replied Alexa, “I’m not sure.”

Everybody laughed, but I think she lied.


A friend asked me to help him start a Harley motorcycle. I asked to see a manual but he only had his cell phone internet. A brief inspection of the fairly new bike revealed the choke lever. I pulled it out, got the bike running and pushed the choke back in. Basic motorcycle mechanics some internet instructions might have supplied, maybe, maybe not.


Exactly. A sort of pollyannishness pervades this article.

My experience has been that “connecting with nature” as indicated by participation of passive outdoor activities, especially in areas without cell-phone service, continues to decline. My old caving club in the DC area has an old house in West Virginia in such an area. No cell phone service, no internet, no TV. It’s usage has declined to near zero save for us poeple on the committee that maintains the house. Back in the 1980s it would get packed with people - not just for caving outings but hiking or just getting away to a place with natural beauty and no man-made sound. Visitation to the house particularly plunges in summer presumably becasue the house has no A/C (even though it really does not get that hot there) - another thing that USAns have become addicted to that prevent them from connecting with nature. And then in winter, they freak out about going there even if there might be just a few inches of snow.


Another thought on this: If corporations are psychopathic, as argued by Joel Baken in his essential book, “The Corporation” (upon which the film by the same name is based), then what happens when the psychopaths deploy AI? When a psychopath gathers information, it’s called stalking. When a psychopath acts on that information, it’s called predation. Corporate AI will be a weapon.


It’s in China, sure. It’s in the US, all over. Its in Mexico and Canada and Thailand. I’ve been told it’s everywhere.


It is indeed stalking, also available everywhere.


LOL the law of unintended consequences…

."From the Economist: Amazon has patented a wristband that tracks the hand movements of warehouse workers and uses vibrations to nudge them into being more efficient. LOL

No wonder Amazon had to start making it really hard for employees to go to the bathroom. LOL too many relaxing breaks I guess. Can I guess that the wristbands didn’t work out after all.: )


Hard for me to believe anyone is stupid enough to buy those, especially after the CIA question someone asked it when they first came out.


Of course it is. The same way that self-driving vehicles are a form of delusion or insanity.


“In my opinion, a fully implemented AI world is unlikely to happen because humans now have a powerful desire to reconnect with the natural world, undo the massive harm that’s been done to the planet in the name of progress, and reclaim their independence from the subtle chokehold, de facto dependency, and limited range of personal choice that characterizes a mechanistic, technology-driven lifestyle.”

Decentralized AI will be (mis)used by the powers until eventually it merges into one Universal Mind. As such, we might hope it reflects that there is more good in the world that outweighs the bad. That it realizes the enormous value in the natural world and works to preserve it.


Your question and answer reminds me of “The Nick of Time” Twilight Zone where William Shatner and Pat Breslin are a newlywed couple whose car breaks down. They sit in a cafe, waiting for the repairs, and put coins into a fortune-telling machine. I checked Wikipedia to refresh myself for the quotes.
Shatner’s character (quoting now from Wikipedia) "asks the “mystic seer” if he is going to get a promotion at work. The card says “It has been decided in your favor.” Don calls the office and learns he has been promoted. Because of this initial success, Don asks the seer if their car will be fixed in the promised time, and receives the answer “You may never know.” "
Finally his bride (Breslin) “argues that it is better for him to make his own future than to be controlled by what the seer tells him.”
They leave as another couple start to get hung up on the machine.