Chess is a hard game. You have to think 10 to 15 moves ahead, and it’s variation. The memory has to be strong but also the strategy. It takes a great amount of practice, hard work and talent to become the best in the game.
And that same level - sometimes a stronger level of a chess game can be played by your smartphone chess app, which comes free in the App store.
The contrast is clear. Computers, algorithms, machine learning, AI - call whatever you want, they are here to stay and dominate in many areas as possible. If something has to be learned, they can do it better. If something has to be derived, they can do it better. But there are some areas where we claim they can’t do these things.
Yeah, sure, computers can play better than the chess champion. But can write better than the best script writer. Or can they create creative outputs like paintings, poems, fictional stories, etc.?
And for a time, they seemed lacking in their ability. Until ChatGPT3 came along and started creating artistic creations like poems and scripts and giving life advice. It’s surreal and seems out of a sci-fi movie. But it’s very well real and here to stay.
The Fight Between Humans and Computers
AI is a threat to many people. When it can create results similar to 80 per cent of the people, then that’s a great achievement. Meaning it’s better than the majority of the human population.
But the greatest insight and shift comes from the top 20 per cent of art created. And it’s often random, unpredictable and amazing. What if AI can create 1 in 100 artists similar to the top performing artist? What does it mean to be a human?
It would mean something other than creating good art because AI can do that. What is the distinction between humans and AI? Apart from the flesh, the workings and output seem similar. Many times, it’s indistinguishable, and that’s a crazy outcome. If you, as a human, can’t tell what is created by AI and what is created by humans, then either there is nothing unique left in human creation, or the judgement of art goes beyond who created it.
If all of your potential art would be and can be created by an AI in a day, what’s the utility of spending years honing a skill to create art?
What’s the threat?
We made computers and AI and machine learning to help humans. If they will make us redundant and eliminate us at a certain point - then that’s a threat. We consider ourselves different because we have defined ourselves in such a way. We say we can feel things, but in the end, all of this is a chemical reaction. And the simulation can be created with neural networks.
Something as basic as moving your body seems like a human thing. But it’s an electric signal sent from your brain which makes your limbs move.
If everything we do can be programmed into a steel body with software, algorithms, AI and machine learning, then is that a version of human-living life? And if that’s the case, survival of the fittest will kick in, and if we don’t survive, then it's okay in the eyes of nature. But unlike all the other living beings in nature, we created the computer. And if we can create a living being like us, then are we nature?
This is a deep philosophical question because, at every step, AI is becoming closer to what a human being is. And slowly, whatever makes us unique is no longer making us unique.
Are we creating a new living entity by advancing in this direction, and would it be the end of our so-called human race?
Pros and Cons
Everything we create is ultimately for human beings - our species. And if some invention is hindering the well-being of humans, then that’s a red flag. The idea here isn’t to hinder technological advancement. But rather creating policies which sustain human well-being intact.
For example, if automation replaces 1 billion people and costs 10 people to maintain, that’s a red flag. Because displacing 1 billion people to unemployment is bad. They won’t find alternate jobs because they won’t exist in that huge number. That automation is amazing, but if 1 billion families starve to death, it’s not that amazing.
Technology growth is happening, and nothing we do can stop it. But we can calibrate its impact to ensure that human beings exist as long as technology exists. And in an ideal world, robots would do everything, and we will do only art. But the power-hungry people won’t let that happen.
So, let’s bring our voices to appreciate the good in technology and the red flags. Let the technology proposer along with human beings.