Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence

May 5 2019 /


Guest Writer Leah Rizzo, middays on Eagle 97.7

From the time human beings discovered fire and created spears, we have been inventing our way to the top of the food chain. There’s no animal we can’t hunt, no structure we can’t build, and we’re constantly eradicated diseases that were once a death sentence all due to the human brain and our ability to invent. We’ve basically peaked in evolution, and essentially beat natural selection with glasses, inhalers, and apposable thumbs. So what’s the next step in Darwinism? An even more perfect species designed by humans for humans- Artificial Intelligence.

While A.I has yet to perfect human attributes such as comedic timing and contemplating the philosophical, there’s many things it can perform exactly as humans do. Only better. As human beings, we often depend on our imperfections and our mistakes to remind us of our humanity, after all “to err is human.” So what do we do when we take humanity out of the equation? No seriously, what do we do? I’m honestly asking. The American Dream idealizes the idea that hard work pays off.

Anyone can earn the husband/wife, white picket fence, two and a half kids, and a dog as long as they work for it. So what do we do when Artificial Intelligence flawlessly takes jobs that would be better served by the perfection achieved by machines? It makes sense that companies would invest in A.I that can do the same job as a person but without the mistakes, you don’t have to pay long-term, and doesn’t complain.

Americans, especially, pride themselves on their hard work and jobs well done and for the first time, college graduates are in direct competition with Artificial Intelligence for certain jobs. If A.I. begins to out compete us in a society we created are humans left obsolete or do we reap the benefits of our own utopia? Are we done? Did we win? As someone who does take great pride in the work I do, it’s very difficult for me to imagine a world where working for a living is no longer the goal nor a necessity for society to continue.

Honestly, I think humans would be bored. We’re naturally curious and we love exploring the world around us, but when we no longer have to use our brains to navigate because our cars drive themselves we lose part of what makes us such an intelligence species. When children no longer have to work together to create a game and play, they lose the comradery and social living that humans have thrived for thousands of years. While I’m wildly curious to see how Artificial Intelligence plays out in the future, I have a deep sense of dread with it as well. Maybe I’m just growing older, and that’s the natural resistance to change, but I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see.

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