Artificial Intelligence…the end of the world as we know it? Maybe!
I have little intention of using this wonderful invention.
What are my reasons?
I have several:
- A sense of unease. Could this be used for political gains or social manipulation?
- I have heard that it is not trustworthy – it makes up what it doesn’t know.
- I dislike cheating.
- A fault of mine is resistance to change – often to my own detriment.
- I fear that Artificial Intelligence will lead to de-evolution of our brains.
- We will not need to think for ourselves – imagination a thing of the past
- Our current call for diversity will be lost amidst the fog of standardisation
- And one huge personal reason! Read on.
Yes, I am a bit of a technophobe…I was happy enough with pen and paper. Then much to my surprise, I began to prefer writing electronically. I admit I was wrong, although my handwriting has suffered.
And yes, lesser forms of AI have existed for decades. But what is exploding into our lives right now is more powerful and invasive than any predecessor.
Oh- and yea- I like science fiction movies! Many of those paint a dark future with “Human versus Machine” wars so perhaps I am pre-programmed to be wary of “the machines”.
Tech in the wrong hands!
I have concerns about the technology as a whole – the mischief if could cause if…WHEN…it gets into the wrong hands. And who decides whose hands are “wrong”?
Look at the differing regimes throughout the world. Which would you want to be controlling the wording of the news reports you read?
Imagine the effects on a society using Artificial Intelligence programmed to output a bias against a political opponent, a foreign country, a gender or race. Hatred could be gently, subconsciously, planted into the minds and opinions of the public by a government or dictator who was controlling the people programming the computers.
We’ve seen it over the course of history, a great orator being able to persuade people to do the unthinkable – it is still happening. But imagine the effects of the words of a well-trained machine. A machine with access to so many aspects of our daily lives.
Can Artificial Intelligence lie? Fake News??
I have also heard stories where Artificial Intelligence has got it horribly wrong – it has produced “evidence” which could have ruined someone’s reputation and career. Such “evidence” could cause wars. We question what people tell us. But do we check information gathered by AI? Where is the intelligence if it cannot be trusted!
Of course, that story could have been invented; it was on Radio Four, usually a bastion of morality but who knows these days! Politicians scream “fake news!” – and after hearing the story above, I almost believe them. Except they’re politicians!
Hearing that some AI creators and many celebrated whizz-kids appeared to share my concerns and were calling for a temporary halt to development of AI, then greater regulation, gave me comfort.
However, several of the signatories are developing their own AI and want others to slow down so they can catch up!
Is it cheating?
It also seems like cheating – getting a robot to write for me. I would be pretending to be something, someone I am not. And something else would be pretending to be me.
If I am not writing my own blog posts and poems, then what am I doing? Editing? I don’t want to edit someone else’s work. It sounds “clunky” where the machine’s voice ends and my own cuts in. AI will eventually recognise my particular, peculiar, style apparently. I am not sure that that makes me feel any easier about it!
I have read content created by AI – and known fairly quickly that it had no human hand in it prior to editing. There are many words, mostly saying the same thing in slightly different ways. Like an essay from a student who hasn’t done the research. Maybe it was a poor-man’s version, I’ll concede that. And yes, the tech will improve, but why can we not develop our own minds and writing talents to make the machines unnecessary.
Of course, Artificial Intelligence saves time. Yes, maybe it would. With a machine to write my pages, posts and poems for me on Motorhome Hobos, Through-the-glass.com, and here on Whole Life Poetry, I could be spending my time doing what I enjoy instead.
Hmm…that would be writing pages, posts and poems!! Well, at least I would have more time for housework. Yippee!
Of course, other people will have more time – those who have lost their jobs! Can AI really replace people? It already is. So the benefits of having more time are subdued somewhat by having no income! The businesses who are replacing their staff with AI will find that their target market has no money.
Our language is rich with words derived from our ancestors. Different peoples from different regions. We have dialects and accents, each passed down through the centuries. Machines don’t. Where is the individuality? Where is the diversity?
Now there’s a hot topic…diversity. And yet, AI will filter out the less common, diverse words.
“Yow marn’t cummin hee-ah with them dutty sho-wes! Oil hetta foind me dwoile!” is not going to make it onto any computer programme but a native of East Anglia would understand that they needed to wipe their feet!
We’ll all speak the same “luke warm” vocabulary in a few years’ time. There will be no difference between regions, the old languages will be dead and buried along with literary diversity. Dialects drowned out by the tinny sound of mediocrity, the human voice becoming a robotic monotone. Standardisation …is that really what we are striving for? So why the clarion call for diversity? Politically correct lip-service whilst the machines are programmed to make sure we only use dishwater words?
We will not have to think for ourselves
Artificial intelligence is just that…artificial. It will mean that we do not have to think for ourselves. We programme the machine – and off it goes. Yes, someone has to programme it…for now…but then our thinking stops. Thinking is a skill – use it or lose it!
Our imagination is no longer important – “tell me a story about a boy and a girl – he likes dogs, she likes cats” will be all the author need to tell their virtual assistant. How many tales will emerge from that scenario? Dog bites cat or Cat bites dog or Dog bites girl.
Our rich history thus far has been recorded in colourful myths and folk tales. Religions also use stories which can be taken at face value or looked at in different ways. Machines will not understand the ambiguity of our stories, nor the metaphorical nature of myths. With no food for thought, our minds will starve.
Music stirs our souls…well, some music anyway. Do we really want to listen to machine developed sounds? Technically tight but with no passion. Without human input, without the dodgy chord or sudden outpouring of discordance, music is little more than secondary school maths.
Is imagination and thinking so important? After all, we have machines now. Well, it has been shown throughout history that civilisations which had no enemies grew fat and lazy. They ceased to create anything of value – they had all they needed. That state preceded their decline. And without creativity, what is there? Without imagination we become robots!!
Fighting a losing battle?
Maybe I am simply fighting change. When writing was a fledgling skill, it was suggested that it would destroy human memory. Wording attributed to Socrates no less! Crazy! Writing and reading are integral parts of human life now…where would we be without the written word? So those ancient philosophers were wrong…weren’t they?
Back then, knowledge transferred orally. People remembered verbal instructions and rituals. Often their lives depended on it. Writing instructions down means that we can get on with other things…memorisation is not required.
BUT wait! Watch modern television – after each commercial break the first couple of minutes is a recap of what preceded the adverts. We no longer have to remember – information is repeated or written. And so our memory banks have potentially began to shrink. Our concentration span has shortened and we are increasingly unable to focus for more than a few minutes. Watch someone on Youtube flicking from channel to channel, like a techno-sucking butterfly.
Early dementia is mainly characterised by a loss of short term memory. And here we are, throwing ours away! Dementia, or living with dementia, is a particular soapbox I stand on – I insisted on each person I cared for having their individuality recognised and validated. No standardisation there!
But none of this is news – I am simply repeating what others have said. Concerns are broadcast daily.
And yet, people are adopting artificial intelligence and extolling its virtues – or should that be “saying it is double plus good”? I am swimming against the tide! Why am I intent upon drowning in my own unwillingness to modernise?
I love writing. There’s a reason for that.
I grew up at the end of an era where women were a man’s possession. “The little woman” who cooked, cleaned, tended the kiddies…and kept her mouth shut.
Girls learned in schools how to keep house whilst boys did metal work. My cohort did not get the 1950s leaflets instructing girls how to be a “good wife”. But our teachers and mothers did, passing on the chains to us youngsters!
How did women allow themselves to become little more than housemaids “with benefits”?
Why did we – DO WE – put our own needs behind those of others? Why did we stand behind our menfolk and adopt their opinions as our own? And why did we not speak out? We silenced ourselves and smiled meekly in agreement.
Tell me once again about how I should be grateful that a machine can speak for me!!!!!!!!!!
Its grammar and sentence construction would be better, it would probably tell a better story. But I don’t want anyone else telling my story.
I want a voice. Moreover, I want it to be MY voice. Not an edited version of an inanimate machine’s voice. It cannot follow my moods, it cannot see what I have seen, feel what I have felt.
A poet needs her moods like the flowers need rainy days!
No matter how much information I put into AI, it will not be ME.
I don’t want it to be.
One of me is enough!
Here is where I speak…Whole Life Poetry – Home
You can speak too – there’s a space for your comments below!