I concluded my last over-long post with the sentence: “Our world’s trouble right now is not that AI is becoming more competitively human; it is that humans are becoming more like AI”. I work each day with a Rubik’s cube knowing that there is a chance I will never master the cube’s challenges to my particular brain given the nature of my intelligence. I have been working on it a few minutes a day for 8 or 9 years taking the occasional break, but always returning. I have made progress so it is not an entirely mad project. The thing is, complicated as it is, the cube is a finite problem. Some people solve the puzzle in moments. My intelligence isn’t structured that way, but I can exercise to improve the lesser strengths of the brain I inherited.
For me the Act-of-Faith for this century is to rest in the certain understanding that the human being is an infinite problem. We are not a several levels up ‘Chess’ or ‘Go’ problem or a very large Rubik’s cube. Our intelligence is a magnificent tool, but only a tool. Our intelligence resides in us as one tool in a very large tool box. Intelligence separated from the context of the complex human is, no matter how impressive, finite. Our finite tools, assets, gifts, or strengths may some day be replicated artificially, but they will remain finite and artificial. If I understand what I am reading in today’s science, it is the relationships of these assets or gifts that make us the infinite humans we experience ourselves as being. We humans must be able to draw our creativity from beyond the finite limits of any individual strength we may seek to master. This age’s science fiction fascination with portals and black holes suggests to me a profound seemingly universal need to escape the confinements of the finite intelligence. Rather than idolize the individual tools of our nature we need a shift to allow us to revere the relationships and possibilities skillful internal relationship management offers. AI as a tool can serve as an asset to this positive relational revival. But if our choice is to fight AI directly without the deeper understanding of the infinite, AI will prevail and become a cancer on the soul. One thing is certain: AI will explode our understanding of that finite tool we now call our intelligence.
So we carry on.