AI can explain the meaning of life and the answer will surprise you

Iain Thomas is a poet, novelist and new media artist. Her work focuses on the intersection of creativity and technology.

Jasmine Wang is a technologist and philosopher. She has worked with the AI ​​Partnership, Institute for the Future of Humanity, OpenAI, Microsoft Research, and the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms.

Below, Jasmine and Iain share five key takeaways from their new book: What Makes Us Human: Artificial Intelligence Answers Life’s Biggest Questions. Listen to the audio version – read by Iain himself – on the Next Big Idea app.

1. Artificial intelligence is a new way to be creative

AI is a factor in creativity in a way that we don’t really understand yet, but we will all understand very quickly as this technology is adopted and becomes more accessible. It is a kind of four-dimensional creativity.

They can come up with ideas that are somewhat able to come up with their own ideas. I imagined the book and the book was written through the use of artificial intelligence. It is very difficult to predict where this technology really is or what its creative potential is. It’s a bit like the invention of the steam engine. You can look at a steam engine and understand that locomotives follow, but you don’t see the whole industrial revolution because all the use cases have not yet been explored.

AI is also a way to democratize creativity, where everyone can create in ways they would otherwise not be able to. There’s a lot to consider, sure, but there’s just as much, if not more, to get really, really excited about. AI isn’t a perfect creative partner, but it’s pretty close. He never gets tired. He never complains. He never needs to get up and go for a cup of coffee. At the same time, when you’re brainstorming, when you come up with ideas, some are inconsistent and some aren’t even usable. But every once in a while you get these bursts of connections between things in a way that a human might never have seen.

2. AI is a new way to interact with creative work, culture and media

In creating this book, I actually had a conversation with many different books. It is relatively easy today to use accessible AI technology to tell a copy treasure islandor a character treasure island.

In a way, AI is like a hub of culture, like a DJ can drag a record back and forth to scratch it and create new kinds of music. We can use this technology to create and do new and different things and engage with those things in different ways. Much like the rise of hip-hop, which saw people use sampling to create entirely new forms of expression, we’re on the cusp of a new era in how we experience the world around us. surrounded.

3. When you take the most profound, poignant, spiritual, and awe-inspiring texts in human history, put them together, and ask questions, a pattern emerges

In the process of creating this book, we went through different answers to different questions, and AI kept coming back to three different unique principles. The first is that love is the meaning of everything. Love is the goal of our life; the reason we are here. The AI ​​kept coming back to it in different ways.

The second is the idea that we should come back to the present moment – ​​that heaven, paradise, is in this present moment. As soon as we start leaving it and start thinking about the past or worrying about the future, we start to suffer.

The third principle that the AI ​​kept coming back to was perhaps much more common than the other two themes. It was this idea of ​​connection, that we are fundamentally connected to each other and to the universe around us. These things seem obvious, maybe even insignificant, but it takes the whole circle of AI to remind us of these fundamentally human things.

4. We need to be involved in conversations about this technology

We need to be aware of this technology and we need to actively engage in all of its aspects. AI has very real potential to make the internet a footnote in human history in terms of its profound impact on our culture and society.

We’ve all left internet decisions to a few people in Silicon Valley. They were the ones who shaped it and made it what it is today, which was not a good idea. Today’s Internet is defined by this mantra, “move fast and break things.” When it comes to AI, we need to move to a place where we take it slow, fix things, and make really thoughtful decisions that we all participate in to determine what kind of world we want to live in.

5. Artificial intelligence is both sentient and not

It is not certain that we would consider sentient AI as a Google engineer suggested a few months ago. We can sense something on the other side of the GPT-3 as we interact with it, ask it questions, and get those answers. But what we can sense, sense and interact with may be the collective wisdom of humanity.

We capture our thoughts by writing them down. When you take a technology and have it analyze all of our thoughts to find the patterns in our language, you’re talking to all of us about who we are. So when you feel something on the other side of this technology, what you feel can be the sum total of who we are.

This article originally appeared in Next Big Idea Club magazine and is reprinted with permission.


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