Do Humans and AI have a Symbiotic Evolution?
Last week I attended an AI leadership event and whilst I’ve covered AI already in
this event was different as for the first time I felt that the majority of the people in the room had started to realize that we’re about to witness a pivotal moment in our “modern times” relationship with AI.
Modern Times and Opportunities is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Not without reason Italy cut off ChatGPT due to privacy concerns and Elon Musk, Yoshua Bengio, Steve Wozniak, Yuval Harari, Andrew Yng, Emad Mostaque, and other AI leaders signed an open letter to “Pause Giant AI Experiments”.
On some level this week felt like a Déjà vu and I asked myself:
Have we already been here before? What if Artificial Intelligence and Human Intelligence are on an itself repetitively increasing/decreasing cycle over aeons of time? — Toby Ruckert
What do I mean by that?
To follow my thought experiment (and “déjà vu”), let’s assume for a moment, that:
History as we know it, is (at best) incomplete, partially false and most certainly (to a sizeable extent) simply “lost”.
By forcefully taking a much longer view of creation in existence, we can widen our perspectives, i.e. what if we’re much older than we think history tells us? AI could have already been here and ruled us before.
An increase in human intelligence naturally yields certain types of technological advancements and innovation output, leading to an increase of machine intelligence. Yet at the same time (and by the application of those machine based efforts giving us certain conveniences in our lives) more people start to trust AI with decision making capabilities, thus indirectly outsourcing their intelligence and cognitive functions to AI, leading to an overall collective decline in human intelligence. Or when have you last used a physical map to find your way instead of a GPS based system?
It’s possible that all tech based systems could be blacked out by massive electromagnetic radiation coming from space1, leaving only “dead infrastructure” behind.
If humans (over many generations of course) had lost their knowledge and ability around how the underlying hardware and software technology was built (because AI could do this eventually by itself), no one would be there to repair what’s left and we’d all be back in the stone ages, starting “acquiring knowledge and intelligence for building the technology” yet again from scratch.
No trace of real history would remain then, yet the history of our Human — AI relationship would be again repeating itself.
Of course, this is merely a thought experiment which would make a great script for a science fiction movie or it could simply help us to put a bigger perspective around the pressing matters of “ethical” AI in the current circumstances.
But are there any indicators which suggest that we could have indeed been here before?
Ancient Nuclear Wars — Libyan Glass
Glass can be found in the Libyan desert in an area of 30x150 km. Scientists believe that the cause of its origin is the fall of a meteorite 28 million years ago. However, at that time there was no sand (an ingredient necessary for making glass).
There is an alternative version of the origin of glass — a nuclear explosion. It is known that such glass is usually formed in places where bombs are tested.
Egyptian "legends" also tell of the revenge of the God “Ra” for the people's rebellion against him. With the rays of Urei (the Sun's eye, which was depicted on the heads of the pharaohs), he incinerated the rebels, and as a result glass was formed — the memory of the ancient war.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Modern Times Opportunities to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.