There were some scary reports in the media lately on how a big company shut down it's AI project because of private conversation between intelligent bots, giving rise to speculation that development in AI is spiralling out of control and the day is not far when all machines will converse with each other secretly and take over the world.
In the above case it was explained by the officials that what happened was a short cut way of communication between bots and very much under control. The bigger reason why AI scare is unfounded is that machines lack that one ability which can make them intelligent enough to accomplish this control. And they'll never have it. This ability simply put is consciousness or awareness.
The question usually asked is that machines are very creative nowadays so can’t they become aware one day?
Lets analyse the level of creative capability of machines.Sure machines can be intelligent and creative, but their level of creativity has some limitations.
To give an example, I am sure those who were music buffs of Hindi movies music in 90s remember the renditions of Nadeem- Shravan. For a few years their music became very popular but gradually declined. One reason was that almost all their compositions sounded alike. It reached a stage that even today I can listen to almost any song of 90s, unheard earlier, and confirm whether it was recorded by the duo. Similar fate befell Mr Manmohan Desai who was one of the biggest directors of Hindi movies in 70s and 80s and gave hits after hits with all movies having the same mix of spices but gradually audience got tired of watching the same stuff and his movies started flopping.
Similarly their can be algorithms designed which can analyse the hit music or movies of the last 10 years or more and come out with a new tune or plot containing bits of all the hits and may get patronised initially but all such plots or tunes will gradually start sounding hackneyed and will lose flavour.
In conclusion real creativity can not be the forte of machines.
Which leads us to the question that what is creativity actually, what is awareness for that matter and what is consciousness?
The real creativity is the insight, intuition or a revolutionary idea unlike anything in the past and we humans keep generating them. And no we don't need to be a Mozart to create something beautiful.
Nobody has been able to answer it properly but one thing everybody agrees is that the most powerful entity in the world is unable to understand itself.
But yes there is something related to technology which is indeed scary. And that is an unscrupulous Human misusing the technology for personal gains. An intelligent human being or beings can and may be ARE using this intelligence to persuade us to behave in a certain way. If the technology can record our each and every transaction, from the kind of stuff we search on the net to the kind of tastes and hobbies we have, the medicines we use, what we shop, what problems we have and so on, it’s easy to formulate a psychological profile of each one of us. And then its not too difficult to press our psychological buttons by designing unique posts, messages and distorted or fake news which will persuade us to behave in a particular way and bombarding us with such messages using social media.
It not only leads us to buy certain products but also shapes our beliefs and perceptions about how we behold the world. And it leads to kinds of causes we support, solutions we endorse or the governments we choose.
Just think about it… despite so much attention and investment on the modern healthcare, why are diseases always on the rise or why warfare, violent crimes are increasing. Is Stress the only cause? If yes then why are easy cures like simple living, regular exercise & spirituality not in vogue. Why is our lifestyle designed in such a way that we bust our guts out doing stressful work which we don’t like and then relax by downing a few drinks at a pub on the weekends. Which in the long run creates more stress and increases unhappiness.
That’s why are we continuously bombarded by the ideas of becoming happy by driving the new car, next vacation, the next meal in the new exotic restaurant and so on. In-fact all these focus on what we lack in our lives. But why do we not focus on what we have? Why are we not focussing more on alternate healing therapies or trust and love? Ultimately somebody benefits from all the fear created about the different religions, nations, ailments etc. Health business, Arms and Ammunitions etc are trillions of dollars worth of business. Continuous efforts are made by the vested interests to keep them relevant. Fear is a very powerful emotion and when one is emotional one is persuade-able. And may be thats why disarmament, alternate healing therapies, world peace etc are very difficult to implement.
Why is this so prevalent now or what is so special about the present times which makes this work better
Research says that it works in two ways
When people are mentally or physically tired (A state of being very prevalent nowadays), the capacity of rationality goes down. Then it’s easier to make one emotional and hence easier to program. Have a rethink about watching vitriolic news debates when one is tired in the evening after a hard day at office.
As human beings we always look for cause and effect. Its easier to convince a person who is unhappy that a particular caste, religion, ideology is the cause. (And aren’t the stress levels highest nowadays).
So what is the way out.
a) Understand how we get programmed. Watch a TED video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C74amJRp730
b) Limit the use of social media
c) Limit the intake of news especially on TV more so when you are tired.
d) Realise what we like and enjoy doing and try making a career out of it
e) Find pleasure in simple things
f) Lead a simple life with regular exercise and spirituality. But is it as easy as it sounds? Probably not. It may be relatively easy to check oneself but what does one do when one’s spouse or kids demand that new car or vacation. The solution lies in doing it gradually. Working on oneself first and gradually working on the near ones by presenting oneself as an example. Confronting the near ones with this will only harden them against it. Solution is gentle coaxing with love and giving in sometimes. The key is love.