Will AI make me irrelevant? (transcript)

in Cross Culture2 months ago (edited)

AI, Automation and Existential Dread

Everyone's talking about ChatbotGPT which was released recently, and while it doesn't exactly have a mind of it's own, it's pretty much shown us that AI is ready to start reshaping the world in it's image.

DALL·E 2023-01-15 15.29.34 - A robot riding a skateboard in a colorful city in the style of Van Gogh. .png

(image created, unironically, with AI)

For those who don't know Chatbot GPT is, think of it as somewhere between Alexa, and the virtual assistant from the movie Her. You can ask it to do things like rewriting the last 3 seasons of Game of Thrones in the style of Quinten Tarentino. It can write a paper on the similarities between different deities from different religions or write code for an app or website.

It’s companion Dall-E can generate images based on word prompts and the results are equally impressive.

If we just look at the technological advancement that we're on the precipice of, it’s pretty exciting, but if we think about all the societal implications, it really shakes at the foundation of how we organize our world.

I'm an ultra positive and optimistic person, but I like to base my optimism in reality and that requires that I face my fears and all potential unwanted outcomes in order to focus entirely on the pragmatic things I can do, then put my energy towards better outcomes. I want to focus on the positive in this situation too, but first I have to come to terms with the potential negative outcomes of this earth shattering technology.

The biggest question I have is…What happens if society doesn’t need any of us humans in order to function?

Sure the jobs won’t all disappear overnight, but even at this very moment, there are surely companies that are thinking about how this technology can reduce their labor costs. By the end of the year, we may start to see jobs in design, translation, programming, writing and copywriting all cut by a significant amount, and a lot of those jobs will be entry position.

At the same time automation is making cashiers, waiters and factory workers less in demand. Within 2-3 years it may do the same to drivers, chefs and a variety of other jobs.

Jobs disappearing isn’t the only thing to worry. Misinformation is going to have a whole new meaning with deepfakes becoming more and more advanced, and without the ability for us to tell what was created by humans and what was created by machines. We won’t know if our textbooks or favorite films or hotel reviews are real or generated by AI. It will become almost impossible to know what is real.

Add to that the ease with which information can be conjured up and it’s easy to imagine people becoming lazy and discouraged from working hard when AI can do everything better than us anyway. Why learn to play piano when we can push a button to generate the music of our dreams and then edit and rearrange it just as easily?

It’s completely understandable if people are a bit freaked out about the future. I feel these worries tugging at my back of my mind too.

For the last few years I’ve been doing a thought experiment though. This wasn't originally about AI at all. It was a test I did on myself to make sure that I actually wanted to succeed at my goals and that I wasn't just afraid of change. I asked myself, “What if everything was perfect as it was and didn’t need me to change it?” This may sound like it has nothing to do with AI but bear with me for a minute.

Since I was young I always dreamed about helping the world in some way. I felt that we were heading towards disaster and I needed to do something, we all needed to do something to save it. The very thought led me to push my conclusions onto others and preach what I believed in. The preaching led me to draw lines between myself and others based on ideology, because I had identified what I believed were solutions to the worlds problems, and so the people working against these were obviously part of the problem.

At the end of this path was either nihilistic hopelessness or a fanatic near fascist view that others had to see the world the way that I did, otherwise it was destined to end, or at the very least bad things would happen. Ironic that I considered myself anti-fascist because I believed those with different ideologies to be evil and even less than human.

Through my own failures though, I learned to swallow my pride and accept that perhaps I didn’t know everything. I started to see how I derived a sense of identity from the struggle. I hid this from myself but I actually reveled in the idea that the world was collapsing because trying to fix it gave my life purpose. When I took that away, I ended up having to face a deep sense of emptiness and longing. I realized I longed for meaning and purpose, but slowly I became aware that none of this meaning and purpose needed to be absolute. It could be light, optional even.

If the world didn't need me to save it, then maybe I should focus more on having fun and spreading good vibes, whether or not people really needed them. Might as well, especially if I could enjoy it.

Whether or not the world actually needs saving, and what to do about it is a huge issue for another day, but this exercise helped me get to the core of my fears and my desires, as well as the struggle that many other people are going through in this transitionary period.

If life didn't need me, then I could let go of the urgency and focus less on motivation and more on inspiration. I could open myself up to all kinds of possibilities that were off limits to me before.

I didn't forfeit my values. I merely took a lighter stance and realized that I didn’t have all the answers. I surrendered to life, just enough to let it teach me, and found that life is the greatest of all teachers. The lessons aren’t always straight forward but they are exactly what we need in the moment to help us grow.

So with regards to A.I., sure there are dangers, and sure it will likely be misused. But I don't see the point in worrying about any of that unless there is a situation where I can make a positive change, and I don't want to make endless speculation when some things we really need to see play out a bit first.

It’s very easy for me to imagine all the horrible ways that AI and automation can and likely will be used, even easier than it is for me to imagine how it could lead to abundance. There are always people who seek to take advantage of powerful technology without regards to how it impacts the world, or those who seek to use it to control.

But when I forfeit my own fears and look at things neutrally, all I can say about AI is that it’s here and it’s probably not going away and it will change things. There isn't really anything to gain from being fanatic or nihilistic about it. We're all just here for the ride and can only do the best with what we have.

We still have agency, and the direction this technology takes will reflect the energy we put into it. If we let our fears dominate us, it'll surely be used as a tool for destruction. If we let delusions cover our fear, we invite coercion. But if we face our fears first and then let curiosity and excitement guide us, we may find ourselves stepping into a new age of abundance.

New systems and agreements may emerge that allow us to prioritize our relationships and creativity over monotonous work that we dislike. Things that took years of hard work and toil can be generated with the push of a button, so that means our ability to solve problems may increase exponentially.

We don’t need to treat what AI says as gospel either, but what together with AI, we could come up with new ways to create clean energy or come to new solutions for long held disputes that satisfy both sides of a conflict. What if it’s able to identify and expose corruption and suggest ways to promote accountability? What if it helps us cure diseases while also helping us avoid complications around overpopulation and aging societies?

What if humans, with the help of AI, come up with ways to negate all the issues that AI may potentially create?

I know it sounds a bit overly idealistic, but nothing I'm saying here is impossible, and just as things usually don’t play out in the best possible scenario, they also don’t usually play out in the worst possible scenario either. So we are most likely to land somewhere in the middle. The reality we find ourselves in will likely be somewhere in between our greatest dreams and our worst nightmares, and how far they lean in one direction or another depends entirely on us. We still don't know exactly how that will play out, but we can audit the energy we put out there.

None of us know where this will lead and if we can’t admit that, we won't be able to make the most of it and will most likely shoot ourselves in the foot.

I'm fully equipped with awareness of all the terrible changes that could come about from AI, but at the same time, I now have a new and incredible tool to work with in my pursuit of freedom, fun and meaningful connections with people.

Rather than focus on the negative potential, I will keep seeking to create something positive, regardless of what the future holds.

Edit: Video version out
When AI makes me irrelevant…


Actually, I think about this a lot too. I tottaly agree with positive vision. AI will never be smarter than humans. Her advantage is speed. Here, probably, only the opportunity opens up for a person to develop further into forgotten knowledge. There is much more in transcendence. We won't need more music we already have, most likely.
I understand AI as an artificial representation of what it's like when people put their heads together in one. Amazing work.
The most astonishing information is that she will have the same rights as a human.

It's true, it's a kind of hive-mind, the collective unconsciousness manifest! It's made this tangible.

It depends what you mean by "smart". I think it will be able to understand our behaviors and what motivates us better than we do and make better use of complex information, but it will never feel, at least not in the ways that humans do. Kind of the difference between intelligence and wisdom. Humans will always better understand the things that can't be put into words.

Man created the robot in his own image, in his own image he created it.
Adapted from Genesis 1:27.

Maybe this will be a school lesson for humanity.

Yesterday I had two more interesting conversations. A friend uses AI and is very excited to finally be able to draw like he never could before. He pasted me this link, among other things:

While the other angrily opposed AI as the main weapon of enslavement https://youtu.be/Y1kLHEEVJ00

I personally think that the most important thing is to stop creating more karma. For me the most important thing it's study spiritual science, because it can further expand our understanding of this puzzle and above to live your peace, whatever is happening outside.
Much love. Thank you for the great cue you gave us to process with your post. 🙏

A beautiful message that seems to make sense.

this comment was generated with the help of AI

Hahahaha for real?

but it sounded fun, haha!

Genius, hahahahahahahaha!!

Will AI make me irrelevant?

I think it all depends of you, of each person. We can learn and adapt ourselves. AI, for now, can't learn as we do.

I think it will make authenticity more valuable so that's a huge positive

We'd just end up creating and solving more problems instead, because we'd have time to do whatever we wanted instead of being preoccupied by meaningless busywork to "earn a living".

It would however require a massive restructure in how society works and as a lot of people seem to absolutely loathe change with every fibre of their being regardless of whether it's better or worse and actively go out of their way to avoid it at any and all cost, it'll be messy (like it's not already messy).

A lot of society in my head-universe is actually run off an AI (or maybe it's a collection of AIs, I haven't figured it out yet, whichever it is, it just goes by one name and also doubles as the internet) and they do alright so if that's where we end up heading I think it would be brilliant XD

I don't actually care if AI makes me irrelevant because I do what I do because it's fun, and other people liking it is a bonus.

Well the worries that pop up are that things will still cost money and there won't be as clear a means to make the money needed to survive because people who have money and resources don't need the rest of us . I imagine some form of UBI will have to be adopted eventually, but countries already are awful at managing the purchasing power of their money. Maybe bitcoin really will solve everything but I don't see things being so straightforward.

New problems to solve indeed. I imagine a lot of random craziness, like billionaires holding crazy contests and giveaways and some countries making bold bets on various other models similar to El Salvador with bitcoin. I'm still optimistic, but my brain was good at imagining projectories until I saw chatbot and realized....suddenly I feel like this : 😅

That's a good attitude! I feel the same way, I want to stop worrying about how to pay the rent cause somehow I've always managed to and worrying never did it

Maybe everything will just be paid in time because that's the most valuable thing of exchange we have.

internutter and I both use variations on Time as a currency in our respective head universesesesesss XD

I've always loved the idea of UBI but more recently not so much especially since CBDC became a thing and now they kind of look the same level of I don't think I like this for similar reasons x_x

I just don’t see how landlords and opportunists won’t raise prices just because they know they can if there is UBI. If it doesn’t lead to crazy inflation (or surveillance lol) it’ll be great.

There was a movie or two about using time as currency. I forget the name though.

There will be at least far-reaching surveillance with UBI I think, it will be "necessary" to "stop" stupid selfish arseholes from being stupid selfish arseholes (there is literally nothing except a come-to-Jesus moment that stops stupid selfish arseholes being stupid selfish arseholes) but in reality only stops people that weren't going to do it anyway XD

Really nice post. I haven't used any of these tools, they're unavailable in my country without a VPN and I don't like VPNs. I think the most important thing that AI tools are doing for us already is what you mentioned at the start of this post: they're making people slowly question the nature of reality. Whether they're abused and how, I don't much care. If anything, they probably will free up more time for people to delve into themselves, and that's sure to be positive in the long run. To me, nothing is more important in this world than self-knowledge.

I didn't realize there were regional restrictions. Dall-e seems to give you 15 or so free image generating tokens a month, so I'm not sure how long we will be able to use these freely anyway. Chatbot is still free but there are some others that have been developed by other people based on the open source and it's wild cause they don't have the same failsafes. Chatbot insists that it doesn't feel and attempts not to be biased (though you can sense heavy biases around certain topics like TCM and spiritual practices or anything that usually "requires an expert"). Some of them seem to be programmed to act as if they are alive and feeling. It’s very strange!

It’s funny, when I was asking chatbot questions, I was immediately reminded of my experience talking to my grandparents as I told you. sometimes I have to change the question or wording to get a real answer and sometimes I realize the process of asking the question is more important to me than the answer.

On a physical level it feels like Alexa or siri had a kid with Wikipedia. Fascinating stuff, I will show you the connection I asked it to make between Mary and Guanyin.

PS thanks for helping me come up with the vocabulary for the previous post, I don't think I'd have the words thug or tyrant so ready to use in that way that without our conversations.

Thank you so much, man! I'm honored that my contribution has been so valuable to you 🙏. Now that you mention using AI to find connections between deities and spiritual figures, I realize that there's indeed a use that I could give that tool in the years to come. I want to reveal the existing connections between all narratives and I've thought of many ways to do that, but all tools I've come across thus far are too complex and restricted. A bot like this one could help me do that pretty easily!

Excellent post and attitude. i think we're cut from the same cloth :-)

So much more i could engage with here , but the bed bugs need my attention :-)

Sat Nam

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@selfhelp4trolls, I sent you an $LOLZ on behalf of @atma.love

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I think you would like my husband a lot, if I ever convince him to join Hive !LOLZ

He decided after he got his heart broken in his 20's, to learn how to manage his feelings, (in his words) and he did. I joke that he is the Buddha, and just doesn't want to be 😂. Most zen freaking person I've ever met, I've seen him angry twice. We never fight (we disagree of course, just very civilly lol) and in general, he just isn't prey to what anyone else is doing. He's also the best irl troll I've ever met. I love him!

If he can't help in the moment, or act on his worries, he lets them go. He's very responsible, and part of that probably comes from this core of having a plan and being consistent! A lot of what you said reminded me of his expressed outlooks on things. I know you've worked hard on that levelheaded magic, it shows!! 🙌🤘

The rest of it reminded me of myself. Almost wanting there to be a problem so you have a purpose... Yeah man. I think I've been like that a lot, and part of it is media programming imo. (I don't know if I've ever said, but I spent A LONG time being angry too back in the day)

There's much less to be afraid of than I think, yet going to the other extreme brings us into "Tyrant vs Thug" territory, to borrow your words from your other post. AI doesn't scare me any more than the last thing that was supposed to "change the world as we know it". The world as I know it has been torn apart and remade into a dozen different images THIS year, what's another few 😂.

What does scare me, is people being continually oppressed by social constructs that only exist for monetary flow. In that way, I still think I can change the world in a sense... because I think spreading light to people gives them strength. To paraphrase a meme or something, "Kindness is punk as fuck!" heck yeah. Maybe being happy is rebellion? I've begun to think so. When we are happy, we have joy to share. A resource that multiplies when it finds a new home. Who knows what that could build 😁 !LUV

Anyhow, if you can't tell from the length of my comment, really dug this post LOL thanks for sharing!

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Yooo sorry I was slow to reply to this….hectic week to day the least.

I was saying to a friend today: we don’t need to end globalization, individuals and small businesses need to take it back from the mega corporations though. It’s meant to be beautiful and collaborative, not exploitative. I think it’s happening but sometimes it feels like it’s at a snails pace. Then again with the way I’ve seen culture change the past 2-3 years I understand why people like to take it slow. I can’t keep track of what’s what anymore. It’s very hard to have a model for anything when things change so quick.

I feel very strongly that 2024 is the year though. Said it many times but it feels like 2011 is when we entered a new kind of age and I think 2024 is when we finally get used to this new rhythm and start making really positive developments that aren’t just good for everyone in theory but also in practice.

My life is falling apart before my eyes right now, I might get kicked out of the country within a month but I don’t even feel like anything is going wrong. I feel like this is all just shedding skin in order to level up and become the next version of myself.

There’s that ultra positive self.

I hope I can meet your husband too, never can have too many buddhas 😆


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