Being human in the age of AI
Human beings are made up of stories. Every human is a story playing out his/her memory in the arrow of time. These stories are nothing but our karma which gives rise to our habits or rituals. The more, certain types of karmic impressions, the deeper the habit. However, we are not ordained to live by it. We have the power to change our habits. But first, it requires cognizance of the same. Once we have identified where the change needs to be, we can take steps to inculcate the best practices. Stories are plenty, but convincing others is difficult. Through the annals of history, we have learned to be fearful and hateful of others than be compassionate. In a fight between a thought and an emotion, the latter wins always. Yes, we are emotional creatures and our emotions are nothing but biological patterns. It makes us who we are.
Fast forward to this day. AI is getting better day by day. Today we have general AI of the IQ of a toddler. However, if we narrow the intelligence to specific tasks, computers are way ahead of us. What has changed is that the machines have started learning. The algorithm has become smart. Soon, machines will able to comprehend emotions, not feel them. Humans are very good at manipulating circumstances without realizing consequences. The act happens now and the wisdom dawns later. Machines also will behave the same way, except that they will have a clear consequence awareness. If you place biometric sensors on a human, his/her emotions can be read by a machine. And if a machine knows how to act on that, it will be an interesting development. Thoughts and Emotions which are an important part of a human being will likely get outsourced to AI in the future.
As a human, we are always in the search of the elusive happiness. Granted that situations outside may not be conducive to it but what we are inside is 100% within our control. The more we react to external situations, the more we have bouts of anxiety and stress, the farther away we are from what we want to be. You see success is a relative term. For somebody, it’s hitting a million dollars, for others it may be a rewarding career. Whatever it is that we are chasing, we should realize that material things will not make us happy. If we are affected by other people’s judgments, we will never live a life of inner calling. This is our life and we have every right to live it the way we deem it to be meaningful. The first and foremost rule for happiness is that we should know ourselves. The second rule is not to get swayed by other people’s opinions about us.
Can machines help us achieve happiness? In a sense, yes! They will certainly fast-track our search which means that we will cut short the time to reach our goals. Now achieving goals need not necessarily make us pleasant, but they do give us a sense of achievement. Machines will replace humans in repetitive boring jobs that have been known to be the cause of stress. AI applied in the field of healthcare will bring out newer drugs and solutions to the aging problems of humans, which means we get to live more. In the future, the collaboration will not only be among humans as machines also get added to the equation. As we get more free time, we will have a chance to explore the myriads of complexity that we call ourSelf. And maybe one day with the help of machines, we will hack consciousness and realize that we and our maker are the same.
And the quest will continue…