Mayfield: AI might not destroy humanity, but let us love it more
Robots are taking over the world! Not the beep-beep-boop-boop-Howdy-Mr-Jay kind but the “open your social media and see artificial intelligence-created portraits of your friends and family” kind. The “read tearful and moving holiday letters from parents to kids about the reason for the season written entirely by AI” kind.
My husband even showed me a question-and-answer session with a new AI chatbot that was asked to tell jokes and then not only told funny jokes but could explain why they were funny.
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I can’t explain why some jokes are funny! But robots can?
Everything I just described happened in the last few days.
We’ve reached some kind of threshold in artificial intelligence. My code-writing and researcher friends are even impressed or scared.
Usually, I’m a “remember the terminator” kind of alarmist about such things. But this morning, I’m more reflective, thinking about what computers actually give us. Not just the breakthroughs and advances. No, I’m talking about something else, something we have to look a little harder to see.
An appreciation for other humans and their hearts.
I can enjoy an artificial intelligence-generated portrait of me to post on Instagram. But it’s the one of our whole family taken by an art photographer who comes to our home each December and lights us, positions us, and laughs with us that we frame and put above the fireplace.
I can read the holiday letter written by a bot in wonder and love the one handwritten by our 9-year-old and addressed to Santa C-L-A-W-S even more.
Maybe I can’t explain why my lifelong best friend’s jokes about water aerobics and breakfast buffets are funny…but I know I laughed and cried on the phone with her as she told them.
My point is the more artificial and intelligent our world becomes, the more deeply I appreciate the authentic love and humanity in life.
It’s there every day and everywhere if we only look for it.
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