As we continue to develop artificial intelligence, our understanding of humans needs to evolve. The most significant leap forward is not how well computers think but how we think about computers. What is changing is our consciousness of what it means to be human.
By giving an user interface a name, a distinctive voice, and the appearance of a personality, Alexa isn’t teaching us to use a natural language database interface, she’s teaching us to regard a computer program as one of us. It doesn’t matter that AI hasn’t yet lived up to the claim of being intelligent in the sense of being sentient. What matters is that we are acting as if it does, and in doing so, we are shedding some of our humanity.
This change in our understanding of what it means to be human is already impacting how we live and work. For example, consider the trend toward remote work. A recent study by Upwork found that 36% of US employees now work at least some of the time remotely, and that number is expected to rise to 63% by 2025. This shift has been driven partly by the pandemic in combination with the advances in communication and collaboration technologies that make it easier for people to work together even when they’re not in the same physical space. But it’s also been driven by a change in our understanding of work and how it should be done.
Traditionally, work has been seen as something you do at an office from 9-5, (or some other similar schedule). But with the rise of AI, more and more businesses are starting to see work as something that can be done anywhere, at any time. And as our understanding of work changes, so does our understanding of what it means to be human. We increasingly see ourselves not as physical machines that go to an office and sit at a desk from 9-5 but as virtual minds that can work anywhere, anytime. In other words, we are stopping to see ourselves as dumb mechanical machines.
Of course, this shift comes with its own set of challenges. It can be difficult to maintain a work/life balance when you’re always connected and working from anywhere. And for another, there’s the risk that we will stop to see ourselves as nothing more than beings that exist for the sole purpose of working. But if we can navigate these challenges successfully, then the shift towards seeing ourselves as devices could have some profound benefits for both individuals and society as a whole.
The rise of artificial intelligence is changing what it means to be human. As we stop to see ourselves as machines, we are developing some of our humanity. This shift comes with its own set of challenges, but if we can navigate them successfully, then there could be some profound benefits for both individuals and society as a whole.
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Author: Christian Kromme
First Appeared On: Disruptive Inspiration Daily
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