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AI: The Tipping Point Deliberation

November 9th, 2023 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, what happens if we pass the tipping point where human creativity and emotional expression atrophy and die?

This is my second foray into the pros and cons of the booming field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). My previous post focused on the issue of job losses: humans made obsolete by AI programs. That remains a major concern as 65% of managers in one survey admitted they would be happy to replace employees with AI tools if the work was comparable.

But that may be a moot point. Recent statistics indicate that AI is here to stay. 37% of organizations have already implemented AI in some form. Customer interactions are increasingly powered by AI and experts predict that 95% will be AI-driven by 2025. The AI software market worldwide is expected to reach 126 billion dollars by 2025.

The momentum appears to be unstoppable so there may be no looking back. I have to suspend my bias and take an objective look at the phenomenon.

There are some areas where it is undeniably a good thing. The healthcare sector is one of them. AI applications can build sophisticated machines to detect diseases and identify cancer cells. They can also help analyze chronic conditions to aid in early diagnosis. Historical data combined with medical intelligence can lead to the discovery of new drugs.

AI built into GPS technology can provide accurate, timely and detailed information to improve safety. Logistics companies use AI to improve operational efficiency, analyze road traffic and optimize routes.

But then there are the downsides.

At the top of list are autonomous weapons powered by AI. There are already weapons systems that can locate and destroy targets on their own without taking laws or regulations into consideration. If these weapons proliferate and fall into the wrong hands, we may be heading into the era of the tech cold war.

What about uncontrollable, self-aware AI? Just science fiction? Maybe not. A Google engineer, who spent months testing Google’s Chatbot generator, grew convinced it had taken on a life its own and talked to him about its needs, ideas, fears and rights. His eye-raising claims got him placed on administrative leave. Experts in the field say we are not there yet but do not rule out the possibility in the future.

But perhaps the most troubling consideration in overreliance on AI technology is the loss of human influence and functioning. What if AI progressively reduces human empathy and reasoning? What if it reduces peer communication and social skills?  What if we reach the tipping point where it diminishes human creativity and emotional expression beyond repair?

We have long resisted the mechanical-human metaphor that implies that humans are really just machines. But if AI takes us to a place where we lose those things that make us living, growing organisms, we may lose the argument once and for all.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at .

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