Novelist Stephan Talty wanted to know what our future would look like if AIs were everywhere. So he interviewed “more than a dozen futurists, philosophers, scientists, cultural psychiatrists, and tech innovators” to give us an idea on what’s coming to us.
Stephan Talty pegged the arrival of artificial general intelligence (AGI) at 2065, around 47 years from now. But we all know that it might come a bit earlier [see AI: When Artificial Superintelligence Is Just A Couple of Years Away]. Written with the skill of a great writer, the scenarios he built are amusing to read, but are no less thought-provoking. And though he seems to think that the “dooms day” scenario painted by Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking are unlikely, he raised an important point at the end of the article. He said:
If there’s one thing that gives me pause, it’s that when human beings are presented with two doors—some new thing, or no new thing—we invariably walk through the first one. Every single time. We’re hard-wired to. We were asked, nuclear bombs or no nuclear bombs, and we went with Choice A. We have a need to know what’s on the other side.
But once we walk through this particular door, there’s a good chance we won’t be able to come back. Even without running into the apocalypse, we’ll be changed in so many ways that every previous generation of humans wouldn’t recognize us.
Why It Matters
We have all seen how fast AI is developing, how our future is already being shaped so that a world where humans and AIs co-exist. A future with AI is guaranteed to happen. AI is here to stay. The only question now is, what is the real Choice B? Is it a future without AI or a future where humans have discovered a uniqueness that cannot be equaled by any machine?