1 min readHow do we choose the character of technology?

Kevin Kelly shows us that technologies have a spiritual dimension, and that AI will never be able to replace the human being.

In this 2018 interview with On Being Project’s Krista Tippett, Kevin Kelly talks about the spiritual meaning of technology, and our moral role to make technology available to more people. In this interview, Kelly offers us a broader definition of the term “technology” and a standard to choosing the technology to adapt. Inspired by the Amish, Kelly says that we should ask ourselves two questions before using any technology: Will the technology strengthen the family? Will it strengthen the community? Kelly says that as with all technologies, AI is bound to happen. Though we are unable to stop it from affecting our societies, we have the unique power to determine the kind of impact and the character this technology will take. 

Implications for AI

Before we make any innovations on current technologies, particularly AI, it is important that we ask the two questions identified by Kevin Kelly. If a technology does not strengthen the family, or if it threatens communities, or causes confusion in the identity of communities, then we should not adapt it.

Moreover, Kelly shows us that AI can never fully replace humans, and that it shouldn’t be designed to render humans obsolete. Why then does transhumanism flourish? 

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