On Artificial Intelligence

2022, a rubicon for AI

On Artificial Intelligence
Photo by Erick Butler / Unsplash

In the future, I believe we will look back on 2022 as the breakout year for artificial intelligence, with this year as a metaphorical Rubicon in four ways:

  1. Artificial intelligence will challenge our belief in the primacy and singularity of human intelligence. The intelligence of machines will expand our understanding of different types of intelligence: from the intelligence of trees to octopuses to machines. If AI helps us to question our anthropocentrism, we might be closer to conferring moral rights and obligations onto beings that have alternative forms of intelligence.
  2. Artificial intelligence will lead us to partner with machines in different ways. In short order (2-3 years), we’ll observe a major reshuffling of what parts of our roles we outsource to machines and what parts we continue to do ourselves. The job loss due to AI is overestimated, but the way that AI will change almost every job is underestimated.
  3. Artificial intelligence will force us to become truth-tellers. Generative AI will dramatically reduce the marginal cost of producing new content, but these systems cannot distinguish between true and untrue (making them vectors for misinformation). This means that there will be unique value in humans who can 1) discern what is true from what is not, 2) apply relevant knowledge to specific contexts, and 3) act ethically.
  4. Artificial intelligence will invite us to reimagine our understanding of originality (and intellectual property). Our ideas, our art, and our beliefs are the products of millions of formative experiences and inputs; rarely are they the ingenious epiphany of a singular individual. If a human partners with a computer that draws upon thousands of copyrighted images and paintings to produce a unique piece of AI-generated art, is it original?