AI: an exhilarating and terrifying alien life form


David Bowie’s prescient words in 1999 about the internet said the net will fragment society, change things in unimaginable ways both good and evil, create massive change, create mediums where everyone is both producer and audience, with multiple, changing viewpoints where there is no single accepted consensus reality.

He was right. And AI is going to take that and multiply it by one hundred, or one thousand. AI will become embedded in everything and will be as normal as cell phones. And it will definitely have a dark side too.

We don’t really know how AIs do what they do. They will become smarter very quickly and will be used both to help and to deceive, to further propaganda. “Hey, did you see that Joe Biden clip in the Republican ad where Biden said he worshipped Satan. It was totally him!” Well, no, it wasn’t. The whole thing – video, Biden’s voice, background – was all created by AIs.

AIs will also speed up scientific research, aid us in many ways every day, and save lives. It really is an alien life form. It can’t be stopped, so get prepared, learn about it and use it. Let’s try to steer it the right way.

From the Bowie interview (start at 9:18)

“I don’t think we’ve even seen the tip of the iceberg. I think the potential of what the internet is going to do to society, both good and bad, is unimaginable.”

“I think we’re actually on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying.”

“The actual context and state of content is going to be so different to anything we can envisage at the moment. Where the interplay between the user and provider will be so in simpatico it’s going to crush our ideas of what mediums are all about.”

“It’s an alien life form.”

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