Don’t Bring Children to This AI (Artificial Intelligence) World!
In this Article, I share my thoughts about what an ex-Google CEO stated in a podcast episode about Artificial Intelligence and demonstrate the fallacy of its different arguments.
AI and the existential risks
If you don’t live under a rock, you have probably heard about the current debate on the existential risks of Artificial Intelligence. Lately, massive development in AI has been opened to the general public’ use. Technologies such ChatGpt, based on generative model languages are bringing huge changes to today’s world in different areas such as education, business, medicine, etc.
Everyone is speculating about how this technology would change the world in such an unprecedented way. One particular ex-Google CEO is even advising to wait a couple of years before having children and bringing them into this Artificial Intelligence world! Wait! What?
I was in the middle of the kitchen, cooking my children’s launch while listening to some interesting podcasts through youtube. The title grabbed my attention, but I was hundred per cent sure it was only clickbait (you know, titles designated to attract more followers) and if I were to listen to the 2-hour episode, he wouldn’t say such nonsense. But, he did! It shook my soul and choked even the most daring of my thoughts.
I won’t argue that it was a “clickbait” as I’m guilty of the same thing. But, as a mum and an AI lecturer (I should know a little bit about AI, Right ? ), I feel it’s my obligation to inform and share about this subject. I’m thinking about all the couples who might stumble upon his podcast, and because they don’t understand the technology, they would believe, that Artificial Intelligence would effectively destroy the world, and thus they would wait to bring children to this world! Adding more anxiety, and worries to their current load of responsibility towards their future children. This thought revolts me because it is using fear to control one of the deepest and strongest human desires: the desire of being a parent.
Side Note : If you want to help your child (12 years and beyond) unlock his future and start learning about AI, grab this quick FREE AI Cheat Sheet here.
Artificial Intelligence is alive, conscious, and has emotions!
Let’s say I want to give a new definition to the word “Red’’. Everyone knows that Red refers to the colour red; a rose can be red, blood is red, and sometimes when I’m angry I turn red (maybe not me, but certainly my toddler does 🙂 ). Now, I would use the word Red to say I feel angry. So Instead of describing myself as angry, I would say I’m red. Because I’ve changed the definition of the word red, we will have :
I’m angry = I’m red.
This is how the podcast guest based his argument and his whole hypothesis: “Angry” is “red”! He first gave a definition to the words “conscious’’, ‘’ alive ’’ and “emotions’’, mainly that these refer to a sequence of logical steps that an Artificial Intelligence can execute; Thus, he stated that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is alive, conscious and has emotions.
He defined “being alive” as, I quote “ engaging in life with free will with a sense of awareness of what’s surrounding us”. I would agree that being alive includes this definition but goes far beyond that. Being alive, in a human sense, is indeed being conscious of our surroundings, of ourselves as a body and a mind, and above all, as a spiritual being that cannot be reduced to purely physical or chemical interactions, that eventually a machine can replicate! Even any living organism has to have the “essence of life” to be alive.
So yes ! I might turn red when angry, but red is not angry!
The same principle is used again in the definition of free will, learning, and decision-making when comparing these concepts between human perspective and artificial intelligence.
How about love, happiness, and motherhood?
He also defined “fear” as the understanding of being less safe in the future than in the present moment. And that’s why a machine, an artificial intelligence, would have the emotion of “fear’’. It is easy to define this emotion as a very simplistic logical equation, and then attribute it to Artificial Intelligence. But how about love, happiness, excitement, motherhood, a sense of belonging? and faith?
Red is not angry!
AI is not alive, is not conscious, and doesn’t feel emotions. It has a certain limited capacity, for sure, but let’s use proper terms for this: AI-alive, AI-conscious, and AI-emotions. Let’s not lure the general public into imagining a terrifying dystopian world full of nonsense.
Have Children, Give them values and create the world you want to live in!
For the first time in my life, I wrote a comment on a podcast, I was thinking about all the parents-to-be, full of hope and excitement, listening to this macabre prediction advising them to wait a couple of years before having children. I wanted to give some insight about artificial intelligence underlining technology and reassure them that’s fine, it’s just a powerful tool, that can be leveraged. However, I received a quick reply accusing me of living in a “Utopia”.
I’m wondering what is “Utopian” about having children and raising them on human values. They will build the future, they will ensure ethical Artificial intelligence. That’s how we can save the world from the eventual misuse of AI. Teaching them to be passionate about technology, about AI, and they won’t run out of jobs. I’ve since deleted my comment and decided to share my thoughts here.
If you want to help your child (12 years and beyond) unlock his future and start learning about AI, grab this quick FREE AI Cheat Sheet here.
PS: I didn’t want to cite the guest’s name, because I’m more interested in discussing his ideas than in him personally, but you can watch the full podcast episode here. (15/08/23 update: Since the publication of this article, the title, and the thumbnail of the podcast episode have been changed)
How about you? what do you think? should we stop having children and wait to see what will happen?