Is AI the end of the world as we know it?

I scanned through a story published in the Telegraph by Dan Snow titled “AI is the biggest threat to mankind since the Manhattan Project” Whoa! That’s some serious company. But is AI the end of the world as we know it? Really?

If you really think about the premise of the title of that story we should all be OK 80 years from now past the initial existential threat of AI, since we’re all still pretty OK with the still existential threat of Atomic Bombs. We also have the existential threat that a meteor or asteroid could hit the earth and cause widespread destruction, but you know what ? We’re still OK. Mankind is still here. Just live your life.

Think of the possibilities

Besides any real or imagined negatives pertaining to AI, there are a whole lot of positives. Quicker more accurate medical diagnosis for example, based on being able to synthesize much more amounts of visual and medical data than any singular medically trained physician could ever personally have in their cranium. What about space travel and going where no man has ever gone before? Where have I heard that phrase before? Or other challenging research, scientific, or whatever. AI can synthesize research materials much quicker and comprehensively to find well researched solutions sooner.

But can AI take a walk in the forest, or by a river, or by the beach? Can AI really ENJOY music and art? Can AI just hang out with friends and family, or wistfully recall sweet memories, or cry over heartbreaking losses? No. Those are things that humanity is blessed with. Let AI do it’s thing, freeing us to do ours.

Change happens

Will there be changes? Sure. The invention of the wheel, the printing press, the phone, the automobile, the internet , all had profound effects on our world. AI will too. There will be those who oppose AI just because, and there will be others that think of the positive possibilities that an AI world offers and seize the day to be part of that change. Horse and buggy drivers got left behind by the car. Air travel by zeppelin and balloon got left behind by planes and jets and space travel. The village story teller and singer has never been replaced, but their reach has been expanded by radio, television, wi-ifi, and film.

So, is AI the end of the world as we know it?

Yes. I think so. Change happens.

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