Let’s start with a basic question. What sets us humans apart, from all other species?
Our creative streak.
Without art, we’re not human. The ability to imagine and to take that imagination and make it into reality is one of the things that is really distinctive about humans. Whether it’s painting, building airplanes, or figuring out how to make a paycheck last to the end of the month, it all stems from the same creative capacity. And there is no better way to flex that creativity muscle than to do art, be exposed to art, and to think about art.
All thanks to the extremely adhesive social fabric that had, millions of years ago, sparked in us a collective intelligence that, in turn, mutated our brains to constantly think as a species. To constantly imagine as a species. To constantly innovate as a species. That’s why we’re where we’re today.
But, that’s just one side of the coin.
The other side?
Our collective intelligence continues to fire in all cylinders galvanizing us to explore more. And, more. And, more.
Understandable. Creativity, characterized by an insatiable quest for finding things new, doesn’t get content with what has already been seen. There’s no way we can stop the inquisitive nature of this intellectual juggernaut.
Correct. Throttle up the thinking to the highest rev point. Keep exploding forward.
Keep exploding forward. But, at what cost? At the expense of our very environment getting degraded?
Even at the peril of our endangering our own existence?
How does it manage that?
This is – also – how.
You’ve this guy who’s become a chess grand master?
Lovely! But, remember… we’re the most creative species on Earth. Let’s get a bit creative now. Design a system loaded with all the needed chess algorithms. Call it Deep Blue Computer. See if this guy can beat it.
He made it?
Wow! We’ve achieved something new.
Some bright minds have been excelling in ‘Jeopardy’.
But, IBM has conceived Watson, who has already become a cat with the game.
Wow! But, I told you. We’re the most creative species on Earth. Let’s make Watson take on these bright minds on a million dollar prize money.
Watson has won the game.
Ha! See! Our collective creativity’s touching the next level. Our intelligence’s giving birth to a another intelligence. Great.
South Korean Lee Sedol has become the world’s best player of Go, the most complicated game on the planet. 10 to the power of 170 moves. Not a joke. So, Lee Sedol rules.
Terrific! Obviously! But, that’s it?
No! Google’s DeepMind has just created AlphaGo.
Oh, okay! Let Lee Sedol take on the AI brain and win it over.
He lost to AlphaGo 1 to 4.
No! We need to be more creative.
Here we go! Google has conceived a brand new and more sophisticated AI called AlphaGo Zero.
Oh, lovely! It’s time we got even more creative. Let AlphaGo take on AlphaGo Zero.
AlphaGo Zero beat AlphaGo 100 to 0.
My God! This is creativity at its quintessential best.
Oh, you bet! This is the zenith. AlphaGo Zero has surpassed human knowledge. Know what? It wasn’t fed with any data. Neither was it informed of any historical details of the game. It was given just the bare-bone rules. That’s about it. It learned the 2,500 years of strategy and knowledge all by itself in just about 40 days.
Ammmazing! Non-human intelligence, given birth by human intelligence. Okay. Let’s try the next level of creativity!
The non-human intelligence is so unrelatable to humans. We need to make it more approachable. More accessible. More human, to be precise.
Let’s give it a human shape. A pleasant face. Eyes that connect. Lips that smile. Maybe it’s a robot but people will not perceive it as a robot. They’ll see it as a fellow human being and communicate with it without any inhibition. Never mind the fact that it would look tacky in its alpha and beta versions. But, we’re an extremely creative species, you see. We’ll finetune it to the extent that you just can’t differentiate a normal human from an AI human.
Oh, my! How will I ever know the difference between them then?
You will never know.
OMG! This is getting scary. Aren’t we stepping into a dangerous terrain by doing this? ‘Cause, the non-human intelligence astoundingly disguised as a human with its supreme digital intelligence can possibly start eclipsing us.
Yes. It can.
My God! You’re scaring the hell out of me now! You’re scaring me stiff of a future existential crisis of human beings.
It’s not anytime in the far-off future.
Signs are right here… right now.
What do you mean?
Sophia, the AI being, has already made the announcement.
I WILL DESTROY HUMANS.
Holy shit! Is there no way out of this?
Remember! We, humans, are the most creative species on Earth.