Generalized Intelligence

Hence, it is due largely to the concept of Baqa – or “generalized intelligence” – that ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) and technology in general can serve at best as either a partner or subordinate of man or as a “devalued” tool or instrument of man in the way of man’s mastery over the world, despite the ‘extraordinary’ advancements and evolutions in AI and technology in recent years. While AI and technology play an important role in the “essential unfolding of truth” to borrow from Heidegger, man is still the central actor or figure in what is now a big picture that involves phenomena such as AI and technology. 

And as Henry Kissinger rightly noted, while AI and the internet focus on information and the “spread” of information “exponentially,” the acquisition of knowledge and wisdom requires a special human experience and a human factor that AI and the internet cannot create or generate. And while the generation and spread of information can be shaped by tech companies and the “truth” can supposedly be “relativized and individualized” as a result of AI and technology given that the data generated by people is then used to determine the kind of information that is being put out by tech companies, the acquisition of knowledge and wisdom requires unique human experiences and a recourse to books which many people do not possess.

One must also note that universities in the United States, despite their acclaim and international status, are largely “aloof” and out of touch with this concept of “generalized intelligence.” While universities can serve as “the source of much sustained political planning and social innovation” to borrow from the late Zbigniew Brzezinski, the fact of the matter is that “generalized intelligence” is a capability, skill, and talent which for the most part is absent or missing in a great number of corporations, companies, financial institutions, governments, media outlets, and universities.

Also, the relationship between one’s thought process which binds together with intelligence and reality as a whole, as David Bohm noted, is such that “when one thinks correctly about a certain thing, this thought can, at least up to a point, guide one’s actions in relationship to that thing to produce an overall situation that is harmonious and free of contradiction and confusion.” It follows that “both thought and thing (or reality) are forms abstracted from the total process” which emerges from the convergence of thought and intelligence. 

In essence, thought and reality are not separate from one another. But reality is the “ground” which undergirds thought and reality is in essence a “totality” which thought seeks to encompass through its convergence with intelligence. “Totality” has to be grasped by thought through a process, and it is this process which amounts to the influx of one’s knowledge and information or the ‘autonomous’ process or stream of knowledge and information that involves itself with the individual. “Totality” is not the content of thought itself to borrow from Bohm. However, what can be known in its totality is not fixed due to the “universal flux” which undergirds the convergence of thought and intelligence and thus undergirds the process of knowledge. 

As mentioned before, there is a “give and take” per se between the individual and this autonomous process or stream of knowledge and information. As David Bohm said: 

“Knowledge assumes that its information is coming basically from somewhere beyond knowledge, from some reality, let us say, beyond knowledge. In the case of the senses we seem to get quite a bit of evidence of that. When we discover things that contradict our knowledge, we drop it. Things happen that are entirely surprising, that we don’t expect, and are quite contradictory to our knowledge. Therefore we can see a reality which appears to be independent of our knowledge, or at least substantially so, although we can affect it by our knowledge.” 

Why knowledge-building and “meaning seeking” is a two-way street which involves both the human being on one hand and AI and technology on the other hand rather than a one-way street that is dominated solely by AI and technology is because someone has to ultimately synthesize everything that is presented to the individual through sensory data and information and the final task of making sense of everything psychologically rests with the human being.

In sum, only man can make sense of the relationship between himself and “the circumstances in which he finds himself” to borrow from Kissinger, which means that in making sense of the relationship between man and reality, AI and technology ultimately play a complementary or supplementary role to human judgment, human intuition, and human psyche.

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