The New Reality

In essence, our new reality in a postmodern age is a global reality, and this novel global reality affects even local and national issues. And as mentioned before, social organization amidst this novel global reality has to account for a set of major patterns. Arguably, there are three major patterns:

  1. American economic power despite the failure of American global hegemony
  2. The end of European cultural hegemony
  3. The awakening and the rise of formerly colonized peoples

In turn, artificial intelligence (AI) is involved in both the shaping of a novel global reality as well as social organization and the manifestation of its underlying patterns. And as mentioned before, governments and people are largely confounded by the role which AI is playing in these aforementioned economic, political, and social phenomena. Governments and people are perhaps equivocal when it comes to deciding whether they should interfere in the workings of AI amidst these phenomena or let AI take its course. 

But if there is interference on the part of governments and people in AI-driven phenomena, it will not necessarily be objective. Such interference will reflect the biases and subjective judgments about such phenomena on the part of these governments and these people. As Henry Kissinger wrote: “Any governmental approach to this process – whether to restrict, control, or permit it – necessarily reflects choices and value judgments. If a government encourages platforms to label or block certain content, or if it requires AI to identify and downgrade biased or ‘false’ information, such decisions may effectively operate as engines of social policy with unique breadth and influence.”

As a result, the question of how to deal with AI-driven social change is still a matter that is up for debate. Kissinger added: “Across the world, the way to address these choices has become the subject of searching debates – particularly in technologically advanced free societies. Any approach is guaranteed to play out on a scale that is vastly greater than nearly any past legal or policy decision – with potentially instantaneous effects on the daily lives of millions or billions of users in many governmental jurisdictions.” 

As it appears, governments are in a bind and in a dilemma and predicament when it comes to dealing with AI-driven networks and platforms. Kissinger wrote: “The intersection between network platforms and governmental arenas will produce unpredictable and, in some cases, highly contested results. Rather than clear outcomes, however, we are more likely to arrive at a series of dilemmas with imperfect answers.” Government intrusiveness into AI-driven phenomena will either produce outcomes that match certain political or social goals which are aimed at achieving social justice, or all of it will amount to intrusiveness for the sake of intrusiveness and an abuse of power. There is also the potential of a “shared human culture” developing as a result of cross-continental and transnational communications driven by AI. But regardless of what happens, AI is now something which is inescapable. And while the free exchange of ideas and thoughts is not a novel concept, the free exchange of ideas and thoughts has taken on a novel character and form, in the sense that AI is now behind this exchange, which in turn brings up basic questions about how governments and people should approach this global exchange of ideas and thoughts. 

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