Yet again, the hysteria on the part of certain entities and individuals has arisen over ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI). But the hysteria clouds and shrouds some of the basic facts and realities of AI which would reduce the hysteria if these facts and realities are actually known by the broader public. We have discussed the issue of AI in the past, but the recent hysteria provides yet another opportunity to discuss this new and intriguing issue which is fast rising through the agenda and the rank of priorities of various actors and entities in international society. 

For one, AI is not in charge of humanity. The fact of the matter is that AI is a creation of human beings. In turn, AI is a tool or an instrument which is designed to facilitate man’s mastery and understanding of the world and of the broader reality which surrounds man. In a philosophical sense, man is the focal point and subject of human and world history, not AI. Man is the master, and AI is the servant. 

Moreover, AI responds to what human beings do. Human beings are not reacting to AI. In reality, human beings are creating AI, and AI is ultimately the output of human inputs. Thus, if human beings want to regulate AI, human beings must first regulate their own behavior and thoughts, because AI is ultimately an output of human inputs. Universal education would in turn help characterize and shape the output that is AI in the future, and a higher level of human consciousness as a result of universal education would reflect on the functions and operations of AI. 

Furthermore, there is the issue of algorithms which are at the heart of AI. The technical definition or meaning of an algorithm is an equation, formula, or mechanism aimed at problem solving. The British Dictionary defines an algorithm as “a logical arithmetical or computational procedure that if correctly applied ensures the solution of a problem.” Another definition for the term ‘algorithm’ is “a set of instructions for solving a problem, especially on a computer.” Yet another definition states “a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps.” And another one states “an ordered set of instructions recursively applied to transform data input into processed data output, such as a mathematical solution, search engine result, descriptive statistics, or predictive text suggestions.”

And in order for an algorithm to process everything and thus solve problems, it needs inputs. And it happens that algorithms get their inputs from human beings. AI algorithms do not get their inputs from some imaginary creature or place. As Henry Kissinger wrote: “The algorithms, training data, and objectives for machine learning are determined by the people developing and training the AI, thus they reflect those people’s values, motivations, goals, and judgment.” Kissinger added: “Even as machine-learning techniques become more sophisticated, these limitations will persist.” 

Perhaps an analogy that is well suited to describe or illustrate an algorithm and its role in AI is the human heart and the human body. For instance, if the human heart stops or if it degenerates, the human body dies. But if the heart is assisted by the fact that good food is going into the body and one is exercising regularly and doing good things, then the body is healthy because the heart is healthy. Hence, algorithms are the heart, and AI is the body in this analogy. Moreover, the concept of inputs and outputs – which happens to be a universal concept that underpins virtually everything in science – makes the concept of algorithms and the broader concept of AI less complicated, even though the life force behind both the human heart and AI algorithms still remain a mystery for the most part. 

On balance, the greater threat to humanity is the egotism of leaders and public figures, not AI. Furthermore, the concept or the idea which underpins technological innovations such as AI and the “Cloud” is the concept or idea that is known as the “collective consciousness.” One should note that it is the collective consciousness which in turn gives humanity the upper hand over AI when it comes to determining the destiny of humanity. Concepts and ideas such as the collective consciousness and the concept of inputs and outputs are a priori, in the sense that these concepts and ideas were known to the innovators of these concepts and ideas before they were even known to the innovators. It is all a mysterious and strange paradox. It follows that there are preexisting concepts and ideas which bring about things such as AI and the Cloud that appear new, but they are not new, because the concepts and the ideas which underpin these new things were known to the innovators and creators before the innovators and creators knew that they knew them. Also, we barely know anything about the concept or idea known as the ‘collective consciousness’ which underpins AI and the Cloud, yet it is the a priori concept which underpins AI and is behind all the hysteria and hoopla which surrounds AI at the moment. In sum, there is one question after another that needs answering, and we have only scratched the surface, despite all that we already know. Nevertheless, the concept or idea known as “collective consciousness” will be the subject of my next blog post. 

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