Why I’m Not Scared of AI…. And Why I Should be

Why I’m Not Scared of AI…. And Why I Should be

I was privy to a fascinating discussion today with the CEO of a technology company and a marketing executive planning an event for professional woman. The topic: AI.

Sexy. Urgent. Ill-understood. Scary. Exciting. Whatever.

Our conversation roamed a broad landscape. What is AI? How does it work? What can it do? How can my company use it? How should I think about it? Should I be excited? Scared?

For the event, should we stay high-level? Is there a risk in getting too technical? Staying too simplistic? What applications might our audience be interested in? Should we touch on legal considerations? Specific industry uses?

Yes, and.

The anxiety surrounding AI was a theme we spent some time on. The uneven levels of understanding. The plethora of “fluffy” webinars on the topic.

I shared a thought I’d had early in the morning as I woke up thinking about this. “I’m not scared of AI, because nothing will out-human a human!”

As I described the magic people share from time to time regarding their private thoughts of another, “Your sense of humor is killer!” “I was thinking about how quiet you were in the meeting last week and wonder what you were thinking.” “Your eyes are so kind.” I went on to say that we can’t really be replaced by technology.

The technology CEO assured me that indeed we can be! She shared a story of a company she recently visited that was run entirely by robots with one—ONE—human on scene to make sure the programming of the shop floor robots was running smoothly.

Technology can ultimately replace us. I concede this possibility. Maybe even probability. The things we do, the decisions we make, and the resources we allocate can all be determined way faster and with far greater efficacy than you or I are capable of. I get that.

What I do not and will not concede is that our spark of uniqueness, our humanity, dare I say our divinity, can ever be replaced. It may be replicated closely. That’s not the same.

I celebrate the development of personal robots who can be with people who are alone or need support humans cannot consistently provide. Who knows, I may want one myself one day! Our efforts to improve mankind’s existence on every front imaginable are exciting and praiseworthy. But there is something about the unknowable, magical, one-of-a-kindness of you I cannot imagine any not-you humanoid can replicate. I may be proven wrong as technology advances. Somehow, I don’t think I will be.

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