As we try to imagine what the future will look like, it’s easy to see a world led and driven by artificial intelligence. As more super talented humans convert the patterns and processes from their talents and skills into computer programs that end up using this arsenal of super talent (now computer codes) to do the same job faster, with greater frequency and a lot more creativity, we may assume that the future will be shaped by artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence has the ability to grow and learn from its own mistakes, teach itself smarter ways of doing things and it is capable of high level creativity. What does this mean for human intelligence and what role will human intelligence play in the future of our planet and the human race?
These are important questions. Many leading technology executives have called for caution and regulation in the release and use of artificial intelligence. However, in the midst of all the feel of doom, I believe the birth of artificial intelligence is not the death of human intelligence but the end of mediocrity and small thinking. The internet is littered with sample templates of the best written letters and e-mails yet somehow, every busy business executive still receives poorly written emails and letters. With the internet, you have to find a way to use templates to create a well written email or letter and this requires some level of brain work but with artificial intelligence, it’s done in seconds - just ask and you’ll have the best written letter or e-mail styled to exceed your goal. This reminds me of how the calculator changed the subject of mathematics. Many people still can’t figure out Math but with their calculator, they can make the most complex additions or subtractions in minutes. Even if they know their way around Mathematics, it would take them several minutes or hours to solve their everyday mathematical problems. This is like a double edged sword. It has merits and demerits but what’s true is; this has moved humanity forward. The merits exceed the demerits of people being poor at mathematics. Would you rather have a plumber that spent hours calculating your bill using his intelligence or a plumber that uses a calculator but may not know mathematics?
Artificial intelligence mirrors the smartest humans. It mirrors their talent and skills. It uses stored knowledge from several thousands of years to as recent as a second ago to solve problems. The problem owners may not have the solution or do not have the time to solve the problem, hence, the need for AI. In some cases, the problem owners have inferior solutions. Artificial intelligent solves old, already solved problems using old knowledge. While the problems are old because it isn’t new under the sun, for the owner of the problem, it’s a new, fresh problem that urgently needs to be solved. For example, a college student that uses AI to write an article. Everything on the article is old information that was compiled beautifully and professionally by the AI tool in seconds. Thankfully, there are tools that detect AI generated writings but somehow, human intelligence finds a way to remove traces of AI in their AI generated work.
© 2023, Smart Emmanuel, CMC®
We have underrated human intelligence because we have forgotten the greatness human intelligence has achieved and we have overrated the possibilities artificial intelligence can promise. Since AI uses old knowledge and draws patterns from them, it is impossible for AI to have invented the air plane before it existed. You will need to put all the discoveries of the inventors together in computer codes for AI to figure it out. Without that kind of information, it’s impossible for AI to create the aeroplane. This shows the extent of human intelligence. Human intelligence is able to gather new information and put it together to solve new problems. With AI, we are yet to solve the most troubling diseases because the hope of the world is not in AI but in human intelligence. There’s no way AI can figure out Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger’s method of investing because it needs their experience and reasoning. As you must have figured out, AI is a copy of human intelligence. It’s only as good as what we put in it and if we stop putting intelligent stuff in it, it becomes unintelligent. AI is an extension of human intelligence.
The world needs hope. The world needs cures. Businesses need tailored solutions to their problems and AI isn’t the answer. AI is a tool to escape the hours we spend on solving existing problems and while we focus on solving unsolved problems. AI isn’t going to show you where your next billion dollar opportunity is unless you feed it with all the clues (accurate clues) and it will still make a guess, it can’t guarantee. Solving unsolved problems is the hope of humanity and AI won’t do that for us. The hope of humanity rests on brave men and women that spend their time inventing solutions to the problems that bedevil humanity. Once solved, AI will mirror the solutions and scale them. The newly created skill or talent will be democratized by AI and its good news because the goal of solving problems isn’t to solve them for a few privileged few but for all mankind. Nothwithstanding, your ideas and mine can’t be replicated by AI if we don’t teach it or make it public for AI applications to source for it. Human intelligence will shape the future including AI.