AI and our future

AI is here. We don't realize it due to a discrepancy between a century of fiction and our more recent reality. AI will augment, and in many cases replace, essentially all virtual content and abstract reasoning within our lifetime. Some common misconceptions:

  • AI isn't replacing you, the most complex thing in the universe, you solipsist. it's replacing facets of everyone else. AI only needs to represent a small fraction of the intelligence of a human, because that is all we experience of the vast majority of people we encounter.

  • AI isn't one continuous entity and it doesn't need to be well rounded to be useful. It is a collection of smaller focused programs that solve specific problems. Someday they will probably interact, but it is much simpler and more immediately useful to create a single purpose solver than some sort of universal intelligence.

  • AI isn't like in books and movies. It won't go from being absent one moment to waking up and ruling the world the next. It doesn't care about you or destroying the world. It isn't introspective. It is built to solve specific problems, and it's use case will steadily rise over time rather than all at once.

  • AI during our lifetimes will be almost all virtual. A robot isn't going to cook for you or become sentient and run wild. It will instead generate everything you consume via 2D surfaces and do all of our external thinking.

  • AI will enable virtual immortality. Humans will not live forever. Our thoughts and representations can however be forever generated, long after we are dead.

  • We are deterministic. The philosophical question of free will is irrelevant. We can simulate anything (including you) with a high degree of accuracy, and that is good enough.

  • Humans will not be replaced by AI and we will not merge with AI. We will simply become reliant on them as cognitive tools, just as today we are with computers.

  • If an AI seems dumb now, understand that it can and will only become smarter.

  • AI only needs to be vaguely smart and better than average to be useful. Comparing AI output to the best humans is missing the point, as we already don't have enough of the best artists, thinkers, scientists, actors, salespeople, designers, leaders, teachers, etc.

  • AI is capable of work simultaneously and in parallel in a way foreign to humans. We think one thing at a time. AI can answer millions of questions at the same time and will never tire or degrade. Just as computers excel in their ability to perform billions of simple computations in seconds, a single AI will do the same with generative and cognitive tasks.