Can I be rude to Maham, a colleague of mine at Scientia? One might be inclined to say NO, but many are happy to yell out at their juniors in minor routine chores. I think these people need a virtual assistant to alleviate their burdens; they are tired. Although pressure can cause a rock to erode and eventually deteriorate, at the same time, it gives humans a chance to be reborn and rejuvenate. Maybe it’s time to distinguish between intent and impact; what does the purpose of our actions matter if they impact further suppressing our loved ones and those around us?
Machines are taking over everything. Robotics, AI automation, chatbots, and big data; are all awning to build the next economic-operating system and framing the future of humanity. Our social norms and lifestyle are gradually integrating with machines. We are hooked up to our smartphones, and these devices will probably be a part of our body (in any form) in the next few years. The new generation got addicted to Tik Tok, Instagram Reels, Facebook and Twitter, and without them, they feel lonelier, stressed, overwhelmed, and sometimes even exhausted and burned out.
The human brain is the fantastic, wondrous organism that responds to all immediacy of technology and the internet according to its mechanism. Like, all the incoming calls, text messages, emails, and daily updates on the website cause a sweet inside, this sweet dopamine spurts to excite our mind, without whom we get bored quickly; actually, the internet things are making people addicted to technology.
Our lifestyle changed dramatically in the last two or three decades; humans found startling ways to leverage change to their advantage and thrive. The computer age resulted in a slight rise in productivity and created an economy where one has to work round the clock with no justification for slowing down, much less than shutting down.
While AI offers more leisure to our lifestyle, it is somewhat essential for humans to grow, evolve, and work out for greater peace of mind rather than higher productivity. While machines give us the advantage of more quantity, we are short on quality, have a vast social circle but are more isolated, and are best at leisure; still, relationships are no longer manageable.
More sophisticated technologies like AI moved us into an era where cultural differences faded away, which resulted in an identity crisis among nations. People struggle to find who they are and how to fit in an increasingly new world. While people in advanced countries have the luxury of moving into life with fewer problems, people in the third world still strive for life’s necessities.
This dilemma provokes some critical questions: if technology is supposed to diverge our lives into more luxurious, effortless, and cosy, then why is every second person getting depressed, mentally exhausted, and overwhelmed? How can we re-develop our capacity to appreciate life and live joyfully? What is the tradeoff between higher intelligence or super intelligent and loss of humanity?
The answers to such queries lie somewhere within ourselves. In a digital age, limitless information is just a few clicks away; social media distracts us from our real lives and surroundings. We must stay present and fully aware of what is happening inside and around us. Therefore, a short disconnection from digital-social interactions must tie up with our inner selves and emotions for greater peace of soul.
Being human in the digital age has been a debate for decades. A few years ago, Ray Kurzweil, a prominent futurist, argued that the key to advancement in human intelligence is the merging of man and machine. However, this ultimately results in a race of super-intelligent humans, a point where AI systems replicate human intelligence processes and suppress human thinking.
The Late physicist Stephen Hawking warned about such perils and extreme forms of AI; the slow pace of biological evolution binds humans, and merging human intelligence with the machine would be tragically outwitted.
Addressing several of these questions that have arisen in the last few months after the lunch of ChatGPT and its competitor chatbots, Scientia Pakistan brings its exclusive edition on the theme “Artificial Intelligence”. We have got some exciting stories on AI and consciousness, The rise of ChatGPT, Al and its impacts on neurobiology and biotechnology, Dall-E, the rising AI tools and their effects on education creativity and much more.
We exclusively interviewed Dr Ali Minai and discussed the threats that arise with the emergence of AI. We are super excited and optimistic that this edition will be a great feast for AI lovers worldwide. Have a lovely weekend!
Saadeqa Khan is the founder, CEO, & Editor-in-Chief of Scientia Pakistan. She’s a member of the Oxford Climate Journalism Network (Second Cohort) and NASW. Saadeqa is a fellow of NPF Washington, The Falling Walls Foundation, and the Science Journalism Forum. Saadeqa has won several international journalism grants and awards for her reports.