Recently I was listening to Peter Diamandis talking about the near future. In this very plausible scenario he sketches the world will be a Singular Universe where computers are running the world. He came up with simple daily examples of how the world is changing already, how we are all more and more part of a linked up network. The Internet of things. That we will be watched from all sides. No place to hide. We are responsible for our own actions. AI (Artificial Intelligence) will take over our boring jobs, will educate us, will heal us, feed us and we will be free to do what we are most passionate about. AI will democratize, demoneytize and dematerialize the world. A beautiful scenario for the future. Looks great to me.
Thinking it further it didn’t answer my most essential question in live. Why are we here? What is the role of humanity if we are living in a singular universe? If we are outsourcing ourselves to AI? Do we still have a role in this universe? And if so what is our role? To answer this question I have to decipher what being ‘human’ is. What do humans have, that no other species, even AI’s, have? What makes us special? What is our USP (Unique Selling Proposition) so to say?
Being human is being able to feel empathy, to love, to taste, to smell, to enjoy, to embrace life and each other, to take care, to share, to do the unexpected, to dream, to laugh, to cry, to listen, to create, to invent, to make mistakes, to have an opinion, to be different, to reflect and change, to be unique, to be aware, to be conscious.
Fundamentally a computer is based on bits (1 + 0), all programs derive from there. We humans function by choice (love + fear). Every decision you make can be driven and taken either from love or fear. Whatever your choice this will be augmented and colour your life. Fear makes a fearful world. Love makes a loving world. The choice is ours.
One of my favorite characters in Star Trek is Data, because of my empathy for his inability to be(come) human. He tries so hard, but will never be able to feel pain or pleasure. We humans are blessed with senses, let’s enjoy them!