All the tech talk is about the future wonders of Artificial Intelligence or AI for those who like to shorten everything.
Depending on which side of the debate you are on, it is either being talked up as a saviour or destroyer of work, life and the universe as we know it.
There are gloomy predictions that millions will have no work, having been replaced by robots using AI to do all manner of tasks while the contra voices gleefully tell us AI will mean we have more time to do other things.
The current advances in AI are clever but still fail to manage tasks we can do with our brains and bodies.
It is a surprise to me that all the tech wizards of Silicone Valley have not come up with a computer that can make a decent flat white as you would think coffee would be a priority in the long nights of geekdom.
I apologise – I just asked my computer and apparently there already is such a device and it can make more coffees in an hour than a barista. The article said it was good coffee but because it was American, I remain sceptical. People who have been to the US all say the coffee tastes terrible so the notion of what constitutes good coffee might be biased.
Anyway, before getting side-tracked - I just made a coffee for myself – back to the idea that people are trying to develop machines that can replace people seems like offering sandwiches to a dragon and discovering they are now toast.
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It would seem a better use of all the brain power and overreaching hype bouncing around between tech entrepreneurs to look at developing human intelligence instead of artificial intelligence.
We humans can do some very clever stuff. We have invented all sorts of ways to solve problems but it is not clear whether we are becoming more intelligent?
Highly trained, skilled people can save lives with complex surgery. Diseases that virtually disappeared are now coming back because untrained, unscientific people are spreading false information that is an affront to intelligent thought.
We have developed technologies that can bring people together from all over the world to help when disaster strikes.
The whole world can see tragedy and respond with human kindness. It can see both the devastation of the Australian bush fires and see the lack of intelligent foresight by politicians to act and plan to avert the consequences of climate change.
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AI cannot change the environment only humans can do that.
We can fight wars from great distances, killing people without needing to ever see their faces. The time, energy and sheer brainpower that has been invested in developing ever increasingly sophisticated ways for humans to kill other humans is evidence that we need to develop our own intelligence rather than an artificial version.
To be human is to see ourselves as having a shared responsibility.
Genetically, the notion of race is redundant. We all share similar DNA and yet we conspire to consider a person who does not look like us as being "other" and not deserving our respect.
Bigotry and prejudice demonstrate that human intelligence sometimes fails to develop.
It could be argued that AI cannot be biased because it cannot replicate human emotions.
The frustration generated by an uncooperative machine is real but the machine feels nothing. It does not care.
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This also means AI cannot apply emotional intelligence to solving human problems. Our genetic inheritance gives us intelligence and the ability to be compassionate, to innovate and create but humans will always be a work in progress.
•Terry Sarten (aka Tel) is a writer, musician and social worker. Feedback welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org