A Deeper Perspective On AI - Why A Paradigm Shift Is Needed

28 May 2024

AI is one of the hottest and most controversial topics under discussion in the tech community. Most believe that it has progressed too quickly and without any real input from the public. Stack Overflow users are furious that their responses are going to be used to train ChatGPT without consent, via an API agreement.

Elon Musk, who had a hand in building ChatGPT, also believes that it is one of the biggest existential threats to humanity. Many business executives, on the other hand, believe that it’s just a paradigm shift and will ultimately create more roles, freeing humans to be more creative.

At no point in history has technological progress ever resulted in fewer jobs, but best of luck explaining that to the masses. Too many people, apparently, are taking their cues from movies where Skynet will become alive and take the planet over.

The truth lies somewhere in the middle, and there are much deeper perspectives to be explored. AI is primarily an existential issue tied to our daily lifestyles.

The Real Role Of AI In A Misaligned Public Order

The problem is not AI in and of itself. The problem is actually how human beings approach their lives in general. There is a global attitude that the purpose of life is to make as much money as possible and be a productive working citizen. So, it was only a matter of time before humans created a machine that was thousands of times more productive than they were, leading them to question the nature of existence and their purpose for being.

The belief of “AI taking all the jobs” is a very childish one that has, unfortunately, gained sway in the media and the public consciousness. People, for the most part, work jobs they hate, and are full of fear when AI threatens to take them away. It’s a survival mode and a mindset that needs to be replaced.

The purpose of life is not productivity, but joy and creativity. When people understand that, their perspective on life can completely change. AI will take all the boring and monotonous jobs, and free us up for better work which enhances the meaning of life - joy and creativity.

What AI Can’t Do

There are many things that AI can’t do accurately, at least right now. Most of these are roles that involve emotional awareness, social interaction, and situational adaptation. Another purpose of human existence is emotional connection, which provides life’s greatest blessings and challenges. AI has no capacity in this regard and in many industry sectors.

AI lacks dexterity for jobs like plumbing, carpentry, electrical work, and many other aspects of construction. But it also lacks the social skills to interact with people in their homes when coming to complete a job. In other words, you simply can’t slot AI into existing jobs without factoring in the human elements into them. Most of the research reports/studies are entirely analytical - as if jobs are completed without any creative elements or social interaction.

Even areas where AI should excel might be suspect. For instance, HFT bots cannot spot truly unique trading opportunities and are only as useful as inputs. Price forecasting analyst Taki Tsaklanos believes that AI is unable to predict an XRP breakout:

“I know how to analyze the XRP chart in a way AI cannot. It is simple for me: AI is absolutely clueless when it comes to predicting XRP”

The idea of set-and-forget AI is ridiculously naive. AI is merely an accelerator for processes. Processes and inputs need to be refined so that the AI can succeed. If you give AI bad parameters, it will speed up the rate of failure. We need quality content, not more content. It’s about producing higher quality, not more meaningless stuff.

Problems That Actually Exist

Of course, there still remains a question of how AI is to be implemented, and the pace of introduction needs to slow down. The power of AI to create realistic deepfakes is already extremely troubling. There are many real issues with AI - “taking all the jobs” is at the absolute bottom of the list.

There is also an alienation issue. People are becoming more and more disconnected from each other. You can’t beat face-to-face interaction and real, meaningful, friendships and experiences, as well as a strong community of live people. AI needs to be used as a tool to enhance life, instead of bypassing it with mindless automation.

While it’s great from the perspective of productivity, we’re not actually in a productivity crisis and never have been.