The inhabitants of the city of Troy hesitated when they first saw the huge horse outside. Might it be dangerous or pernicious to bring this unknown woodden object into theurban space? But after a short while they decided to tear down the walls and to accept the mysterious, promising present instead of examinating it outside. The consequences are well known.
Why am I going to tell the old story, apparently far from our present experiences? And yet so close. Artificial Intelligence actually is the new troyan horse and we are eager to tear down the walls of critical examination without further delay. We surrender ourselves without any hesitation to a partially unknown, extremely dynamic technology.
We know: AI is not the ordinary type of technological progress, its a potentionally autonomous system which is able to organize itself.
We know: it is completely uninterested in our ethical or human standards (an thats exactly why it is so promising) and yet we are still pretending to be able to control it with the tools of our antique philosophical categories such as individual dignity, respect etc.
Everybody can anticipate that within some years we ordinary human beings will be far below the intellectual level of the machines, they will simply overtake us in terms of efficiency and complexity – and yet we deliberately assist and help to accelerate our marginalization.
Cassandra could scream herself hoarsely – she would not be heard. The temptation is too great – our greed ist too great.
We simply do not want to talk seriously about the consequernces of this technological climate change. And are unwilling simply to ask: Why? Why now? And perfomed by whom?…
Why self driving cars? Self filling refigirators? Flying parcels?
We dont`t need AI to do exaclty those things we are able to do ourselves – we should try to use them exclusively if we really need prothesists.
Why now? – in a time of still theratening unemployment and at a moment when a majority of us definitely is not fit for handling AI on eye level. Otherwise we deprive ourselves of our personal responisibility.
By whom? Chinese factories are already working without human assistance. Autonomously. It is just one step to imagine a scenery where a handful of big and elaborated AI servers are prepared to control greater units and structures without human contol. On the very contrary: our contol mechanisms will be considered as completely counterproductive and irritating.
Now is the decisive moment, before things fall apart
No, I do not simply want to conjure the fantasies of science fiction . But I presume, I am sure, it is now the decisive last moment before things begin to fall apart. The last moment to check the potential of the technological bombs we are going to implement even but now.
And the last moment for a level headed assessment of our own mental, emotional and intellectual capacities.
If we are as intelligent as we pretend to be we should urgently try to complete the checklist outside our walls before we surrender.