”The danger is that if we invest too much in developing Al and too little in developing human consciousness, the very sophisticated artificial intelligence of computers might only serve to empower the natural stupidity of humans.” – Yuval Noah Harari
As I read this comment by Harari, it made me reflect on the various Fellowships run by Aspen Institute / Ananta Centre – and their criticality and impact in shaping our world. Preserving our humanity is essential to our survival.
As we hurtle towards the vortex of AI, we are caught in rightful debates about taking a development ‘pause’, creating regulatory frameworks and instituting checks and balances around it. And yet, I doubt anyone truly believes we can slowdown (let alone contain) any technological advancement.
Maybe the core debate we really ought to be having is this: what is it about our humanity that we really ought to be strengthening or preserving – that which we wish to pass on to our future generations? As mentioned by a character in The Portable Phonograph (a poignant piece by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, that forms part of our Aspen/Ananta Fellowship readings): “When I perceived what was happening, I told myself, it is the end. I cannot take much. I have saved what I love, the soul of what was good in