"A meeting with the superman is at hand," argues Canadian novelist, essayist and cultural commentator Stephen Marche in an article of his in Atlantic entitled “Of Gods and Machines”.
I translated the text, because for the first time I read something optimistic about artificial intelligence. Maybe in some parts the author is over-optimistic but it's nice to read something that doesn't cause negativity.
Stephen Marche argues that GPT-175's 3 billion parameters give it an interpretive power “far beyond human understanding, far beyond what our little animal brains can comprehend. Machine learning has abilities that are real, but that are beyond human understanding: the definition of magic.”
However, despite being a technology where the unexplored or incomprehensible "is an industrial byproduct of the process," and we may not see what's coming, Marche says—artificial intelligence is "just as important and transformative as the other big new technologies, but darker and largely hidden, remains unseen.”
Science fiction and our own imagination add confusion. We simply cannot help but think of artificial intelligence in terms of the technologies depicted in Ex Machina, Her, or Blade Runner. Then there's the distortion of Silicon Valley hype, the general vibe that gave the world WeWork and Theranos: People who want to sound knowledgeable end up calling any automated process "artificial intelligence." And at the bottom of all this bewilderment is the mystery inherent in the technology itself, its immediate thrust into the unfathomable. The most advanced NLP programs operate at a level that even the engineers who build them do not fully understand.
But just because there's confusion around artificial intelligence doesn't mean miracles won't start happening...
If artificial intelligence harnesses the power that quantum computing promises, everything you've heard so far will be the first gentle breeze before a hurricane.
Our AI future will be weird and grand and we might not even notice it's happening to us.
Stephen Hawking once said that "the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race." Artificial intelligence experts, the men and women who build it, usually describe the technology as an existential threat.
But we are very bad at predicting the long-term effects of technology. Remember when everyone thought the Internet would improve the quality of information in the world? yes, and then the fake news broke. So perhaps, in the case of artificial intelligence, the fear is as invalid as the previous optimism.
It can't be there will be the optimistic side:
Artificial intelligence is not the beginning of the world, nor the end. It's a continuation. Our imaginations tend to be utopian or dystopian, but the future is human — an extension of who we already are… Artificial intelligence will return to us, through the most advanced technology, an encounter with the permanent imperfection of consciousness… We will do things we never thought possible, much sooner than we imagine. We will give answers that we could not give.
But we will also reveal that our understanding, however great, will always and forever be negligible. Our role will not be to answer, but to ask, and to let our questioning run unbounded.