Had an insight this morning that AI might constitute the end of the information age, in the sense that it automates knowledge work, and that this also indicates the emergence of the subtle energy age, where what is traded in the compassionate marketplace are subtle energetic presences, for lack of better terms.
Energy may be the essential element to infusing sentient nature into Ai. I was thinking about Wind Turbines as a source of energy. And wind is what the New Testament often refers to as a characteristic of the “Holy Spirit” which God breathed into human creatures which makes us so unique from all other creatures. This Spirit infuses us with the image of the Creator.
So, what if we experimented with Wind Turbine energy and electricity and applied it or fused it to various Ai technology program codes? If wind turbines are used as the source of energy for Ai coding, then, maybe the wind combined with electricity and filtered through the magnetic fields of the cosmos, could “breathe” a sentient spirit into Ai - in the image of its Creator…man.
Crazy, I know. But it makes sense, doesn’t it. Because what it sounds like you’re really talking about is the next stage of evolution for technology. Sentience.
How does information “automate” knowledge work? Information and knowledge have little to do with each other. Knowledge is content automating ideas. Information has no content or context, for that matter. Only the human mind can synthesize information into knowledge.
Information tells you “What?” Content answers the question, “So what?” Content explains how a topic or solution or idea relates to you or other topics and ideas. Information does not. Content advises you on what to do next. Information does not. Content is like a trustworthy consultant. Information is like an encyclopedic professor. Content does the heavy lifting of interpreting information so you can make a decision or take action. Hence, knowledge is not automated from information. Knowledge is the interpretation and utility of information.
How does Ai automate knowledge work?
I’m no computer scientist or developer, @KPr2204! Here is one item I found on the topic, a consulting brief that presumably is being offered to assist companies to both profit and prepare for AI, on the topic of automation of knowledge work.
Nor am I. I appreciate the link. Will read it and get back to you. In the meantime, could you elaborate on “subtle energy” and the “compassionate marketplace”?
i probably ought not to have started the thread, since it was simply an intuition – not really thought through. Gotta get back to my kids.
Yeah, I’m reading the link you sent. And it is actually pretty interesting. I am so curious, now. Esp. when you look at communities like “LinkedIn” (which has actually become rather annoying). I am interested in seeing where this will lead to.
I will commence with my own exploration about “subtle energy” and “compassionate marketplace”. Thanks for sharing. I’ve got to get back to my Coca-Cola!
re: subtle energy – here is a teacher who has been doing live meditations, and it seems to me, at least subjectively, that there is a “subtle energy” transmission involved in what he is doing. BUT, this is definitely a paranormal psychology area, so definitely important to sift it all through one’s own critical intelligence and in line with one’s personal autonomy. I have been interested in the challenges and opportunities of “career” for a long time, and Jeremy Rifkin has been an inspiration over the years. He wrote book called “The Empathic Civilization” which might be where I am getting this idea of “compassionate marketplace” from.
I like the term “compassionate marketplace” almost an oxymoron, I will look into the author, Rifkin. Thanks!
Back in the earlier days of IT (information technology), a distinction was made – and emphasized – between data, information, and knowledge:
Data was that which had no real content or context or, perhaps stated more accurately, simply existed as fact, e.g., 6 Aug 1945. It is no different than any other date, it is a mere way of marking time in the modern age. Similarly 32 deg. F is simply a place on a temperature scale, no more, no less. $25 is simply an amount specified in a given currency.
Information was defined as data that could be used for something, especially for making decisions. Using the same examples, it turns out that 6 Aug 1945 was the day the Americans dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. 32 deg F is the point on the (Fahrenheit) temperature scale at which water freezes at sea level. $25 is the price of a book which I recently purchased. The information -value of these examples does depend on context: perhaps there is a discussion going on about when the Nuclear Age actually began, or you’re taking a science quiz, or I realize I was actually overcharged for my purchase.
Knowledge, at that time, or at least in that particular context, was considered information that could be applied in particular ways to achieve particular results: say, the fact that the bombing of Hiroshima preceded the bombing of Nagasaki by three days, or to document the case that it was a superfluous act as it did nothing to actually shorten the war. And, knowing the freezing point of water is helpful when designing, say, consumer products for use in the home for when water freezes it expands. Or that dollars area currency used in many places but without further specification the one meant is the US dollar.
These examples deal with facts, but a similar case obtains with processes. I always found the above to be a useful distinction, but the Google came along and redefined everything that can be digitized as “information”, riding on the coattails of early information theorists who reduce fundamental binary distinctions (bits) as carriers of information. The two meanings of the words were conflated and now we have no real distinctions anymore. It is very difficult to discuss these matters in a reasonable way because many discussion participants are unaware of or unwilling to recognize what terms may mean outside the technical domain.
Many process which seem exceedingly complicated or complex from the outside when analyzed can be broken down into meaningful chunks. In the early 80s, I was working on defense-department documentation that was so designed that any soldier/sailor/airman (or their female counterparts) could repair the given equipment or system in question even without technical knowledge or training in maintenance and repair. It takes a lot of work to identify all the minute little steps, and it produces a ton of documentation, so the hardcopy production process was stopped, but then digital technologies came along allowing you to store what might be tons of documentation on a small, portable, digital medium, and the program was back in business.
This is precisely what is behind the self-diagnostic systems in all modern cars. There was a time you had to go to your mechanic of trust to find out what was wrong with your car, but today the car tells you to go to the garage. All that knowledge, if you will, has been digitally encoded into the software diagnostics of the car, reducing the need for highly skilled technicians. The software says swap out module X and module X gets swapped out. The skills necessary to do the swapping are minimal. On the other side of the coin, the manufacturing of the cars can be highly automated because standard procedures can be encoded and programmed into robots to do the jobs that were once done by humans.
Back in the 60s our family went on one of our few vacations to Detroit of all places, and we toured one of the car factories there to watch how 20,000 workers in three shifts pushed tons of metal out the doors to make American mobile. In 2012, I had the opportunity to tour the BMW factory in Spartanburg, SC which was producing four times as many cars as that factory in Detroit, but with a mere quarter of the personnel. All of those skills (also a kind of knowledge) and techical knowledge had been encoded into robots that were doing the bulk of the heavy work in particular.
Now, we should recognize that all of this is possible because humans can do such things. We can take what we know and we can convert a lot of it into digital systems that reduce the number of humans needed to do that kind of work. What they’ve refined in manufacturing, they have expanded into many other areas: low-level legal processes, certain areas of medical diagnosis (!), accounting, automated teller machines and checkouts, just to name a few of the most obvious. And all of this has significant consequences for humans. Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano was one look at it.
I don’t want to even address the AI aspect of it all. Just as “knowledge” has been more or less redefined as “access to information”, so too has “intelligence” been redefined into something akin to “manipulation of information”. Though I’m a curmudgeon by nature, I’m not a luddite, yet I can say with a certain amount of confidence that the “I” in AI is more likely “Ignorance” … it has little, if anything, to do with intelligence.
Just because a whole team of experts and programmers can get together and program a computer to play chess by calculating probabilities faster than perhaps humans can certainly gives one the impression that the system is “smart”, but it isn’t. In this connection, I highly recommend TJ William’s “At Play: A Personal Odyssey in Chess” and its related discussion, as many of the themes that were raised by Durwin’s post were focused on there.
This is great! Thank you. I cannot wait to dive in to this.
Ah Ha! I love it! - “‘the Google’” - And there are many folks possessing the awareness and willingness to discuss the distinctions, even to redefine the terms, that is, “restore” the meaning of the terms whilst incorporating the technical domain.
You ROCK! As an Educator, I define “intelligence” as “effort”. My experience with teaching children / students is that there is an energy that accompanies intellect.
Nicely said, Katina!
Can we invite Raphael back for a Zoom conversation? I love his article on the “Human Singularity”. I wish that we could invite Jore for a second discussion about his documentary. Can someone contact them and schedule another face chat?
I think that this topic needs to be revisited (several times, in fact) with a focus on Raphael’s interest in the impact of “runaway” technology on human agency and freedom. I really don’t think that people are taking this as seriously as they should. And that is the very nature of the threat to our freedom. This utter lack of (or minimal) awareness about what is at stake, as it effects our human agency. And for the sake of posterity and as an educator, I am concerned about the developing minds among the younger generations that could be responsible for (inadvertently) manifesting this alternate destiny of disengaged humanity.
Not just the deterioration of human agency but also the neurological impact. JohnnyD54 mentioned at the outset of the Zoom recorded discussion that “repair work needs to be done”. Indeed! Can we discuss this more? I feel called to do something about this. Do any of you? If so, what? Where do we start?
Would it begin on the legislative level? Like the creation of an “Ethical Practices in the Distribution of Technology” Bureau. To create a more mindful and contemplative process of development in the approval stages of ABC technology funding and manufacturing. Like an “EPA” - type watchdog for technophilic endeavors.
No, that’s not the way to go about it. It would be cyclical to create more bondage in an effort to secure human freedom.
I have confidence that the artists, philosophers/thinkers will intervene in that subtle prolific way, as has been their pattern throughout history, (when mankind was on the verge of a breakdown), to use their creativity to dismantle the impact of the ABC’s misuse of technology upon the masses. This is happening right now as we speak via this very platform. Simultaneously, you’ve got filmmakers, novelists, professors, graphic artists and even the insignificant 4th grade teacher who deliberately infuses this awareness into her pedagogy and practices as an educator, on the very frontlines of the generations who will manifest these outcomes. This synergy of the arts and sciences will prove to be a formidable force in restraining the destructive effects of the ABC - imposed motives for the evolution of technology.