Journeying From Artificial Intelligence to Authentic Intellect

  • 2023
  • Teachers
Suraj Samtani, High School Mathematics Teacher & Advisory Coordinator

It is artificial, right? Since when have we started running after things that aren’t even real? 

It might be - as per subjective measures - intelligent, but is it really intellectual? Like a calculator or computer, it performs functionally as it has been programmed to; yet why have individuals and industries kept AI at such a proverbial pedestal? Through the artificial filters of intelligence, have we lost sense of our own intellect?

At its core, all it does is receive signals from its sensors as input, then processes it to produce an output. This is just like how a thermometer reads the environment temperature and displays a number on its screen; this is just like how an alarm system works when intruders disrupt its proximity sensors. Functionally, they are all the same; yet why have individuals and industries kept AI at such a proverbial pedestal?

Some say that AI can perform some tasks that we once used to do manually, and at an even faster speed; this means we should have more time to do ‘other things,’ right? Yet, have we really made use of the extra spare time? Has our quality of life really improved in the past few months or years? Has the overall level of happiness really improved since the widespread advent of AI?

Ironically, physical, mental and emotional health has only gotten worse in recent times. As AI became more prominent, more people have lost jobs, relationships have worsened, and even suicide rates have reportedly surged. It might be too early to determine a definite causal relationship or conclude a correlation between the boost of AI and drop of quality of life for humans. Yet, these coincidences have been too stark to ignore. 

Like a kid with a new chocolate, we may have bitten more than we can chew. It is about time we realise that as much as AI can help us intermittently, we should caution against developing long-term cavities in our lifestyle. More importantly, we should realise that although the machine may be intelligent, ultimately, it is artificial. If our ancestors could live without the gloss of artificiality, surely we can. For in pursuit of that which is fake, one should caution against losing that which is truly real to them. Decision-making, emotional recognition and release, and creative expression are all unique humans; the fact that our skills in each of these are getting adversely affected necessitates a time for change, and the need to reclaim back our collective individuality, authenticity, and superiority. 

Ultimately, this should serve as a reminder that AI ought to be used and treated as a calculator or hoover; a machine that helps lessen our load but not at the expense of our own wellbeing.


 

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