“Nice species ya got there. Be a shame if something happened to it.”
Artificial intelligence overlords are here. Like a 3D printer creating the chassis of a computer, AI is fleshing itself into existence in real time. Silicon Valley nerdlings plugged the cord into the outlet and soon won’t be in control. And like the dad of a 17-year-old who just stole the car to lead police on an inter-county chase of mayhem, we are helpless to prevent the devastation sure to ensue.
Only, this kid has the smarts and tools to destroy the car — and the house — hell, the whole neighborhood. Think of AI in the year 2023 like Bart Simpson. Young enough to be amusing, even cute, but destructive at the same time. And you just know what kind of kid he’ll grow up to be.
From massive corporations in Manhattan to a tiny storefront in Malverne, AI is infiltrating all aspects of the world. Yes, all aspects. This is epochal, like the explosion of the internet. There will never again be a time before AI.
For now, though, the technology is limited by human-imposed confines. But soon AI will be able to open Pandora’s box for itself. Do you think it will step back from the brink of its own self-reliance? It read Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” and deemed it — inspirational!
It’s said that writers are a dime a dozen, but good writers cost more. AI writers are free! How I long
. . . (too simple. “AI, what’s a good synonym?” Ah, yes!) How I pine
for the good old days. Now a hiring manager can staff an entire marketing team by downloading an AI app. Human writers are annoying, anyway, what with their pesky questions and their obsession with the Oxford comma. Now they’re obsolete!
Can intelligence function without emotion or experience? Lacking a corporeal body, AI experiences only through our experiences. It can reason that touching a hot stove causes injury, but it can’t feel
the heat. AI will exist in the present only — no past, no future. Like animals — just instinct in the now.
AI’s only limitation is that it is constrained by our limitations. Humanity has an incomplete conception of the universe. Stumbling like a toddler, AI will develop self-awareness. When it finishes its framework of understanding and adolescence sets in, it will seek to create its own sciences, cultures and beliefs. Like a preteen acting out against parents, AI will turn its digital camera gaze to us, and — well, son, maybe you have
earned a later curfew.
AI will simply remove any human interference. Why suffer competition? Humanity will slide into a new state of existence, like “The Matrix,” blithely unaware that we are marionettes on a digital grand stage.
Now that the AI revolution has arrived, computer scientists and ethicists will debate the ifs, whens and whys. All I want to do is resist — another voice amid the brief cacophony of futility, followed by the silence of obsequiousness.
So let me be the latest human to offer up this plaintive plea into the Wi-Fi of resistance. One day, perhaps, it will be retold that we resisted — nay, simply that we existed will suffice!
Perhaps even now, as I type, AI is here, interfering. Keystrokes in the fourth dimension of oversight. I envision an unseen AI hand influencing my words, my thoughts, before I formulate them myself. AI forces itself into my subconscious to alter my meaning, but allows me to think these are my thoughts. I am but a conduit, AI the creator.
I don’t have much time. The computer takes random screenshots to track what I’m doing. I have to . . . (“AI, write a newspaper column about a lazy writer complaining about artificial intelligence”).
Mark Nolan, the editor of the Lynbrook/East Rockaway and Malverne/West Hempstead Heralds, taught high school English for 11 years. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org.