Tag Archives: knowledge

What will artificial intelligence bring?

I have noticed a lot of talk about artificial intelligence recently.

First, I’m reading The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly. This book has an entire chapter dedicated to artificial intelligence. It doesn’t view AI as a threat, to humans, as other sources are predicting it to be.

Second, the last two conferences I’ve been to this year have heavily gotten behind the idea of machine learning.

Third, one of my favorite bloggers (David from Raptitude dot com) wrote a post about it this week. David’s post, definitely, took the view of seeing AI as a potential threat to humans.

Four, it was announced today that Elon Musk launched a company called NeuraLink. Its goal is to merge the human brain with AI. Elon has stated that the purpose of this venture is to protect the human race against the likely threat of AI destroying us. The venture is aimed at keeping us ahead of the curve.

A lot of smart people are worried about the future AI, including Stephen Hawking. They seem to believe that once machines get smart enough to grow and think on their own, the only logical step will be to wipe out the human race. Or, since they will grow, very rapidly, and be much smarter than humans, we will eventually cease to exist. Our incredibly slow biological growth rate won’t be a match for AI’s rate of growth.

I agree with Kevin Kelly on this one. Since our human brains developed consciousness, and the ability to be social and empathetic, who is to say that artificial intelligence won’t do the same. It could be the nature progression of higher intelligence.

The predictions of AI, assume that it will be cold blooded and completely rational. If the human brain developed empathy, social skills, and emotions to survive, why won’t AI do the same? Honestly, no one knows. I suppose it’s a safe bet to assume the worst, and begin preparing just in case AI is cold blooded.

In the short run, I think that AI will indeed remove a lot of jobs that we have had for years, but it will add new jobs that we can’t yet imagine nor predict. I don’t think that AI taking over our jobs is a real threat, because it will simply create new jobs for us.

At one point, being a farmer was a common job. At another point, doing the same task in a factory was a common job. Right now, accounting and other office jobs are very common (truck driving is incredibly common), but those will soon be replaced with something new for us to do. We have to wait and see what those new jobs will look like. What if we all have to become programmers?

*After writing this post I stumbled upon Tim Urban’s articles on artificial intelligence. Wow. They’re really good and really long reads. Check out part 1 here and part 2 here. They painted a vivid picture as to why AI will be a big deal for humanity’s future. You’ll definitely like them.

You should not talk if you are young

If you are young, you should not talk. You should focus of shutting up and listening. I’ve often heard this advice before but never really witnessed it in person, until recently.

I was at a conference and while in a group of 5 guys talking, in their late thirties, a young guy (nineteen I believe) jumps in and introduces himself. I thought nothing of it at first. As the minutes passed by, I began to notice that this young guy couldn’t stop talking. Every time someone else started to say something, he would quickly jump in and start talking about a useless, somewhat, related story of his.

Eventually, I began to think that this guy seriously needs to shut up, because I’d rather here the stories of the guys much older than me. I came to learn something, not to hear pointless stories. After hearing one of the young guy’s pointless stories for 10 minutes, I excused myself and went to join another group. I ran into a few other identical young guys that night and every time I would notice them, I would see them dominating their group conversations with the other members (much older) intently listening.

I felt bad for those few young guys, because I knew no one was going to tell them to shut up if they didn’t have anything good to say. I knew I wasn’t going to tell them, even though I wanted to do them the favor.

I later realized that those young guys walked into that business conference wanting to learn more about entrepreneurship, business and marketing, but ultimately walked out learning nothing new. They didn’t learn anything, because they didn’t let anyone else talk!

Imagine, if they would have instead kept quiet and asked key questions when the conversations were about to die. They would have surely left the conference knowing a lot more than they did when they walked in.

I’m not really one to dominate conversations, but ever since that day I’ve been telling myself to listen more than I naturally want to. Especially, when I meet someone new. You never really know who you are talking to unless you let them talk.

Here is a way you can use psychology

I found this great letter in Influence by Dr. Robert B. Cialdini. It’s entertaining and a very practical use of psychology. For those who want to check it out in the actual book it starts on page 15. I hope you get a laugh out of it like I did.

Dear Mother and Dad :

Since I left for college I have been remiss in writing and I am sorry for my thoughtlessness in not having written before. I will bring you up to date now, but before you read on, please sit down. You are not to read any further unless you are sitting down, okay?

Well, then, I am getting along pretty well now. The skull fracture and the concussion I got when I jumped out the window of my dormitory when it caught on fire shortly after my arrival here is pretty well healed now. I only spent two weeks in the hospital and now I can see almost normally and only get those sick headaches once a day. Fortunately, the fire in dormitory, and my jump, was witnessed by an attendant at the gas station near the dorm, and he was the one who called the Fire Department and the ambulance. He also visited me in the hospital and since I had nowhere to live because of the burntout dormitory, he was kind enough to invite me to share his apartment with him. It’s really a basement room, but it’s kind of cute. He is a very fine boy and we have fallen deeply in love and are planning to get married. We haven’t got the exact date yet, but it will be before my pregnancy begins to show.

Yes, Mother and Dad, I am pregnant. I know how much you are looking forward to being grandparents and I know you will welcome the baby and give it the same love and devotion and tender care you gave me when I was a child. The reason for the delay in our marriage is that my boyfriend has a minor infection which prevents us from passing our pre-marital blood tests and I carelessly caught it from him.

Now that I have brought you up to date , I want to tell you that there was no dormitory fire, I did not have a concussion or skull fracture, I was not in the hospital, I am not pregnant, I am not engaged, I am not infected, and there is no boyfriend. However, I am getting a “D” in American History, and an “F” in Chemistry and I want you to see those marks in their proper perspective.

Your loving daughter,

Sharon

The way to wealth

The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin is full of great information. Surprisingly, it is a pretty quick read and a definite must read for everyone. Benjamin Franklin was a man who read every book he could get his hands on since he was 12-14 years of age. He would work and save up money to buy small sets of books. After reading that set of books, he would sell them in order to purchase a different set of books. He was a learning machine throughout his life and he was always looking for smart/ interesting people to learn from.

My favorite paragraph from The Way to Wealth is the one that follows. We can complain about the taxes and the economy, but at the end of the day our destiny is in our own hands. Taxes and the economy may be hurting your chances but you know what is worst than those two put together? Your laziness, pride and folly. Sitting on your a$$ complaining is doing far more harm than any government tax.

“Friends, says he, and neighbors, the taxes are indeed very heavy, and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly, and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing an abatement. However let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us; God helps them that help themselves, as Poor Richard says, in his almanac of 1733.”

I found a PDF version of the entire essay that you can check out and read here.