Live (better?) with Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the topic of all current media debates, and political, economic and philosophic discussions. The recent best-sellers show that even the general public is strongly interested in it. As best worded by Cédric Villani, deputy in the French Assembly and Medal field honored, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is from now on “everyone’s business.”

AI remains nevertheless a subject in the hands of a few experts who are mostly followers of the “theory of the singularity” that foresees a catastrophic future where AI will overtake, then quickly devour human intelligence.

It is therefore of our responsibility — us, specialists of the digital economy, intellectuals, economists and politics — to include and to imagine the solutions which we shall allow to shape a common future when AI does not represent a threat but rather a potential of emancipation. We vow to allow the largest numbers to become the stakeholders of this new revolution instead of just being the “useful idiots” of the American and Chinese Web giants, to call upon the well-known Dr. Laurent Alexandre purposes.

Certainly, artificial intelligence and human intelligence face each other. And the question is not to know why nor when AI will overtake us, but to know how we can build the new world where we shall live together.

The stake consists more precisely of knowing how to approach this duality and to ensure that this competition is translated into a constructive emulation and not into a destructive conflict.

Opposing pessimistic theories, widely conveyed in the social media, we shall prefer new and progressive solutions. We certainly have to regulate and check the ethical risks inherent to these technologies, but above all, each of us must seek empowerment, each of us as human decision-maker and citizen.

It is up to politics to rule on the future of the work and to reinvent our systems of redistribution.

It is up to our cities and communities to take advantage of AI to improve our quality of life.

It is up to company’s executives to know how to operate the automation of its processes without forgetting their employees’ values

It is up to our professors to introduce their students to the intelligent algorithms which have already awaken some of their cognitive senses -personal assistants, smart dolls…

It is up to every parent to understand for example what a child can or cannot tell a machine (should we be polite with Alexa?).

It is up to all of us all to learn and master how to distinguish between truth and falsehood, to keep control over the contents that the media, the brands and the politics impose on us on a daily basis.

To address these issues, we have to stake everything on education by allowing us to capitalize on our peculiarities and to remain always positive.

Let us capitalize on our peculiarities

At a time when Google already allows its own artificial intelligences algorithm to independently produce new ones, it becomes more than urgent to learn how to learn, and to imagine a continuous training, building on our under-exploited strengths and our discernment (as show the works of neuroscientist Vivienne Ming regarding the benefits of an intelligent education guided by algorithms).

Human beings are still far from being overrun! Although our brain is better understood today, our strengths are far from being equaled: discernment, judgment, anticipation, feelings, empathy: for a long time still, the right brain, its unknowns and its secrets will stay ahead of the algorithmic intelligences which pop out in every corner of the world.

Should we not invent new and progressive solutions by reaching out to and pulling both creativity out of its artistic and communication fields and engineering out of its technical field to facilitate the birth of an intelligence which might not be only IQ scores-related

Yes! the cognitive transition is the real revolution which underlies the digital technology revolution, but it must not only happen based on scientific objective criteria (the progress of AI will necessarily be superior to ours), but rather on the more subjective criteria of Creativity and Imagination which will remain the privilege of mankind.

Without any doubts, AI can free us and offer new fields for human beings to explore if we apply it to our strengths. It belongs to us to create a world where the competitive creativity would become the new paradigm and would allow mankind to potentially live his/her most beautiful phase.

And… let’s be positive!

Because we all have a share of responsibility, let’s stop scaring. Certainly, the ill-advisedly used technology can be dramatic. The topic is not new.

But let’s approach it in a different way and be pedagogical. For example, we will prefer explain, the brain will experience the same revolution because of robotization than the body because of mechanization: human beings will dedicate their manual labor to what requires creativity leaving the most painful tasks to the machines. Contrary to an impoverishment of human intelligence, AI could then offer us a higher collective standard of living, allowing the human group to devote themselves to the artistic and intellectual pleasures, leaving to the slave robots to produce the necessary profits for us to be empowered to create the value, the true one.

What will allow us to reach that state of grace is our capacity to understand, to anticipate, and to dream! Let us dedicate ourselves to the discovery of these new territories, intimate and universal, and let us use AI to transport us there! We will not allow GAFA and BATX decide on their own about our future; let us learn by ourselves to live better with artificial intelligence and let us collectively invent a world to our image, a “sur-humanist” era as imagined Nietzsche, rather than a “transhumanist” one…

Pierre Robinet & Arno Pons

Pierre Robinet and Arno Pons are board members of Live With AI, think-tank aiming at understanding humans’ needs towards the rise of AI and help our society to anticipate changes to better live with AI.

This article was published in French on Les Echos. Read here the French version.

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The foundation gathers thought leaders, researchers, decision-makers, from Asia and Europe, to lead working groups and research projects on the positive impacts of artificial intelligence on our society.

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