This is not a panic. This is beyond an emergency.
It’s bigger than climate change.
It’s bigger than anything we have faced before on planet earth…
AI is moving faster than most people realise and within a few months will become
… than humans.
-Mo Gawdat – June 2023 (diary of a ceo podcast)
Don’t worry, I’m not about to burst your summer bubble. Well, I hope not.
You may, or may not, be aware that recently the biggest global players in AI, including the founder of ChapGPT (and OpenAI, which is the first platform to make artificial intelligence available to the public) and CEOs of Microsoft, Google and others, gathered together for an ’emergency meeting’. What was the emergency?
The uncontrollable speed at which AI is developing, and, in a way that currently has no checks or balances or regulation.
As Mo Gawdat, former chief business officer for Google, put it in an interview last week: we are talking months, not years or decades, but months, for AI to overtake human capabilities.
Why is this a problem? Well, I could list hundreds off the top of my head.
Yet, at the same time, there are huge advocates of this fast developing technology, and they’ll list back to you lots of positives alongside huge dollops of zeal and excitement (one of my ex boyfriends being one such AI-excited fellow).
But right, front and centre and top of the agenda in this arena has to be (and why the big players in AI tech are ‘insert the proverbial sh****g” themselves) is:
that humans have created something that not only can replicate what humans think and can do, but is advancing to the degree that – if left unchecked – will become more intelligent than humans while adopting the worst traits of human nature in order to exert power and influence, meaning, it will take on the power and capability to create evil, wrong doing and negative impact through its own operative.
I said I wouldn’t burst your summer vibes. Let me try to win you back.
So, I don’t know about you, but the ‘AI’ experts, the tech journalists and even the most charismatic and clear speakers on the topic tend to lose me quite quickly when it comes to talking about AI. Whether this is because I’m a yogi and this whole artificial-anything goes against the idea of being in the flow and in reverence to that which nature has created and deigns to be true, or whether it’s because I’m… well, just plain old human, I don’t know. Or maybe it’s because things have moved so fast, and advancing at a rate it’s difficult to understand let alone keep up with.
The thing is, even though I find the whole thing at best difficult to fully comprehend and at worst, moving us towards the end of humanity faster than any few degrees extra heat in the planet will, I don’t want to ignore it. I don’t want to be that person that metaphorically puts my hands over my ears and closes my eyes, and pretends nothing is happening.
So I’ve been reflecting, on how do I navigate this biggest advancement in modern humanity?
Till recently, I figured there’s not a lot I can do. I will get swept in the tide. I already am. We all are. None of us chose to be attached to our smart phones, it just happened. AI is controlling much of our lives already. Heck. I’m not far off 50. I’ll just go with it, what else is there to do?
But then. I realised. Through my yoga and mindfulness the pathway is clear….
There is a pathway here. For me. And for all of us. I wanted to share my insight with you, because I think it has resonance for all of us, if I may be so bold and arrogant to suggest so.
In this Age of AI that we are all in, being truly HUMAN has never been so important.
Humanity, and the qualities that make humans act, be, serve and protect at their best are to be treasured, modelled, talked about and encouraged, more than ever before.
The way we positively embrace, acknowledge and exhibit our humanity has never been more needed and important.
So this includes, and is not restricted to, these qualities of being human:
- deep listening: authentic, full presence when engaging with others, learning to listen to and validate one’s own inner voice, moral navigation and compass
- questioning not following: even if the makers of AI are crapping themselves, that shows you that those who make powerful things that impact
our lives don’t have the answers to key fundamentals and nor do they hold the keys to your happiness, ditto politicians (but we knew that one)
- creativity from within: having moments, spaces and opportunities where we are not relying on formulas for for creative ideas, solutions, output, offerings
- valuing people who do things for other and provide essential services
- empathy: learning the skills of connection, sharing stories, by being with other humans
- being in our bodies: keep coming back to being in the body, sensing, grounding
- be aware of what we are feeding the mind: trust spirit/soul/consciousness to ultimately make decisions, not external machinery or factory-fed algorithms
- re-envisioning self-care as a way of balancing our natural, physical, individual existence with the tech-created world we now live in
My god, the yoga mat, cat cow, my battered bolster, listening to my breath in meditation, and having a pencil and notepad on my desk (instead of a phone or laptop) have never – ever – been more important in my life than now.
I realise why I’ve recently felt a deeper need to put flowers on my desk.
Do I make sense?
Anyway, do get back to that crisp pinot grigio (and I’ll treat myself to an end of week ginger beer), cheers… to the simple real things (while we still have them).