Humans have handed over their minds to the AI

Who decides which information and knowledge people have access to?
Increasingly, algorithms.

  • People get information and news from feeds, search engines and recommendation systems which heavily rely on algorithmic personalization.
  • Publishers and media companies produce content based on expected and past performance within the algorithmic distribution system.
  • Journalists, opinion leaders and book authors produce and share information that has been gathered under the influence of algorithms.
  • All this happens within an environment of self-reinforcing feedback loops that particularly rewards sensationalism, outrage, hatred and other negative emotions. And many people are unable to stop exposing themselves to these negative emotions on a near-constant basis, as they cleverly trigger the brain’s primal, primitive urges.

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For humans, seeing Artificial Intelligence as a threat is a quick way out of an uncomfortable situation


I finally found the time to watch Transcendence, a movie from last year that illustrates how artificial intelligence (AI) could become a threat to humanity. Considering the low rating my expectations were not high. And indeed I was not impressed. What could have been an influential contribution to the important debate about the moral, ethical and existential consequences of AI became a superficial and exaggerated Hollywood production picturing the fight of “the good” (humans) against “the bad” (the machine).

This questionable flick aside, lately the rise of intelligent machines and the impact on humanity has become a topic of wide public discussions anyway, dividing computer scientists and other experts into two camps: Those who are predominantly excited about the possibilities, and those who emphasize the potential threats of AI. The latter sentiment is also widespread among regular people. The idea of the intelligent, autonomous machine as a potential threat is popular and obviously being fueled by movies such as Transcendence. Continue Reading