A Car Can Go Faster

02023-03-23 | Computer, News, Social Media | 2 comments

This morning Steve left the following link in the comment section:
Jaron Lanier: ‘The danger isn’t that AI destroys us. It’s that it drives us insane’ | The Guardian

You come for Lanier’s analysis of AI…

Lanier doesn’t even like the term artificial intelligence, objecting to the idea that it is actually intelligent, and that we could be in competition with it. “This idea of surpassing human ability is silly because it’s made of human abilities.” He says comparing ourselves with AI is the equivalent of comparing ourselves with a car. “It’s like saying a car can go faster than a human runner. Of course it can, and yet we don’t say that the car has become a better runner.”

and you stay for his analysis of Twitter:

As for Twitter, he says it has brought out the worst in us. “It has a way of taking people who start out as distinct individuals and converging them into the same personality, optimized for Twitter engagement. That personality is insecure and nervous, focused on personal slights and affronted by claims of rights by others if they’re different people. The example I use is Trump, Kanye and Elon [Musk, who now owns Twitter]. Ten years ago they had distinct personalities. But they’ve converged to have a remarkable similarity of personality, and I think that’s the personality you get if you spend too much time on Twitter. It turns you into a little kid in a schoolyard who is both desperate for attention and afraid of being the one who gets beat up. You end up being this phoney who’s self-concerned but loses empathy for others.”

This is what my hope is as well:

There is also huge potential, he says, for AI to help us tackle climate change, and save the planet.

Great article. Thanks Steve


  1. JaneParham

    Brilliant, brilliant article. No surprise Lanier is a musician.

    It seems there has always been initial resistance to breakthroughs in technology and scientific theories. It’s hard to change what you have always believed. And it IS quite scary to the ignorant and incompetent. There is danger in driving a car. Many die from it.
    There’s a risk in flying in an airplane. But the value of technology in improving our lives is worth the risks.

    Some resistance is based on superstition, Read GLASS:A WORLD HISTORY. One of the most fruitful developments, leading to microscopes, windows, spectacles, light bulbs… on and on. Some cultures were afraid of mirrors and rejected glass because of it’s reflective aspect, thus they fell behind the rest of the world.

    We must take some responsibility for our own reactions to technology, like being a careful driver, etc. I see the risks of social media, but unfortunately I find it boring and don’t spend much time looking at it. I read a recent report finding that perhaps social media is not the cause of depression and suicidal feelings in children, but rather anxiety and depression in the parents, from whom children primarily take their clues.

    A good move would be to add daily study, starting in grade school, on how to approach social media, the dangers of lies, how to discern BS and propaganda from facts. This might reinstate the training of how to think critically. I’d like to take a few courses!

    AI can be a great benefit if we learn how to handle it. Hey, it is our invention, we control it!

  2. Steve

    From this article the quote that was (for me) the “money phrase”:

    “I always thought social media was bullshit. It was obviously just this dumb thing from the beginning.”

    Awesome… Couldn’t agree more.


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