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To create or not to create?

A response to The NY Times article "‘The Godfather of A.I.’ Leaves Google and Warns of Danger Ahead."

The 2020 global pandemic brought the world to its knees and forced the fast paced race for knowledge accumulation and nonstop innovation to stop. We were forced to reflect—a mirror held up to our faces—revealing the consequences of over 20 centuries of impulsive innovation.

photo captured by Naomy Grand'Pierre
a masked woman overlooks a sea of protestors and police | 06.01.2020 atlanta, ga

The fog of excitement from the industrial revolution has left the earth polluted and overheated. The rush for exploration and opportunity left entire people groups trampled by the violence of hierarchical and racist thinking. The shininess of trade and economic theory made dull by unjust wealth disparities. And the infinite promises of technology have come close to destroying humanity’s core principles one too many times.



In short: our pursuit of intelligence and enlightenment has left a trail of destruction. Recognizing this, we must carefully consider the path and pace of our creation and ensure it does not takes us to our own demise.


It is therefore, imperative that we as a society, use our newfound awareness to create intentionally and in alignment with humanity’s best interest.


As technology continues to evolve into artificial intelligence, we must decide what it can and cannot do; what aspects of the future it will and will not shape; what aspects of human development it can or cannot influence; what principles of humanity it will and will not break. We must ensure that the lessons of 2020 are acknowledged and applied to our decision making so we don’t wake up 200 years from now, full of regret at the Earth and society we have created for ourselves.


protection of the city capitol by law enforcement during peaceful civilian protests | 06.01.2020 atlanta, ga
protection of the city capitol by law enforcement during peaceful civilian protests | 06.01.2020 atlanta, ga

With technology playing such a pivotal role in the creation of our future, we must decide together as a collective: just because we can create it, does it mean we should?

Our inspiration, innovation, creation and decision making must be based upon a foundation of principles, not updated on a whim, but rooted in the service of agreed upon human values and logic.


hand painted sign marked 'they tried to bury us, they didn't know we were seeds' displayed in front of the city capital during peaceful civilian protests | 06.01.2020 atlanta, ga
hand painted sign marked 'they tried to bury us, they didn't know we were seeds' displayed in front of the city capital during peaceful civilian protests | 06.01.2020 atlanta, ga

 

This is an Æra Hope writing collaboration with contributions from Naomy Grand'Pierre. All images taken during peaceful protests on 06.01.2020 in Atlanta, GA by Naomy Grand'Pierre.

Original manuscript written 02.06.2021.




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