Redefining AI: Two North Stars for a Human-Centric Approach

In the sprawling expanse of the AI industry, companies are pouring time, money, and intellectual capital into the promise of machines mimicking human intelligence. The allure of general artificial intelligence (GAI) has never been more magnetic, and I can’t help but be both dazzled by its potential and concerned about its ramifications.

However, as I continue monitoring the AI landscape, two crucial guiding “north stars” seem missing from this race.

1. Enabling Humans to be Better Humans

The first north star revolves around the very intent of AI. The overarching goal of AI should not just be about optimizing operations, creating more efficient systems, or even groundbreaking healthcare breakthroughs, as transformative as they may be. Instead, the focal point should be enabling humans to become better.

By “better,” I don’t necessarily mean creating superhumans with enhanced physical or cognitive abilities. Instead, I’m referring to enhancing qualities that make us distinctly human – our capacity for empathy, creativity, love, intuition, and understanding. AI should be a tool that augments these characteristics, making us more attuned to our surroundings, peers, and ourselves – and yes, living happier and more satisfying lives in and with the world and others around us.

As much as I enjoy and benefit from capitalism, humans do not fundamentally exist and live solely as creators of valuable new AI tech businesses that create wealth for investors!

2. Enabling Machines to be Better Machines (Evolving Human-Computer Interactions)

The second guiding star is about reshaping the way we interact with technology. This principle is deeply personal, resonating with 30 years of AI tracking and the philosophy that started our EncycloMEdia startup journey two years ago and continues to fuel our ambitions. It’s about crafting human-computer interactions that are not just transactional but transformational.

We must shift from seeing AI as mere utility tools to viewing them as partners in our quest for knowledge, understanding, and personal growth. Erik Dahl’s commitment to this cause, exemplified by his time and energy in ideating, building, and testing our shared visions, echoes this sentiment. Our machines should help us explore and expand our horizons, not limit or define them.

Said in another way, while we seek the benefits of AI to enhance our lives, we should also allow these machines to achieve their full potential. They should be partners in our journey towards a more diverse, vibrant, and sustainable existence, both on our planet and, perhaps one day, amongst the stars.

The future of AI shouldn’t be a choice between humanistic values and machine evolution. Both can coexist and flourish, guided by principles that benefit humanity while also allowing machines to develop their potential in a way that complements all living systems. As we progress, we should envision a world where machines co-evolve, creating a brighter and more diverse cosmos for all.

Towards a Brighter, More Human AI Future

AI has undeniably immense potential. Yet, as we harness this potential, we need guiding principles to ensure the technology interfaces with human lives, is aligned with humanistic values, and where it interfaces with the rest of the living systems we are a part of, is aligned with ecological and regenerative values. Just as the North Star has been a reliable guide for explorers throughout history, these two guiding principles can help steer the AI industry in a direction that ultimately benefits humanity and our planet (and the places we will visit in space).

As much as we innovate and progress, we must never forget our human essence and ensure that AI magnifies it in all its forms and applications.


Insight: Race towards ‘autonomous’ AI agents grips Silicon Valley By Anna Tong and Jeffrey Dastin July 17, 20235:35 PM




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