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Saturday, July 13, 2024
Letter of the Week: Serious questions about AI and our future
Letter to the editor. File

Dear editor:

As artificial intelligence starts to do a lot of our thinking, will we be in danger of losing our capacity to think?

Imagine having every answer at our fingertips. A calm voice to guide us through a myriad of decisions far, far beyond the basics that we see today.

Doctors. lawyers and other professions — every conceivable scenario programmed into an AI interface.

Why study when the data and answers are all immediately available? To what extent will we need to learn history, math or science when AI has it all, just ask?

So, what is the downside to this technological marvel?

Well, for starters, studying and learning form the foundation for critical thinking.

We call on our memory to compare and rationalize scenarios that give us perspective and guide our decisions.

We have a pretty good idea of where memory starts and ends. Short-term memories form in the hippocampus and, if the situation calls for it, they stabilize into long-term memories in the cortex.

If we move evermore in the direction of AI satisfying our immediate, short-term needs, will we be abandoning the studying and learning process that fills that cortex?

In short, will the ever-expanding AI universe create a society not unlike drones, unable to draw on our own accumulated experience and intelligence to think critically?

Finally, what data will AI use to fill the minds of society, and who and how will it be provided?

Think about it.

Is Big Brother lurking around the corner?

Don Mustill

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