Guest writer, professor Eric Anctil, PhD, of University of Portland, writes about how we need to BOTH make peace with each other AND avoid an us-versus-machines mentality as we decide how we want to evolve our workforce and ourselves. We need to depolarize American politics or we will not be able to properly prepare for the inevitable future that our technology is bringing us.
So much handwringing in the US, and all over the globe, over the perceived immigrant crises. It's a huge misdirection. It's not an intentional misdirection like a magician performs to get the audience to look one way as he pockets the coin is trying to hide. No, this is a misdirection born of ignorance and disbelief.
The immigrants we should fear aren’t human, rather they are an army of "silver people" coming in various forms (AI, VR, and AR are just a few examples) to take our jobs, further shape our behaviors, and even change how we see ourselves as humans.
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration at all to say that the technology we have created in the last 50 years will shape our species unlike anything that has come before it.
Yet we worry the wall. We worry the day laborer. We worry the people who don’t look like us because they aren’t the same kind of human we are.
This is an enormous mistake.
Rather than focusing on other humans as the enemy and “other,” we must come together as a species to plan for our real future foes: the technology we are creating and perfecting that is on the verge of further advancing and perfecting itself far beyond what we are capable of controlling.
Although wonderfully helpful when lost, and dazzlingly entertaining when bored, the artificial intelligence that drives our devices and lights our screens is getting generationally smarter by the day while we are arguing about who will pay for the wall and how high it will be (all the while letting our phones track our every movement and influence so many of our decisions and actions).
We need to make our peace with each other so we can govern our machines as a united species of humans. It’s not an us-versus-the-machines position as much as it is a question of how do we want to evolve.
Do we make our peace across borders and as humans to create a future where we program our machines to work with us or will we be so divided as humans that we are fooled by the misdirection that (as I have heard others say before) the creators of our machines become our owners?
I say we band together as humans no matter our color or manufacturing origin. Let's not be fooled by this misdirection.
We must depolarize the American political conversation and learn to talk to one another if there is any hope of being ready for this inevitable future. For more by Dr. Anctil, visit his website.