Anaximander, AI, and the Co-Evolution of Technology and Minds
What a breath of fresh air. I am rather fatigued with attention-seeking pseudo-pundits trying to outdo one another with AI doomsday predictions. It feels like Y2K all over again with that. Your cogent examination of how humans use powerful new tools is spot on. As ever, some will use them to feed our baser instincts, and others will use them to end human suffering. Thank god the tech has finally moved beyond autocorrect to something truly useful.
You might want to consider "The Printing Press as Agent of Change" by Elizabeth Eisenstein.
Thanks for a great essay.
Spot on. Also re AI, I think humans will always have the kill switch.
It’ll be somewhat like early internet etc, there will still be frauds but those existed before mobile and internet and with every tech humans will find new ways, us as a society will just have to get smarter, faster.
Excellent essay Packy! Ceteris is never paribus, and we will evolve to become better with every tool we make.
Is it just me, or does anyone else find it highly ironic that the so-called "new capabilities offered by LLMs" are to be exemplified by 3 examples of accessing existing information as opposed to new thought?
I actually see the opposite: instead of minds honed by a foundation built on education, grounded in reality then honed through experience and debate, LLMs are far more likely to create populations too "smart" to realize their foolishness much like using a navigation app measurably degrades human stand alone navigation skills: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7156656/
"Habitual use of GPS negatively impacts spatial memory during self-guided navigation
Although the longitudinal sample was small, we observed an important effect of GPS use over time, whereby greater GPS use since initial testing was associated with a steeper decline in hippocampal-dependent spatial memory. Importantly, we found that those who used GPS more did not do so because they felt they had a poor sense of direction, suggesting that extensive GPS use led to a decline in spatial memory rather than the other way around. "
Imagine this dynamic transferred to basic research and critical thinking skills.