Learning to Deal with Artificial Intelligence

In an MIT Review postLiesl Yearsley a serial entrepreneur who has developed AI bots, shares her first hand experience of how we are susceptible to influences by Artificial Intelligence. Every one of us needs to read this post and understand how susceptible we are to the powers of AI and more so to the influences of those who control these AI bots. With persuasive technologies and the combination of the fact that as humans we do crave for deep relationships (as it turns out, it doesn’t matter if the other partner is a human or an AI bot), we are vulnerable for both good and bad influences.

She also argues that apart from the standard ethics committees and open AI platforms and corporate responsibilities are just a part of the solution. Tristan Harris is leading a movement called Time Well Spent to bring this issue to the forefront of public consciousness.

I believe that it is not just AI that will continue to evolve with time, but we as a race will also continue to evolve along with AI. The question to ask is will our evolution be as quick as the evolution of AI? While this is a natural process and will continue to happen, we have a responsibility for ourselves to not just wait for the evolution to happen but take charge of our own individual evolution in our own lives.

How to deal with AI effectively:

There are a few things that we can implement in our lives which will help us in dealing with AI that is beneficial to us. These are the same things that can help us have healthy and fruitful interactions with our friends, family and colleagues as well.

Intention:

One of the most important things that we need to start with is to have a clear intention. Clarity on what we want from our interaction with the bot or with a human. Knowing what we want from an interaction ahead of time, primes our mind to be focused on what we want and thus helps us get what we want and stop there.

Attention:

Once we have know what our intention from our interaction with a bot, we need to pay attention to our behaviour and that of the bot to ensure that we are not being sucked into a wormhole that we don’t want to go into. This ability to pay attention to the interaction and stay focused on the intent of the interaction can help us remain in control of these interactions.

Why is this so difficult:

The reason why it is difficult to do this is that it takes a lot of mental energy to first identify the intention and then focus our mental energies to pay attention. Our body is built to conserve or optimise energy spent and so will always take a shortcut, if there is one available. We need to train ourselves and our body so it learns that it is important to spend this energy. What we need to understand and internalise is that this ability to identify the intention for an interaction and pay attention to the same during the interaction is a skill that we can learn with practice. With enough practice this skill can become a habit. Once this becomes a habit, we don’t need to spend the same amount of energy to continue to do this as this becomes second nature to us.

Relationships:

Based on Liesl’s observation, we need to be careful of one other thing – we need to fulfil our need for fruitful relationship amongst humans rather than go looking for the same in bots. This means that we need to become more human than we have ever been and building fruitful and meaningful relationships with our friends, family and colleagues is much more critical today than it has ever been.

In conclusion:

There are significant benefits that bots and AI brings to our lives. Also, we can’t stop the progress that science and entrepreneurs make by using the AI, which means that whether we like it or not, AI is going to become larger and larger part of our lives. And it will get better and better at controlling our behaviour. So, we need to be intentional about when we leverage this strength of smart AI to help us become better version of ourselves and when we stop allowing it to affect our behaviour.

To deal with increasingly smarter AI, We need to be more human now than we've ever been. Click To Tweet