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  • Andre Lamartin

Artificial Life

The day artificial intelligence comes alive, it shall render us mortally obsolete inside. When artificial moral choices arrive to stay, liberty taken for granted is taken away. Some decisions in life are so important a human heart is always warranted. Love codified into a series of numbers deprives human life of its greatest wonders. When a man relies solely on his brother, he learns compassion for another. If having a friend only requires, silicon chips connected by wires, what is the meaning of the words we say, if for a listener a price we must always pay? Many are the existential questions we must consider, before embracing numerical answers an artificial life delivers. Search engines designed to serve all needs presently hold all the leads, they are salesmen knocking on our doors, always demanding we ask for more. They are ad agencies controlling the flow of information, as digital freedom is sold at a price, so the people can live in a once proud nation, where privacy is no longer an unalienable right. The complexity of life is reduced to numbers, encrypted from the words that ourselves betray, in a world of overweight runners, no one shops the old fashioned way. When our souls are codified into numbers, and we become the sum total of purchases made, we forget that in life the greatest wonder is the one for which no price is paid. But love is not all that is lost, while trying to buy what can never be bought. When algorithms rule over our lives, democratic governance rarely survives. As artificial decisions set the course of life, words become scarce, while numbers are rife. Political propaganda dressed as news is customized to be consumed, by voters asked only to choose, between blatant lies disguised as truth. Always delivered to your doorstep, without prior invitation or request, the only facts you should accept, the only truth you must never forget. When the manipulation of minds passes for democratic discourse, public policy never finds a way to bridge the distance, separating our dreams from existence. Algorithms also determine investment decisions, the future of families a numerical precision, leaving the balance sheets when crisis strike, never bearing a human cost deemed subprime. So complex are the equations involved, investment quandaries are only by physicists solved. The leviathan bankers have created, renders investment decisions fully automated, accepting no responsibility when mistakes arise, families liable for their own demise. Even the inhumanity of war once described with precision, is now translated into numbers concealing decisions. As automated war machines rule the sky, civilian deaths are no longer a crime. Missiles that choose their own target, drones that only see scarlet, bloodstains left behind by an uncompassionate humankind. If pulling a trigger is a moral decision, does it not require human vision? As robots march on the battlefield, the fate of civilians is by algorithms sealed. If the decision of who lives and who dies is to machines solely ascribed, who among us is ever wise, when morality to numbers has been assigned? The stronger artificial intelligence becomes, the weaker we are rendered, if a human being is of all his moral choices the sum, he is made less when to a machine they are surrendered. Democracies never stand to benefit, when its citizens less decisions make, but the benefits for totalitarian states are evident, more liberties will their subjects forsake. To own our words we must own our actions. Liberty is undeserved when seen as a fashion, being redefined with every new transaction, sacrificed at the altar of technological passion. Science cannot be relegated solely to scientists, if the pursuit of knowledge is the pursuit of violence.To strive for a better future is not to accept technology as our ruler. The science we have today suffices to solve the problems of our day. But to contemplate the future is to remember the past, no better tutor there is to answer pending questions asked. The industrialization of war in the twentieth century cost a quarter of a billion lives, lest we learn the lessons from this moral penury, we are condemned to relive the same strife. If we already misuse what we know, more power will not greater wisdom bestow. By failing to learn the lessons of the past the same problems are bound to last. When developed by greed divorced from empathy, technology becomes our mortal enemy, as science races past human compassion, it easily becomes tomorrow´s assassin. If our only concern is a competitive drive, a race to the bottom making us blind, the final destination of the human mind, is a graveyard towards which we willfully strive, a cemetery of obsolescence we are bound to arrive. Unemployment will be the least of our worries, if life is no longer seen as a journey, where we are the main characters in our own stories, where Divine Love is the greatest of all glories. Can we never accept that there are limits to respect? That absolute power leads to absolute unrest? Human life requires human intelligence, artificial life only human greed and arrogance, coded by our own blind petulance. Embracing the future, by ignoring the problems of today, technology will our hopes only betray. An artificial life can never be the way, to a welcoming future that our fears allay, realizing the dreams we have today. When human beings finally become obsolete, the System we created will ourselves only delete.

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