AI for a Humanity in Transition
Nobel Prize winner Albert Szent-Gyorgyi wrote:
“Scientific thinking means that if we are faced with a problem, we approach it without preconceived ideas and sentiments like fear, greed and hatred. We approach it with a cool head and collect data which we eventually try to fit together. This is all there is to it. It may sound simple and easy. What makes it difficult is the fact that our brain is not made to search for truth; it is but another organ of survival, like fangs, or claws. So the brain does not search for truth, but for advantage, and it tries to make us accept as truth what only self-interest is allowing our thoughts to be dominated by our desires.”
The searching for advantage brain can comfortably explain every individual behavior and the whole human history since its very beginning. And, of course, all wars: Troy, Napoleon and WW2 included.
The 21 century brain as an organ of survival, however, is already operating in an environment of formidable arsenal of highly advanced nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. This same brain has now to imperatively follow strategies that minimize the probability of self-annihilation.
This is not even a dilemma, because the choice between advantage and survival is more than clear.
In fact, this is a transition.
We are experiencing a humankind in critical transition, where the current system of international politics, which is further complicated by the emergence of non-state actors, does not have the inherent capacity to face the crucial challenges of our contemporary realities, and a new system of interaction among factors that are dominant for the existence of human civilization, is not even being discussed.
Even if the existential threat is imminent, for us, as human beings, an environment of intensive hostilities and conflicts might seem natural and therefore acceptable. Especially with a history like the one we have for thousands of years.
So, in order to construct our Universal Future, maybe we need algorithms designed by non-humans?
Is that a job for AI?