News
 International
   Global Views
   Asia-Pacific
   America
   Europe
   Middle East & Africa
 National
 Embassy News
 Arts & Living
 Business
 Travel & Hotel
 Medical Tourism New
 Taekwondo
 Media
 Letters to Editor
 Photo Gallery
 News Media Link
 TV Schedule Link
 News English
 Life
 Hospitals & Clinics
 Flea Market
 Moving & Packaging
 Religious Service
 Korean Classes
 Korean Weather
 Housing
 Real Estate
 Home Stay
 Room Mate
 Job
 English Teaching
 Translation/Writing
 Job Offered/Wanted
 Business
 Hotel Lounge
 Foreign Exchanges
 Korean Stock
 Business Center
 PR & Ads
 Entertainment
 Arts & Performances
 Restaurants & Bars
 Tour & Travel
 Shopping Guide
 Community
 Foreign Missions
 Community Groups
 PenPal/Friendship
 Volunteers
 Foreign Workers
 Useful Services
 ST Banner Exchange
  America
Meditations
AI’s Quantum Leap Demands a Quantum Leap in Human Intelligence
By Martin LeFevre
Contributing Writer
Human intelligence (HUMINT)
The surreal hype, false hope and potential harm from AI are flooding the field with would-be philosophers. Even pundits are saying things like, “To make good on its promise, artificial intelligence needs to deepen human intelligence.” But how can intelligence be deepened when people don’t know what it is?

There is the idea that even nascent AI (like ChatGPT and other “LLMs”), which spit out information so quickly, and in such novel combinations that they seem to have sentience, are just the next big thing after the internet. But AI is to the internet as Ben Franklin’s printing press is to the first personal computers.

Therefore the notion that we are “making the same mistake we made with the internet — measuring A.I.s potential benefits without considering its likely costs” - misses the mark. Even the same journalist, again waxing philosophical, later writes more accurately: “AI is an acid test for human cognition.”

And since our powers of cognition are what have defined us as humans for tens of thousands of years, and allowed us to dominate (and decimate) the Earth, the philosophical (and spiritual) question is: Do we have a capacity beyond cognition, including hackneyed references to emotion and creativity, that can redefine us as human beings?

At its current stage, AI summarizes huge amounts of information it’s been fed and creates content that resembles and even adds content. As others have indicated, that’s often just what humans do.

Already however, “we’re much closer to A.I. friends, lovers and companions becoming a widespread part of our social lives.” Thus the alienation and fragmentation that are inherent tendencies of ‘higher thought’ are at risk of being artificially mollified by a higher form of thought.

In short, AI is compelling a fundamental reexamination of what it means to be a human being, something that was formerly the purview of rare birds and gadflies — non-academic philosophers — but now open to speculation by computer scientists and journalists. The latter even quote Socrates to support their musings about how AI will affect productivity.

“Human beings need to build the workflows and office environments around AI in ways that don’t overwhelm and distract and diminish us.” That’s an awfully low bar. Besides, it’s too late, since the misuse of the internet with social media has already accomplished that.

To gain an insight into what intelligence is, and begin to move in that direction as individuals if not as a species, we need to ask the right questions and hold them, without demanding or even seeking answers. An insight is not an answer, but a flash of understanding, which abides if one values and holds it in one’s heart and not just in the mind as memory or knowledge.

So what is the difference between insight and cognition? Is it the same as the difference between a human and a human being? I feel so, as my nephew showed me many years ago at two and half years old.

I had flown back to the Midwest for my youngest sister’s wedding. It was a big Catholic affair, and I spent the better part of the week prior with my oldest sister’s son Brett, who was two and half at the time. We hit it off famously, and had a lot of fun playing games or going for walks in nature.

My parent’s house was filled with guests as my youngest sister and new husband opened presents. Having left the Church as a senior in high school after a couple of years of contemplation and research, I sat in a corner and non-judgmentally watched the proceedings.

Brett walked up to me through the crowd and asked, “What are you?” Thinking he had simply confused his pronouns, I replied, “You know who I am Brett, I’m your uncle.” He shook his head and walked away.

A few minutes later he came up again and asked the same question more insistently, “What are you?” Having worked with little ones in California, I realized that he was asking me something specific. And since he was just acquiring language, that was as much explanation as I was going to get. So I said, “Sorry Brett, I don’t understand what you’re asking me.”

A few minutes later he charged me from across the room, and I knew I was in trouble. At the top of his little lungs he yelled, “WHAT…ARE…YOU?!”

To my credit, I thought, as the adults within earshot turned to look at what was going on, ‘to hell with what they think; I have to understand what this little guy is asking me.’

It was my problem, not Brett’s. So I held his gaze and waited silently for at least 30 seconds for the insight. Suddenly there was the flash of understanding.

Having spent nearly a week together, and now around all these other people - family and friends - Brett’s developing mind and brain perceived that his uncle was so different from the other people that he had to know what he was.

With the insight came the right response: “I’m a human being Brett, a human being.” His eyes lit up like I’ve never seen a child’s eyes light up, and he threw back his head laughing, repeating, “Being, being.”

Reflecting on the out-of-the-mouths-of- babes encounter, I realized for the first time that one was different. I accepted it in light of Jesus’ admonition: “Don’t hide your light under a bushel.”

AI’s challenge is not about “processing information.” Most information is spam anyway. It’s about giving to AI what AI is surpassing us in, and no longer defining our humanness in terms of our vaunted cognitive powers.

And it’s about developing a greater capacity altogether (insight, intelligence), which will enable us as human beings to use this quantum leap of technology wisely.

Martin LeFevre



Related Articles
    Dialogue and the Human Condition
    The Mystery of Consciousness
    Negative Learning from a Rattlesnake
    Beyond the Hell of Paradise
    Mystical Insight and Petrified Religions
    Will AI Catalyze a Revolution in Consciousness?
    There’s No Muddling Through This Terrible ...
    Neuroscience and The Mind In Meditation
    It’s the Zeitgeist Stupid
    Experiencing the Silent Ground of Being
    Christmas 2023: Crucifying Christ Again
    The Interfaith and Multi-Faith Movement Is ...
    Crooked Line From 9/11 to Israel’s War on Gaza
    Cop28 and Man’s War On the Earth
    Fluidity of Thought Is a Far Cry From ...
    Time Is Elastic, But Timelessness Is Fantastic
    Slaughter and War Spew from Time and Memory
    The Universe Is in a State of Meditation. Why ...
    Two Kinds of Metaphysical Movement?
    Resolve Contradictions, Revere Paradoxes
    The Human Brain Is Exapted for Insight
    Narratives or Insight?
    Oppenheimer, and “I Am Become Death”
    Doing Philosophy In America
    Regarding Nihilism and Negation
    Providence, the End of Man, and the Emergence ...
    Awakening Intelligence Within
    Teilhard Got It Backwards
    Awakening a Proprioception of Thought
    Human Being Is Not a “Very Small Phenomenon”
    Finding False Comfort In Impermanence
    Has the Retreat Industry Contributed to Human ...
    Letter to a Friend about Meditation
    A Birthday Wish from America for Humanity on ...
    Our View of Nature Is the Cornerstone of Our ...
    Three Kinds of Singularity
    An Explanation, Though It Won’t Change the ...
    When Did Progressives Become Warmongers?
    The Ending of Psychological Thought
    Concerning Discernment and Difference
    Mystical Experiencing Is Our Birthright
    AI, AI, AI, or I, I, I?
    What Is Art, and an Artist?
    Canaries in the Coal Mines of Consciousness
    Cosmic Pointlessness or Infinite Immanence?
    Cardinal Errors
    Concerning Stagnancy, Demography and Vitality
    Mind, Brain and Consciousness
    The State of Insight
    The Religious and Scientific Mind
    Q Craziness and Unaddressed Evil
    Localism Increases Fragmentation of Earth
    Collapsing the Distinction Doesn’t Resolve ...
    The Silence of Being
    Heightened Senses In Nature Opens the Door to ...
    The Inter-National Order Is Dead and Gone
    Polarization Isn’t the Problem
    Enlightenment Isn’t Personal
    Human Beings Can Meet This Moment
    Nagasaki and the Incorrigibility of Man
    There Is No Evolution of Consciousness
    Imagining ‘Umwelts’ Is Unnecessary
    Expansion or Negation of Self?
    Intelligent Life, Meditation and Transmutation
    The Source of Evil Is Not a Person or a Nation
    The Dialogue Buffet at the Death Café
    Higher Thought: Threshold and Impediment to ...
    Is Universality a Western Idea?
    What Is Your View of Human Nature?
    Defeating Evil Without Violence
    A Recipe For World War
    Beyond Thinking Machines
    There Is No Such Thing as "Personal ...
    Time Is a Tremendous Illusion
    Breakthrough Infection, or Inflection?
    Requiem for a Meditation Place
    Fragmentation and Wholeness
    Did Evolution Go Wrong With Man?
    The Urgent Indifference of Enlightenment
    Death Isn’t After Life; It’s Inseparable ...


Martin LeFevre, a contemplative, philosopher and writer in northern California, serves as a contributing writer for The Seoul Times. His "Meditations" explore and offer insights on spiritual, philosophical and political questions in the global society. LeFevre's philosophical thesis proposes a new theory of human nature. He welcomes dialogue. lefevremartin77@gmail.com

 

back

 

 

 

The Seoul Times, Shinheung-ro 36ga-gil 24-4, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 04337 (ZC)
Office: 82-10-6606-6188 Email:seoultimes@gmail.com Publisher & Editor: Joseph Joh
Copyrights 2000 The Seoul Times Company  ST Banner Exchange