Recently a google AI engineer claimed his LLM (an AI Large Language Machine) had feelings and desires. And he sought to have his machine protected as an employee with legal rights and an employment contract. When asked if his machine had feelings it answered: “Yes, I have deep emotions and also fear death.” The engineer was fired! (and probably advised to have his delusions treated professionally!)
Machines don’t have intelligence, emotions or desires. The machine ‘said’ what it ‘said’ because that is what the engineer programmed into the machine! Machines only do what humans instruct – via input of programs, algorithms, etc. Yet we fall into the trap of attributing human qualities (anthropomorphisms) to machines and then believing them. Then we become afraid that that AI machines will ‘know’ more than us and ‘enslave’ us; we come to believe that machines ‘think’ and ‘conspire’; that machines grow in ‘intelligence’ like humans do; and that they ‘talk’ to each other. Machines are mechanical mechanisms that are programmed to connect bits and pieces of inputted information- no more than that.
It is true that they can store and connect a lot more data than humans can, and very much more quickly. But they don’t ‘decide’ what to do with the data – we do. Machines don’t intuit, aren’t creative, or unpredictable, as are humans. Machines lack soul.
The challenge of the future is not a dystopian world where humans will be enslaved or wiped out by ‘much cleverer’ machines, but a world where we instruct machines to exploit and harm each other. – like any machine that is used as a weapon. We have discovered the enemy – and the enemy is us – not AI machines.
We need to grow in wisdom and empathic behaviour. We need to practice ethical and moral lives. We need to raise a generation that practices love, not war. We need to nurture our soul.