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How AI Can Take Humanity To The Next Level

August 22, 2022

The first episode is here. In this article, we will tackle the main points of Cătălin Briciu’s and Radu Surdeanu’s conversation about AI and next-level humanity. 

How AI and technology can help us all achieve a greater state of consciousness?

How can we be more than we are today?

How it can be a tool for the benefit of us and not dystopian technology as we see it in movies?

Find all your answers below. Listen to the episode now or watch it on YouTube

Take on the journey towards wisdom

It might seem odd to bring up the topic of wisdom in a conversation that should be about AI. However, it’s a must-have conversation as wisdom is one of the things that differentiate us humans and AI. Wisdom is not something AI can achieve.

Let’s all do an imagination exercise. Try to answer yourself the following questions, one by one:

  1. Where do you go if you want to get information?
  2. Where do you go if you want knowledge?
  3. Where do you go for wisdom?

People tend to have a blocker when thinking about the last question. 

How many wise people have you met in your life? 

Most people that Radu asked said that they’ve met a maximum of two wise people in their lives. But, what makes a person wise?

According to Radu, a wise person has three main characteristics:

  1. They look for information/knowledge in the world around them, integrate it, and find what is meaningful to them. 
“There's plenty of things that we know that we don't know. But there are also plenty of things that we don't know that we don't know. But this person just goes out, they have the courage to reach the others [...] And then you change the world around you. And then you find out new information that is important for you, that is relevant to you.”

  1. They are humble about what they do and do not know.
  2. They act with compassion, kindness, and love.

It’s all about fully participating in the experience that is called life. It’s about understanding that it’s a life that is seen at all times not only through your eyes but also through the eyes of others.

As Cătălin Briciu says: “The most effective way in which you can change the world, I truly believe is by being your true self. And understanding that that's the greatest asset that you can bring to the world.”

How did AI come to be

When talking about AI, the first thing that might pop into your mind is Turing

However, what Radu Surdeanu discovered by reading philosophy is that the basics of AI might have been established sooner than we think.

Let’s take Descartes for example. The French philosopher with the famous “I think, therefore I am” line. One day, while laying in bed sick, he observed a fly that was flying in his hospital room. A room full of tiles. The same size of tiles. In his laziness looking at the fly, he observed that he can determine the position of this fly with exact numbers by counting the number of tiles.

Basically, what he invented was the Cartesian method. That was just a step in the journey of mapping the world. 

Then came Galileo who said that he can explain the universe by equations. Everything in the world could be described by 3D graphs. 

Thomas Hopps said that we can create the mind by computing. This was around the 1650s. This was the beginning of the concept of AI. It’s mind-blowing to think of it this way.

Dive into deep learning theory 

The deep learning theory was already here in the ‘60s, however, we didn’t have enough computational power to do it. That’s when Gordon Moore from Intel came into the picture with semiconductors.   

After that, somewhere in 2011-2012, there was the turning point where all the deep learning algorithms started to make sense, you could show it, and people got very excited. This was a turning point in humanity.

Some examples of how what improved significantly due to this are:

  • Facial recognition
  • AI algorithms used in medicine to recognise cancer 

This is all narrow AI. It can achieve great things but is however limited. They lack the things that make us human. They lack conscious knowledge.

How powerful narrow AI really is

Although narrow AI is very powerful, there are still things we don’t know. For example, what would happen if we combine their datasets together. Would they be thinking or understanding the world the same we do? 

We don’t know. There are unwritten rules that we are unaware of. AI lacks distributed cognitive psychology and consciousness that we have access to. It is something only we have. 

There’s still a long way to go.

These unwritten rules are something we don’t put much thought into. We can’t quantify them. Take feelings for example. We can’t quantify them, therefore, we wouldn't be able to put them into an algorithm. This means that the algorithm won’t be able to learn this and develop itself. 

Something that might help in the future is quantum computing. This will have a tremendous impact in our lives, however, we’re still taking baby steps in this direction.

What are the next steps

If we look at the evolution of our thinking, in our foreign understanding of how our brain works, across time, we grow linearly in our thinking. We become better but it’s linear.

On the other side, technology grows exponentially. In recent years, the technology curve was under the line of our understanding. We understood technology, we felt and we identified with it. This technology push made the companies more innovative. They created more products that we understood, felt, and ultimately bought. 

When it comes to AI, not everybody can understand or feel it. People don’t have a clue in their understanding of where technology and science are. This is a paradox. 

Everybody has a phone that is full of AI technology.  Technology is fully embedded in our lives whereas our understanding is gone. 

What can we do about it?

  • Make more jobs in tech. 
  • Educate the people in such a way that you jump this straight line and you get closer to the technology curve. But then from that point on, you still grow linearly.
  • Give incentives for even more students in STEM jobs.
  • Change the curriculum in education.
  • Collaborate more, and work together.

All these small steps can help us get closer to understanding technology. 

However, one of the most important things in this journey is to be compassionate. According to Radu: 

“The only thing that you need to develop that technology cannot help you is being compassionate, and meditating.”

The next step in using technology to evolve is to make use of AI in areas such as being more aware of ourselves and being aware of others.

How will a day in the future look like

One thing that Radu hopes is to use AI for the good of humanity. To make people better. 

The other thing he hopes for is that the educational system will be changed. That way, we’ll be able to raise wise people, and we won’t have the same conversation now that we had 40 years ago. In 20 years, if we ask someone How many wise people you know, the answer will be 5, or 10, or more.

We’ll continue to teach our children about science, technology, engineering, and math, but we’ll also teach them meditation, compassion, and the link between the two. Or how they can reach out to the world, enrich themselves, and reach their full potential. Radu’s strongest desire for the future is to live in a compassionate society where people have self-compassion. He also hopes no one will suffer from starvation, and we’ll find a way to use AI in this direction, and that quantum computing will be used to advance medicine.

What can we act on now

‘’We make decisions all the time. When in doubt, act with compassion.’’

We are grateful that Radu Surdeanu was our first guest. Listen to the entire discussion on all our available platforms:

About the guest

Radu Surdeanu is the Senior Director of Government Affairs at SIEMENS Energy. He is a physicist with large experience in various multinationals and with 50+ awarded patents to date.

Radu is also a Zen practitioner, an active Happonomist, and a triathlete. He is an advocate of a future where humanity will reach the next level, with AI and spirituality interconnected, for the wellbeing of all.