The more far-out treatments of AI tend to explore the potential for programmed entities to develop sentience or even consciousness. But the effects play out both ways. In an interview to promote her new book Surveillance Capitalism, Shoshana Zuboff argues that it “is no longer enough to automate information flows about us; the goal now is to automate us.” And indeed, one of the core tenets of the Dumbularity is that even as machines take on more functions once reserved for humans, humans are being programmed and behaving as if they are machines.
It’s difficult to imagine a future in which these developments lead to a future with more authentic, varied and deeply-felt expressions of human experience.
I’m starting to think the people who think AI will usher in a golden age of human endeavor and freedom from drudgery are actually not people but AI. How would we know?