Moving Artificial Intelligence from Dark Art, to Daily Ally
AI means change. Yet, one of the nicest things about change I’m told, is that it is best viewed from a distance. Would you agree?
Humans tend to not like change. We’ve inbuilt cognitive biases that lurk away in the background. These encourage us to cling onto old, unproductive beliefs. When confronted with new problems, we prefer to apply old approaches to solve them. As a corollary, we also tend to shun new approaches to solve old problems; therein lies a challenge for AI.
When change approaches, resisting it is our reflex action. Distance seems to serve us well, avoidance seems better, denial seems best. We resist because of the fears and potential negative consequences imagined. We also resist because humans inherently lack the “cognitive flexibility” that’s inherent in other creatures, such as in the rhesus monkey.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one such change that has rapidly approached; it is now “danger close”. We catastrophise because we do not know what is going to happen next. This surfaces anxieties and fears that reinforce reflexive resistance.
Aristotle told us that “Mother nature abhors a vacuum.” Yet, it is not inevitable that things AI need to be this way, is it?
What instead, if we were to start viewing changes that AI brings from closer in, allowing us to see what things are (and are not) with considerably more granularity? If closer in, could we begin get to know AI better, by exploring how to use some of its Tools? Could we then take on more informed perspectives to the consequences and possibilities it affords?
We believe so, and that we all have the power to explore a little change. Yet in this increasingly affected AI world, unless we know what AI is, what it does, and how it works, we will remain in limbo, operating in the vacuum laden world that Aristotle described. And we all know how that powerful beast called “nature” can take decisions out of our hands; yes?
This Workshop therefore takes an emotionally intelligent approach to AI. Our focus is built around a belief that AI affords us a wide range of new approaches to solve old problems. We further believe that embracing it as a “helping hand”, to engage with it as our own personal amanuensis, is a safe next step. We’ll also see that when choosing to use it in this manner, it can seriously enhance both our productivity as well as our creativity.