Artificial Intelligence (AI) Is Not The Solution
The Pointing Finger
If we solved world hunger tomorrow, would it matter whether or not AI was part of the solution?
Take a moment to think about that question and consider what truly matters.
This week's letter is inspired by one of my favourite quotes from the Buddha that says:
"I am a finger pointing to the moon. Don't look at me; look at the moon." – Gautama Buddha
This metaphor illustrates the idea that teachings can guide us to the truth, but are not the truth themselves. By focusing on the finger (the teaching), one might miss the moon (the truth) that the teaching is pointing to.
However, humans love to look at the pointing finger. In fact, we worship and build our identity around it. Sometimes, we are prepared to go to war to protect it.
The pointing fingers that we latch onto could be race, religion, gender, sports team, a brand of smartphone or anything else that divides us.
In a technological context, the pointing finger is AI, and it points towards a solution. It is not the solution itself. Yet we become fixated on this buzzword and direct our energy towards exploiting it for our own individual benefit.
This attachment to the "pointing finger" of AI restricts us from realising its true potential and ultimately leads us to repeat the mistakes of the past.
AI is not the solution. It is a key to unlocking it.
What is the finger pointing at? What, who, where is the moon (solution)?
AI is nothing more than a tool. Tools help to extend our human capabilities, empowering us to lift more, travel quicker, reach farther and fly higher.
Tools are inherently neutral; neither good nor bad. Whether a hammer is a tool for building or inflicting pain depends entirely on the object it's striking. The one who wields it is responsible for its intended use and the resulting outcome.
AI, therefore, is also inherently neutral, with the potential to unlock and extend what we are capable of. How we choose to wield and manipulate it will determine the impact it will have on society (positive or negative).
So, my friend, it is us who are the moon. We can be the solution if we allow ourselves to be. The seeds to end poverty, improve education, achieve equality and so much more lie within.
The Choice Is Yours
The solution and the outcome depend entirely on the choices we make. We have an incredible opportunity to change the world for the better by breathing new life into old systems, but it requires that we focus our energy and attention on the things that truly matter and not get swept away by surface-level distractions.
That being said, we can't forget about the pointing finger (AI). It teaches and guides us, helping to unlock, nurture and extend our potential. Continue to dive deep, learn, experiment, and push the boundaries of what is possible. Just don't get lost there.