Artificial Intelligence and Human Beings

Richard JelusichBlog

Ever since I was a little boy in the 1950’s robots and science fiction fascinated me.  Later when watching the original “Star Trek” TV series, little did I know that many of those crazy devices (universal translator, McCoy’s medical devices, Uhura’s communication ear piece, Kirk’s iPad) used on that show now exist (though I don’t think we are “beaming” anywhere yet!).

We live in a cascading, exponentially upward spiraling wave of technical innovation and explosion of information availability and processing power.

And those science fiction movies today are now (some of them) created entirely “in the box,” much of it with the resources of artificial intelligence.  It is getting increasingly problematic to tell the real from the illusion of the real.

Can a machine/computer be self-aware and self-conscious?  We see AI or AGI (artificial general intelligence) proliferating in its presence in all forms of media, business, entertainment, tec.  Everything from the development of disease mechanisms, discovering novel ways of manufacturing and much more.  Every aspect of our current lives is increasingly influenced by the increasing use of AGI.

I have to tell you at this point in the Blog is the importance of remaining on our spiritual center and not allowing ourselves to be distracted.  True, there are machines that can outwork you, and computers that can “think” much more rapidly than you, but how do we progress with AI responsibly?  Much attention is now being focused by our lawmakers on how to ensure the genie is not loosed from the bottle.

There are AI routines that only need a small sample of your voice and can then replicate anything you say as though it is the real you.  There are AI patterns in art that will create an image with pretty much anything you can think of.  And many more examples.

There are many platforms of AI that advertise to “rewrite” or “compose” an article for you, or even a research paper.  I’m sure I could submit this Blog to an AGI engine to rewrite it, perhaps more eloquently!

And now the worry:  what if “they” become self-aware, independent thinkers, no longer controllable by their human inventors.  What if AI machines learn how to make and improve other AI machines, or know more about you than you do?

Jason Goertzen is a preeminent figure in the field of AI and many more like him are blazing the trail as to how human intelligence can be augmented by Benevolent AI, aspects of empathy included. 

Here is an interesting presentation by Aliya Grig on “Empathy as a Building Block to Artificial Intelligence,” presented at the California Institute for Human Science Conference in 2023 “Neuroscience Needs a Revolution to Understand Consciousness.”

There appears to be (so far) one thing that AI cannot do: precognition.   At the same conference as mentioned above, a presenter (I’m looking for the link) spoke of a triple-blind (the subjects don’t know, the researcher does not know, and the test to be given is selected at random) spoke of a research between precognition (intuitives) and AI predicting what a yet-to-be generated piece of art would look like.  The intuitives were asked to tune in to the art that was going to be randomly generated three days later and to draw what they saw.  The AI was asked to do the same.  Interestingly, the intuitives were very close to the real image, but the AI could not perform such precognition!  I have not yet found the presentation that I was looking for, but please do check out Stephan A, Schwartz, groundbreaking studies in consciousness and remote viewing.

This very short blog only scratches the surface of AI, consciousness and the consequences of machine self-awareness.  Please review the CIHS Conference videos for much more information.


Dr. Richard Jelusich, Ph.D.