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AI is a Reflection

Updated: 4 days ago

Humans are endlessly curious about humans. Our fascination with artificial intelligence is not unlike when we encounter someone who can speak our language but with variations in word construction and phrasing. Like when we experience what seem to be exotic ways people live their lives as we travel beyond our familiar landscapes.

That experience is not the same as encountering artificial intelligence.

All individuals originate from their own multifaceted cultures and possess their own ways of thinking and knowing.

A small monkey looking closely at itself in a mirror it holds in its paws.
Even accurate representations of ourselves can vary from our perceptions of ourselves. This is a photo of a real monkey.

Artificial intelligence comes from us.

There is no Other in the machine. AI presents us with shuffled digital bits of our thinking and behaviors.

Though it appears authoritative even when offering hallucinations, this presentation is itself a reflection of our own human expectations of a computer.

The phenomenon is like seeing ourselves in a distorted mirror and playing with that distortion.

We humans are intrigued by pattern alterations of our realities. That intrigue can spawn an expanded understanding of ourselves - that we generate. But AI, the thing itself, is not creative. It is not better than us. AI is a magnificent toy.

In the future AI will still be a reflection of ourselves. Its greater autonomy might make the distinction between non-AI reality and AI reflection even more confusing. Until AI is socialized, when we are AI Literate.

Noam Chomsky, NYT, March 2023: "The human mind is not a lumbering statistical engine for pattern matching."


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