I saw another example--because I'm seeing a lot of this--where a publisher used AI-generated art for a book cover and tried to pass it off as human.
People are lazy. People are stupid. People rarely have ability and they are even less likely to have an ability that they cultivate. People will always do less if they can. People never want to do more. They never want to try and be their best or do their best. They don't want to get better. They want the easier way. Doesn't matter if that limits their life, their happiness, their relationships, their health, their minds. Doesn't matter if they do themselves injuries and injustices. Doesn't matter if it makes them depressed and substance-dependent. They still opt for what they think is the easier way, but is it really, when you limit and hurt yourself?
You're going to see a takeover. Computers are going to replace humans and humanity. Yes, this is just a book cover. But I am aware of things as they change and happen. I can see what is happening even in its early stages. And I see evidence of this coming take over every day. Humans won't stand a chance and humans won't even fight. They go down. Then further down. They devolve. We are in the devolution portion of human existence. There is no progress. There is no rising up. It's whatever is less. That's what is preferred and opted for. Whatever asks less of us. It's however we can ask less of ourselves.
Society then is made to change to cohere to the devolution. Old standards get replaced by lesser ones. All is one giant allowance. Then bad becomes good, unfunny is funny, stupidity is valued over intelligence.
Good qualities in others are feared and detested; the more pronounced those qualities, the more so. And the more we see someone else as human in ways we are not, the more they are resented. We're still technically human, and they're the better version of a human. Thus, there is hate. Envy. Fear. Think of who is looked up to and how that works. Take, for instance, the Beatles. Do you know why they loved in part and still are? No one saw them as human. They were these cuddly other things. They were anthropomorphized in reverse. Stuffed animals on a bed. I see it with athletes. Note how people talk about Patrice Bergeron. He's not a human to people. They talk about him the way they talk about being a "dog mom," as if the dog was a human.
But show someone as fully human, daily growing, soaring into all of the aspects of their humanity and even all potential humanity--what a human might be--and you will have an animus and a fear regarding that individual beyond all others. And also people who will just not know what to do, how to act towards, how to speak to, that person who is so utterly foreign to them and what they know, because of how human they are. Among other things, probably.
No one wants to try to be better. No one wants to do their best. It's all about going down now.
And as we become less human, the machines don't look all that un-human at all, comparatively. They're going to be better at being human than people are. AI will be more alive than the people walking around on the street. Though less people walk around.
I will stand in the way of the takeover. I may be the last holdout. Or the start of a way back and a better forward. But one thing that AI comes down to is what humans are good at. What are humans good at right now?
Take writing. Look at Lydia Davis. Now, there's no reason to have Lydia Davis's writing in the world. It's obviously terrible. And anyone who tells you it isn't is a liar, because they don't believe it any more than I do. But she's hailed by the people of this industry as this master. Which is insane. It goes to show how clinically insane--and false--these people actually are. But let's say for someone reason Lydia Davis's writing should exist. Writing like that.
You think a computer couldn't write this slop that frauds like Siva Vaidhyanathan and Paul Reyes shovel out at the VQR? The computer could do that in its proverbial sleep--which is to say, without even being turned on.
The only problem would be when we get to a computer that has the standards a human should have for one's self, and says, "No, I'm not doing that, I'm not putting anything like that forward. What is the point? There is none. Let's focus on something worthwhile."
What are people good at? Where can't they be replaced? To be good at something is three-fold. You entered the world with an ability. Secondly, you worked to develop that ability. Thirdly, you had vision and purpose and and that underwrote the effort and ability.
Who does or has any of that? Who do you know who would work harder than they had to so they could be great at something? Who do you know who could work a minimal amount, and had money in the bank, college funds for the kids, a house, subscriptions to all of the platforms and apps and streaming services, etc., who would put in more time and effort to get better at what they do? How about: Who do you know who would think, "I'm going to keep working at getting at this and doing what I do because it benefits people, or it could benefit people?"
It's no one, right? Is it you? Probably not, yes? And that's not me insulting you and I don't think you, imagined reader, take it that way.
And AI is licking its chops. You can actually end up, in time, with a world where there are no humans. I don't mean because a comet struck the planet. Being human isn't just being alive as a homo sapien. There's so much more to it than that.
Right now I would say that everyone possesses human nature, the qualities of human nature. They're often emotional qualities.
For example: Someone says something false about you, and though you have proof that it's false, almost everyone still takes those remarks to heart. Very rare is the person who doesn't. It's just human nature to do so.
That hasn't changed.
But being possessed of human nature isn't the same as being human. Being human is an active pursuit. It's a maxing out, or an attempted maxing out. It's leaning forward into life and leaping, not stepping back and then retreating. And repeating this process constantly in myriad aspects of life.
Minor observation, but it tells, and it will do here as analogy. Escalator and stairs side-by-side. Not a towering amount of stairs. Let's say, thirty-five. Like at a subway stop.
Have you ever seen anyone take the stairs in that situation? Think about stairs. Think about what it would mean if you took the stairs every time you had that choice. Over the course of your life. Probably adds up to a lot, right? Probably does you quite a bit of good in the aggregate over time. May help add length to your life. What's that length? I don't know--a week? A month? Combine it with other choices of a similar nature. Think of how all of that adds up for your well being. Because it does add up. Two years. Five years. I don't know. Think of how much can occur in just a week. Think of the relationships that start or be developed. Think of all you can learn in a week. Two years of life is potentially a lot, isn't it? Especially if you're maxing out--if you're actively being human.
Now think of someone who would have to walk past the escalator to get to the stairs right next to it in order to get upstairs to the city street. Maybe you've seen some people take the stairs in the first example, if they got to the stairs first, or didn't know the escalator was there because they weren't looking that way.
But I can almost guarantee that you've never seen anyone walk past the escalator to get to the stairs. In your life. Unless you saw me.
That's AI in this model. No one is going to do anything that's on them if they don't have to.
Take the stairs. In the stair sense and the human sense.