- June 11, 2009
- Posted by: Brandon Matheson
- Category: Santa Barbara Entrepreneur
Growing up, I remember one of the most exciting technology movements as the evolution of “artificial intelligence”.
The human brain coupled with the soul and life experience is so much more advanced than any artificial intelligence we could ever create. Humans have a patent on emotions and instinct.
Perhaps the movie “The Matrix” most completely demonstrates where AI can take the human race. Let’s not forget about films like “The Terminator” to keep us all pondering about the benefits and challenges of Artificial Intelligence.
What I am finding as of late is an unhealthy dependence and equity in technology – seemingly sacrificing the emotional and instinctive characteristics of human beings. As new forms of AI are released and become more mainstream, I believe it’s imperative we carefully examine what’s happening here:
The SIRI APP and iPhone 4GS – mainstream AI
The SIRI app has been around for quite some time, the integration of SIRI into the iPhone 4GS has suddenly reminded people that interacting with a computer to get things done might one day be as easy as having a conversation. In a recent presentation I gave to the Santa Barbara Mobile Meetup group, I talked about how far our “interconnectedness” to technology and each other could one day take us.
Some of the highlights of the presentation and the benefits of the continuing evolution of artificial intelligence include:
- Seemingly limitless sharing of moments, ideas, experiences
- Automation of daily, manual processes like keeping your pantry and fridge stocked up
- Improving your ability and likelihood to meet the love of your life
- The opportunity for shared consciousness a la the Noosphere – check out this page for more on this
The consequences of Facebook
The future is certainly bright and the advent of “common” artificial intelligence into daily activities certainly is a major lunge forward. A while back (April 2009), I wrote a post about how dominant Facebook was becoming. How more time is spent on Facebook than time spent with kids, with spouses, with God, even alone in meditation. That Facebook was beginning to re-define relationships and that this was not good. Why? In a nutshell, Facebook is not real, not transparent, it’s completely staged. How you display yourself, what you say, and what you do is filtered in every regard. What is truly real requires human experience so one can employ human characteristics way beyond AI such as emotion, instinct, detection of energies.
A few months later, I decided it was time for me to change my use of Facebook for a variety of reasons. Mostly, I wanted to only surround myself (in every medium) with people that I felt had good intentions towards me. I was also involved in a consulting engagement with a social media giant that required my changing my friend list to meet a fifteen point criteria. I went from 700+ friends to about 350. I notified everyone that it was not personal and that I would always be available to anyone who wanted to reconnect in any fashion. I even offered my email and phone. After the massive defriending, a few people emailed me directly and asked me why they were defriended. I explained everything to them in detail and actually improved my “real life relationship with them”. Since this period, I have added friends casually again since I have completed the consulting engagement and now Facebook has followed the Google+ approach of “lists” to better categorize friends.
This past weekend, I had an interaction with someone that I had defriended on Facebook during that defriending period. The man was angry with me and seemed to equate actions on Facebook with real life, even giving more equity to FB than real life. Without going into details, he basically told me others were equally put off by this and one even started a thread on Facebook about the matter. I was shocked that a) people took Facebook that seriously, and b) that rather than discuss this openly and directly, that they ironically used Facebook to broadcast their feelings and gain support.
The next day, I had a more pleasant exchange with this man and worked it out – we listened to one another and did not agree on all points but established mutual respect and a desire to put out good energy. I think we ultimately agreed we had a different definition of the word “friend”. I’m all too familiar with how social media has re-defined words. The point is that in 2 minutes, we resolved bad feelings, weird energy, and came to a human connection. Depending on technology or putting too much equity in technology often times can take away our ability to connect as human beings.
One of my life goals is to put out good energy and to surround myself with good energy. When negativity or negligence or abuse is around, I will be the first to try and address it by communicating towards resolution, and if I cannot compel a positive change, I will protect myself and distance myself. If Facebook or Google+ are ultimately the social media vehicles of artificial intelligence, then what we let in and how we interact with it will be paramount to our own health, happiness, and peace. I strongly advise everyone to employ their human intelligence to determine your true friends off and on-line and adjust lists accordingly. It matters more than you know.