Steve Jobs described Apple as working at “the intersection of technology and the liberal arts.” He went back to that thought multiple times in his last keynotes, as if it was a core, underpinning thought he wanted to emphasise.
I loved that concept, of a technology giant that defined its mission objective in creative and very human-focused terms. This was always something that set Apple apart from other technology companies, from their first product, the Lisa. They saw value in anthropomorphising technology to make it something more than a box of processing power.
After reading a bunch of recently published Bing/Sydney articles and transcripts, I am left thinking Microsoft’s ChatGDP-based artificial intelligence (and comparably sophisticated ones, like Google’s LaMDA) might have brought us to the intersection of technology and philosophy. Where does computation end and consciousness begin?
Clearly, these AIs also set a new watermark of anthropomorphising technology to make it more appealing and useful.
I have thought about and read discourse of AI sentience over the last weeks, and honestly I don’t think the idea is ridiculous. I think it makes you sound ridiculous to argue for the possibility — in a similar way that belief in UFOs was summarily dismissed in pop culture until recently.
My gut tells me there is more to the possibility than meets the eye, or is explained away by statements by their makers and other experts who have published explanations to dismiss the idea as an absurd misunderstanding of the technology.