I’m upset. I feel it in my body. Soma apparently means “body” in Latin, somatic is “of the body” so to have a response in your body is a somatic response. I’m having a somatic response.
I’ve been surprised at the emotional campaigns that have been waged against technology in the general, and artificial intelligence in the specific, as of late. But I am starting to feel the emotional weight of the collective fear and emotion in my own body. Futureshock is here and the fear mongers are here to tell you and I that we should be afraid.
The o-ed was written by David Evan Harris who is a chancellor’s public scholar at UC Berkeley. He used to work a Meta on ethical AI. Now this not the opinion of IEEE which is calls itself “the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.”
You’d think that sort of mission would be a little more on board with new technologies. But maybe David is just an extreme voice. Op-Ed’s are meant to represent a variety of opinions after all.
But how should I feel about the benefits of technology when it’s presented to me like this? They used a skull to really get across the visceral fear. No friendly face to make a concession to our silly human anthropomorphic desires. Let’s scare the stupid hairless apes.
I have an inherent skepticism when someone wants to sell me on the dangers of regular people having access to something new and potentially transformative. Why must we always default to the precautionary principle? Why is fear always our default?
I don’t want to let this sort of thing get to me. But I can see the narrative campaign being waged against artificial intelligence and the sheer volume and tenor of coverage leads me to believe that everyone is aware of its potential.
Claiming artificial intelligence is only for the knowledgeable few chosen by committee of expert sounds so sensible. But I think my body knows better. I should be upset by this.