AI Changes Everything
Whereas previous technological developments altered human behavior and appearances, the rapid rise of artificial intelligence will reshape individuals’ core social and political beliefs, including about the nature and role of the state. The use of autonomous weaponry in war is a case in point.
PRINCETON – The rapid march of artificial intelligence is not only disrupting conventional notions of work. It is also changing the essence of human identity. Whereas previous technological developments altered human behavior and appearances, AI will fundamentally reshape individuals’ core social and political beliefs, including about the nature and role of the state.
In the nineteenth-century Industrial Revolution, mechanical power – mostly fueled by burning carbon – replaced human and animal power as a source for energy to be used in the transformation of nature and the production of industrial and consumer goods. As the revolution matured in the twentieth century, hard physical labor was left to only a dwindling group of occupations.
For a glimpse of most pre-industrial work, look at roofers, who today are still exhausted and worn out by toiling in the elements in uncomfortable, distorting physical positions. They are preserving in the twenty-first century what was once a general experience. Early twentieth-century automobile workers bent over their tools, lifted heavy objects, and applied huge amounts of energy. Their early twenty-first-century counterparts look at monitors and track the robots who have taken over the heavy physical tasks. As the sweat economy has disappeared, working people have become weaker, but also healthier. Those who want to retain some physical strength now go to the gym.
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