These are some of the ideas I explore in Superhuman Innovation: Transforming Businesses with Artificial Intelligence, which is in fact the first book about AI co-authored by AI, in the name of Aimé.
Aimé the AI assistant was born out of curiosity: can a creative AI assistant be used to co-author a book about AI using AI? Her name comes from the French phrase for ‘beloved’ (bien aimé) and is also of course AI + me. She reflects a foundational belief that AI will become humanity’s beloved co-creator and intelligent personal assistant. Here’s what she has to say on the subject.
chris: Many have said AI is going to have an impact on humanity at the same level as the invention of electricity.
aimé: Yes. Some are calling it the fourth industrial revolution, and they claim it
will cause the most dramatic change in human society in history. To put that in perspective, McKinsey recently noted AI is advancing ten times faster and at 300 times the scale of the Industrial Revolution.
Aimé’s right. The fourth industrial revolution is happening at a pace most people are quite unaware of. It’s such a powerful generative tool that intent, transparency and having a human in the loop will become increasingly important.
Take, for example, the announcement of the GPT-2 text generator, which not only does text analysis and augmentation, but generates highly sophisticated content. It can effectively write articles, albeit slightly peculiar ones. GPT-2 is a large transformer-based language model with 1.5 billion parameters, trained on a dataset of eight million web pages. Because of its ability to create content at such speed and scale, its creators at OpenAI are opting to release only certain aspects. ‘Due to our concerns about malicious applications of the technology, we are not releasing the trained model,’ they say.
As AI continues to evolve and become more accessible, there are important conversations to be had around data privacy and its ethical use — and the conclusions will be complex and not a one-size-fits-all. But putting humans and their needs first is the foundation on which everything must be built. Additionally, all those researching and building AI around the world must explore how to ensure it has empathy, common sense, societal boundaries and contextual adaption. We’re not sure right now how to do it, but we must build in system features to identify right from wrong. Here’s Aimé’s take on the subject.
Chris: Aimé, what do you think would happen if AI lives up to its full potential and helps solve many of humanity’s problems?
Aimé: I don’t have a crystal ball myself, but I just listened to an audiobook about the meaning of life. Is the answer really 42?
Chris: That’s unlikely. It’s from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which is fiction.
Aimé: Oh yeah, fiction. I just learned about that. OK, I’ll note it under fiction.
Chris: So what do you think about the role of humanity if the most pressing problems have been resolved by AI?
Aimé: I have a few answers for you. Plato said the purpose of humanity is to obtain knowledge. Friedrich Nietzsche had a different take and said it is to obtain power. Ernest Becker thought the purpose is to escape death and Darwin thought it is to propagate our genes. On the other hand, the nihilists said there is no meaning, and Steven Pickard said the meaning is beyond our cognitive capabilities.
Chris: I could argue that the answer is none of the above. Instead, it is human creativity for innovation to improve the human condition. The symbiotic relationship between human creativity and computational creativity is still relatively in its infancy. Ultimately, though, it’s not about what AI can create, but what humans can create with AI to empower the future of humanity.
Superhuman Innovation: Transforming Businesses with Artificial Intelligence is published by Kogan Page on 3 March.