The article Technology Makes us More Human by Reid Hoffman discusses the different perspectives on the potential impact of ChatGPT, an AI system that can hold human-like conversations. Some people see it as a tool for revolutionizing various industries and creating opportunities for personal fulfillment, while others fear it will lead to job displacement and dehumanization. Hoffman, who sits on the board of OpenAI and co-founded LinkedIn, sees ChatGPT and other technological innovations as a way to improve human progress and empower individuals. He argues that technology is what makes us human and that the values and aspirations we build into technology shape its outcomes. While acknowledging the potential for negative outcomes, he calls for a techno-humanist perspective that seeks to use technology for broad human benefit and envisions a future of human flourishing.
I enjoyed reading through Hoffman’s perspective, especially when he mentions,
“What defines humanity is not just our unusual level of intelligence, but also how we capitalize on that intelligence by developing technologies that amplify and complement our mental, physical, and social capacities. If we merely lived up to our scientific classification—Homo sapiens—and just sat around thinking all day, we’d be much different creatures than we actually are. A more accurate name for us is Homo techne: humans as toolmakers and tool users. The story of humanity is the story of technology. Technology is the thing that makes us us. Through the tools we create, we become neither less human nor superhuman, nor post-human. We become more human.”Reid Hoffman, (2023) https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2023/01/chatgpt-ai-technology-techo-humanism-reid-hoffman/672872/
Technology has played a crucial role in defining and shaping humanity as we know it today. From the discovery of fire and the invention of the wheel to the creation of modern computers and artificial intelligence, our development and use of technology have allowed us to expand our knowledge, enhance our capabilities, and improve our quality of life. Technology has become an inseparable part of our humanity because it has allowed us to overcome our limitations and reach greater heights, and as we continue to develop new technologies, we will continue to evolve and grow.
That being so, going back to the point I mentioned in my blog post last week. I am not too worried about AI being a threat to writers. While Chat GPT can make the writing process effortless, it shouldn’t be looked upon as a replacement for a writer’s voice and creative input. Instead, it should be looked upon as, for example, when writers experience writer’s block and are looking for that bridge to help connect and identify what ideas they want to come next. It should be used as a tool to help guide writers in the direction they want to go. I believe that the purpose of language is to convey reality and establish a relational connection with other people. AI may be able to generate text and pretty sentences, but it cannot engage in real communication because it is not interested in reality and lacks a mutual commitment to truth. AI-generated writing cannot replace human writing, because it does not have the interpersonal and personal element that makes it uniquely human.