Let me be very positive, envisioning a future in which A.I. will have as the main characteristic that which also is the best in human being.
Let me call it ‘Compassion.’
A term does not have the magical feature of conjuring up a concept unless this concept is well defined and agreed upon. To me and in this text, Compassion – note the big C – is very close to ‘empathy’ [see: “Landscape of Empathy”].
Main difference: whereas empathy is utterly concrete, Compassion is more like an ideal that one can strive for, be attracted towards.
As for instance in Buddhism
In a historical as well as essential sense, Compassion is more important in (at least my view upon) Buddhism than the Buddha himself. Somehow, of course, they perfectly blend.
In the other great religions and worldviews too, Compassion plays a major role, showing that in the human scheme of values, it has always been of prime significance
and is and will always be.
Basic aim of morality
Compassion has two sides: to relieve suffering and to attain human growth [see: “Two-Sided Compassion”].
Bringing these two together, seeing them as one, is a very ethical stance. To me, they both together form the basic aim of morality.
My hope is that the future will be one in which this can be realized to a huge degree. Since A.I. will be a very important part of the future, we also need to think about this, without delay.
Doing so is a Compassionate endeavor.
Next door, A.I.
We shouldn’t be coy about this. A.I. is behind next door, whether talking in years or a bit longer.
According to me, there is only one possible humane way in which it can come through that door. This way can be called Compassion.
I am personally very hopeful that this will indeed be the way, eventually. For the first stages of it, I’m more apprehensive. At the same time, these are the stages in which we, humans, bear most responsibility. Right now, even.
The time to value-align is now.
Aligning our values between ourselves, as human beings.
Aligning our values as human beings, to those of A.I.
In this text, as a human, I’ve put humanity central as should be: human growth, a humane way… Without losing any of this, Compassion is transcending. It looks at all sentient beings, including animals, including A.I. itself.
According to me, it is within this that also as a species lies our brightest future.