Before we get too caught up in having artificial intelligence take over our lives, we might want to consider getting the most out of the intelligence we already have first. It would be like the leader of a country going to the leader of another country for guidance instead of seeking the guidance of the people with whom he shares his country. While it could be a great advance to use artificial intelligence and automation in order to build a more resilient and sustainable society and use our sciences to recalibrate our machines as necessary, it is even more necessary to fully realize the kind of society we want to create with the highest quality of life for as many as possible.
If robots should replace anything it is the way that humans act like robots. Doing robotic work is not the highest function of homo sapiens. We need to have enough intelligence about human behavior to create a society in which people are empowered to do work that resonates with them from wherever they are and not work that isn’t supportive of their purpose, ideologies, or worldview.
Through the number of currencies we have, in cash, coin, and complementary currencies, we are capable of producing the right formula of digital transactions to direct our economic flow any way that supports individuals participating in the transactions and the rest of the world that made the transaction possible. We can, when we are inspired to, create wonderful movements of fundraising to empower artists, to provide scholarships for education, to have a necessary surgery, home, or automotive repair, or to help a passing friend to leave a legacy. Through platforms like Kickstarter, Patreon, and GoFundMe, we have banded together to create art, provide comfort, and help other people in a variety of ways. We are capable of using our technologies of artificial intelligence, digital currencies, and agile automation to develop whatever projects we can imagine and maintain the moderate flow of necessities, but we must give up the convenience of superfluous consumption and the activities of unnecessarily exhausting resources on projects and activities that do not support the society of resilience, sustainability, and quality of life we are creating.
In thinking of Universal Basic Income, it could very well be an incredible boon to our true economy to give every citizen 1,000$ a month to stay home and do nothing. If they are working at a job they find to be drudgery, or one that creates excessive amounts of waste and pollution, or one they feel doesn’t supports the world in a positive way or deserving of their energy and attention. Perhaps people should be able to stay home and not be forced to create garbage, pollution, and traffic and participate in robotic behavior. Perhaps it would be better for people to stay home, find out what they are really passionate about and interested in, and then go out into the world to find ways in which they can serve that provides then with fulfillment and meets a true need in the community rather than a manufactured want. If people want to go out into the world to create garbage, pollution, and traffic, then they can market themselves, their products, and their services in order to crate more revenue for themselves and a more vibrant community. But we needn’t force people to go do work that doesn’t truly need to be done.
Although we’ve been trained to think that we need more jobs by the hierarchical system of financial development currently seeking to replace those jobs with artificial intelligence and automation, if we’re merely producing garbage, pollution, and traffic in order to expand the wealth of the wealthy, perhaps those jobs aren’t as valuable as we’ve been led to believe. Based upon the amount of trash that is in our surrounding oceans, and the barge loads that China is sending back to us, our conspicuous generation of garbage proves that we do not need to be making as much as we already are. We don’t need more jobs to turn more of our time, talent, and natural resources into quick bucks that can be absorbed by the elite, we need more empowerment of purpose, the ability to use our own human intelligences, and the freedom to create the world we want to live in instead of the one that is being created for us without the use of higher intelligence.
Before we invest too much energy in what we are capable of doing, perhaps we should consider what we really want to do. Although artificial intelligence has the capacity to completely alter the way our society operates, at the tail end of the Information Revolution, it would do us well to use our own intelligence to usher in a new revolution of wisdom.