Roger McNamee is a mentor to many prominent modern tech figures such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. He recently shared some interesting points on the future of tech and what it means to be human at the tail-end of one of James Altucher's latest podcasts.
Roger explains that there are presently three primary "money-making" uses from artificial intelligence and machine learning:
- Replacing some tasks performed previously by white-collar workers
- Influencing people what to think via filter bubbles (think social media in general)
- Influencing people what to buy via extremely targeted advertising based on vast amounts of collected data
What struck me as incredibly interesting was what followed - namely, Roger's identification of three qualities that make humans different from one another (among many, of course):
- What we do for work
- The beliefs we hold
- Our interests or passions
There is a compelling case here that advances in AI and ML risk obfuscating what it means to be human. Don't get me wrong - I am passionate about tech and have no doubt that if used correctly benefits society and humanity as a whole. But Roger's points struck a nerve with me. I think it's crucial that we consider the implications that exponential advances in technology could bring on humanity.
If you found this interesting I would highly recommend giving the episode a listen. Additionally, the video game Detroit: Become Human explores this theme albeit in a rather extreme scenario. Nonetheless a very interesting concept and if you are a gamer, I would recommend checking it out.