by Lawrence J. J. Leonard
A long time ago in the dinosaur age of the 1960s, there was a group of enlightened musicians living in a then functional country named “Greece.” Before the recession of 2006 through 2009, or the adoption of the Euro Dollar, a debt crisis wrecked Greece’s economy.
This upheaval at home spurred four young Greeks to foretell the future.
Vangelis Papathanassiou, Demis Roussos, Loukas Sideras, and Silver Koulouris formed the critically acclaimed band, Aphrodite’s Child.
While Europe did not accept their progressive jazz-rock fusion, America was listening to their ballads with a “humanity is under siege” theme.
Remember playing solitaire with 52 playing cards?
Aphrodite’s Child’s songs provoked listeners to visualize in order to thrive. The band’s most critically acclaimed album, “The Apocalypse of John – 666,” was counter-cultural for the 1970s. It used a circus theme to deliver the terrifying message that humans were being forced from the top of the Food Chain by a ‘beast.”
By the 1970s their warnings were lost among the white noise of free love, drug experimentation, and the unused channels on the VHF TV dial. The novelty of broadcast television was a gateway AI of sorts. It has been mesmerizing society since the Germans invented it in 1936.
We are further down the pervasive Tech path than some people would have us believe. Who today carries a slide rule or a calculator? How many flip-phones are in use today? By that same token, who talks to their cells or “home assistants” and these machines understand our commands then talk back?
We as a global society have evolved into a world of cybernetic organisms. Who then holds the keys to Human enlightenment? Answer: Ironically, those people and companies who invest in and develop new commercial technologies which include Artificial Intelligence.
Change has its limits
There are hundreds and more likely thousands of former techies who are weary of the upward slope of Tech development and want something meaningful to do with their lives. They have decided to become tech independent. Farming. Fishing. Wildlife preservation. Teaching children in underdeveloped countries. Clean water delivery system construction. Vaccine delivery to remote areas of the world. Some things are functioning well thanks to the sun and moon calendars. Tech will lead you to a school of fish, but it cannot bait your hook or make the fish swallow the bait.
Some things have peaked tech wise. All scientists will admit that the petri dish has not changed since the 1880s. And we continue to study bacteria and viruses in a lab. No one has improved on the clock or the wheel.
For Vangelis, he took his own advice after the group disbanded and stretched his musical talents. He enjoyed a stellar songwriting career to include motion picture soundtracks for “Chariots of Fire,” “1492: Conquest of Paradise,” “Blade Runner” and Oliver Stone’s “Alexander.” We are challenged today to delay our personal creativity in order to spend time programming our AI and Smart devices to integrate our daily activities into the “Internet of Things”.
When have you planned a day without electronics and read a book just out of curiosity?
Humans make the rules and Humans break the rules.
There will always be things that major investment firms and AI developers want to manipulate: our opinions, purchasing habits, our favorite brand of something, product prices, and what we do on religious holidays. And there are things that can never be controlled? Human ideals and our dreams.
Which is the smartest path to take? A or B?
A. We must invest Human time and talent in the development of AI and Tech to realize a new co-existence between Humans and the AI and Tech we developed.
This is how we commit to a virtual future: (click the link) https://public.tableau.com/profile/mckinsey.analytics#!/vizhome/InternationalAutomation/WhereMachinesCanReplaceHumans
Or, quite literally:
B. We must design AI and Tech to develop Human care and support programs for a safer and cleaner global human society.
This is how we commit to a Human-centered future where we think and calculate and dream and plan and preserve the Earth we live in: (click the link) http://www.agweek.com/news/nation/3982979-usda-works-attract-millennials-farming
Happy choosing in 2018!
Copyright © 1960-2018 Lawrence J. J. Leonard All rights reserved.