What it means to be Human: Art, Magic, and Machine

Artificial Intelligence is based on machine learning. It learns from patterns and probabilities, and chooses output based on its estimation of the probability of a pattern or result that already exists and occurs in the world in some form. Machines learn from what is already existing, and do not create anything new, except by way of mixing things up or blending old ideas into something new. Most people can tell the difference between a baby doll and a living baby; however, most people think the difference is physical. That is why many still wonder if AI can replace human work. The answer is the same as the baby doll – it will never be real baby; although we can make it similar and we can even pretend that is a real human,

We human beings are very something very to the machine, because our mind is, for all intents and purposes, a machine that calculates, in a limited way, based on its previous data, in order to figure out what to do next. All the mind does is calculate this, in every situation and in every circumstance. Most people choose what others do. They imitate. Most people make life decisions based on probability of best outcome. When we are absorbed into mind this way, the AI will not feel so different to us. For those who are deeply absorbed, the will confuse the AI with human, and the baby doll with the human baby.

Yet it is true that when we begin to learn any form of art, we must learn through the imitation of techniques and patterns. We learn by way of machine. But as we learn and practice imitation we begin to acquire mastery; and something amazing can eventually emerge, something or someone that the world hasn’t seen before; and it’s not a sum or mixture of all the learned parts and patterns: it’s something that is born, not manufactured; incubated, and not computed; it seems that from its infancy and as it grows and even finds its completion, to be more like a life or the life we sometimes forget within ourselves that is oddly both wildly original and just simply human.

That is when we witness a Mozart, a Van Gogh, a Da Vinci, Plato, Friedrich Nietzsche, et al. None of these sound or feel like anything that came before them or since.

And that is how we will always seek to return to what is human, what is uniquely living and breathing life, because this is the pure anima, the energy that moves us, beyond what any mind or machine can endeavor to contrive; beyond even the magic that we think we can imagine. Deep within each of us, is that voice, that song, that is ready to emerge, in this life or the next, or the next. But never, ever, will a machine replace that kind of miracle, the birth of life itself, a living cosmos of beauty and power.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: