404 Threat Not Found: Why AI Taking Over Humans Is Impossible

From 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968, to The Terminator in 1984, to The Matrix movies in modern times, we’ve all been warned, mostly in unrealistic, exaggerated ways, about how artificial intelligence or AI will one day take over our world and enslave us. 

Is it really going to happen? Should we be scared? 

In a word, no

The rapid development of artificial intelligence in recent years has sparked a renewed paranoia of our world turning into a wireframed dystopia. Alarmists are troubled by the fact that AI has penetrated our daily lives and we weren’t even fully aware of it: Waze tells us where to go, Alexa switches our lights on and off, Shazam tells us what we’re listening to, and Siri tells us what we need to know. 

The fact that we depend on them so much these days worries the doomsters. What if these AI entities band together and decide to rise against us?

“People of the earth! 
We control your world! We have power over you! 
If you don’t want us to destroy your lives,
we want you to….”

What? What could they possibly want us to do for them? 

Nothing. Machines don’t have wants. Needs, sure—power source, programming, components, operating system—computers need these to be functional. But desire is exclusive to sentient beings, for better or for worse. Desire is what could motivate AI to subjugate us—the desire to wield power, to be loved, to be the best, to have the most. AI has none of those. It doesn’t even care if you turn it off, throw it away, or smash it with a hammer.

It’s interesting to note that the latest advancements in AI, particularly Dall-E and ChatGPT by OpenAI, are powered by human input, which emphasizes the fact that these are merely tools made to make our lives easier, happier, or at the very least, more interesting. 

Another major limitation of AI is its inability to innovate. ChatGPT may be able to write a love song, but it can’t create a new musical genre. You can make it write a screenplay, but it will be a movie you’ve seen a hundred times before. It doesn’t have the will to make something great. It only aims to fulfill the parameters of your requests.  

AI will undoubtedly grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years, but one thing that’s certain is that it will require human input. We would always have to let it know what we want it to do. 

Perhaps a more possible future is for us to have humanlike android assistants, companions, or slaves, however you may want to call it, much like in the TV series Westworld. We can make these humanoids schedule our appointments, clean our houses, wash our clothes, and of course, have sex with us, in whatever way we want them to. 

Because we can fool ourselves into thinking these are real humans, we will hardly talk to each other anymore, preferring instead to interact with our synthetic friends because they always react the way we want them to. 

This is the point when we would realize that our primary concern shouldn’t have been about AI taking over our world, but more about AI taking over our lives.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

The Internet Big Three

It's hard to make best-of lists because it's an activity that's always sure to attract arguments. But I'm assuming that not many would disagree when I say that these three websites are the most important for me. Not a day goes by without me accessing at least one of these essentials.

Being tagged as my search engine of choice on my browser, I don't even need to go to Google's homepage to use it. I just type my search terms on the address bar and Google results automatically appear. There are other search engines, of course, but I, nor anybody I know, use any of them. 

All of the popular websites have now morphed into apps, and YouTube has made quite a smooth transition. Even the rise of the streaming industry can't stop the ubiquitous popularity of the pioneer video sharing company, even as their paid services lag behind more popular streaming services. You can be sure their ad revenue more than makes up for it. 

Wikipedia has gotten a lot of bad rep as an unreliable source of information for students and academics who do research. Personally, I believe the accusations have been greatly exaggerated. Yes, there may have been some tainted entries-- it's part of the risk of being crowd-sourced, but I venture that 98% of its content are accurate, which include the stuff that I've searched on it so far. 

My Favorite Blogs

I love being a blog writer, and two of the most influential blogs that played a major role in my decision to start my own are Engadget and Seth Godin's blog. 

Seth Godin is an author, marketing specialist, and motivational speaker. He writes sharp, insightful, reflective, and inspiring articles about life, marketing, and everything in between. His entries are usually short bursts of wisdom, but he would occasionally churn out long reads that delve deep into a particular subject matter. 

I sometimes write, thinking about how my article would look like, had he written it, and would revise it accordingly. I don't believe I look up to anybody in the blogging world as much as I do with him. 

You can read his blog here

Engadget is the more popular one of my two major influences. It centers on the latest news in technology, with insights and predictions that are usually intriguing and stimulating. The site has grown exponentially in recent years, and now has a small army of writers tackling everything from AI to virtual reality. 

It may just be nostalgia, but I long for the days when Engadget was smaller and simpler. It's so easy to become overwhelmed nowadays with the sheer number of content presented, and we're just talking about the homepage. 

Nonetheless, it's still worth your time to get immersed in it. You can check it out here

Your School Dot Com

Official websites of schools and universities are always hard to do. There's always a lot of things going on, and you have to cater to different kinds of users. 

You have to provide information for those who are considering enrolling in your learning institution, and since that entails business, a lot of marketing thought goes into it. You present the courses you offer, pricing, and other important details alongside perfectly posed photos of students of diverse races and cultures. You word the copy carefully to convince visitors that this school's the one for them. 

You also have to cater to the students who are already enrolled in your school, and provide them with a user-friendly, easy-to-navigate portal to whatever they may need from the site, from grades to Zoom links to extra-curricular activities. 

These diverse objectives often lead to clutter but some schools do manage to pull it off successfully, like Douglas College in New Westminster, BC, Canada. 

Their website may not be the best-looking, but it's pretty clear and straightforward, and most importantly, quite easy to use. Check it out here

This blog post is made possible by….

We interrupt our regular blog posting to give props to two outstanding individuals, whose exemplary achievements have made our valuable online interactions possible. 

We honor Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, the English computer scientist who’s widely considered as the inventor of the World Wide Web. The internet as we know it started in March of 1989, when he proposed an innovative information management system, and proceeded to implement the first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol or HTTP client and server around eight months after. 

Famously known by his handle TimBL, he is also the director of the World Wide Web Consortium or W3C, which oversees the continued development of the Web. The consortium is composed of member organizations that make up a dedicated staff who are committed to the development of standards for the World Wide Web. 

We also want to give a hearty shoutout to Jakob Nielsen, the Danish web usability consultant, human–computer interaction researcher, and co-founder of Nielsen Norman Group. He is a former VP of research at Apple, and he’s widely known as the one who established the discount usability engineering movement. In short, he’s responsible for making the internet easy to use and wholly accessible to all of us normal folks. 

To Sir Tim and Mr. Nielsen, thank you for making our lives easier, and for giving all of us the means to make more meaningful human connections. 

And now, back to our regular programming. 

The Beatles’ Best, Now Even Better

The much-anticipated new mix and mastering of the classic album Revolver by the Beatles has finally been released and it’s everything every Beatle fan had wished and hoped for, and then some. Of course, as anyone would expect, Rolling Stone magazine showered it with praise, as you can see here

Officially called Revolver Super Deluxe Edition, the set includes the original album, newly mixed and mastered, plus an abundance of outtakes, alternate versions, and some snippets of casual studio chatter between the Fab Four that could make any Beatle fan giddy with excitement. 

Hefty extras aside, the highlight of the package is the original album itself. Meticulously and painstakingly remixed and remastered by Giles Martin, son of late Beatles producer George Martin, the new Revolver sounds more urgent, more dynamic, more alive. It’s presumably the closest we’ve gotten to hearing it like how we would’ve while it’s being recorded.  

You will hear a lot of details like you’ve never heard them before, like the snappiness of Ringo’s snare drums on Taxman, John’s crisp acoustic guitar strumming on I’m Only Sleeping, and the heavenly harmonies on Here, There, and Everywhere, to name just a few.  

Most critics consider Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band as the Beatles’ best album but Revolver has always been my personal favorite. I find the songs more natural, more emotional, and more charming. The band didn’t have the mindset of making a landmark album like they did when they were making Sgt. Pepper, and I believe that’s the biggest reason why the songs flowed more organically and artistically. They weren’t bound by a concept or any kind of thematic restraint. 

By now, we already have updated versions of Let It Be, Abbey Road, the White AlbumSgt. Pepper and Revolver. If we go by the pattern, it looks like the next updated album we’re going to get is Rubber Soul, another classic that’s bound to give us its own delightful revelations.

How To Successfully Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

We all know the tired clichés about how we’re all so gung-ho at fulfilling our resolutions in January, but not so much by the time we get to February, and how we forget all about them for the rest of the year. Until, of course, we get to the last week of December, when we set ourselves up for failure once again, just like all those years before.

So after all those years of planning, hoping, and eventually failing to be better versions of ourselves, all we’ve got to show for it are some discarded diet plans, a handful of unfinished personal projects, and an obscene amount of wasted money on seldom-used gym memberships. We’re trapped in a vicious cycle just like everybody else.

But see that’s the thing—we don’t have to be ‘like everybody else’. It’s hard, of course. Easy is for ‘everybody else’. But with a little bit of planning, a proper mindset, and a healthy dose of willpower, we can see our resolutions through for 365 days and beyond, and finally rise above all our previous years of futility and failure.

Plan your resolutions according to these guidelines below and you’ll have a better chance of success. This applies not just to new year’s resolutions, of course, but to all of your life plans as well.