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The Rise Of A.I., And The [Possible] Extinction Of Mankind

If you’ve ever thought about having someone do your work for you, then ask yourself: is it worth the consequences? I ask this question because the rise of Artificial Intelligence has been a hot topic for quite some time, but is the success of A.I. worth the possible risk of mankind’s existence? This should be a valid concern when we think about how A.I. will impact our lives and determine how much we’ll still be able to contribute to society.

First, the process of erasing human life from existence has already started in terms of people losing their jobs to A.I. For those wondering when A.I. will start replacing human jobs, the answer is it already has”. Freelance Reporter Elizabeth Napolitano explained in a CBS News source. “A.I. contributed to nearly 4,000 job losses last month, according to data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, as interest in the rapidly evolving technology's ability to perform advanced organizational tasks and lighten workloads has intensified”.

This should be concerning because this could potentially put the livelihoods of workers in jeopardy. It’s happened already with the SAG-AFTRA strike when A.I. threatened to take away jobs from creative artists alike. “It’s not so much about what A.I. is going to do, but what companies are going to use A.I. to justify” Managing Director of AI Now Institute Sarah Myers West explained in TIME Magazine. “They could use A.I. to create a first draft and then bring in someone else to do a second draft. And that devalues their work by not having them do that whole process”.

As a creative writer, blogger, and journalist, I don’t want to live in fear of one day losing my job. It’s already enough to compete with other people who likely have more years of experience and credible credentials, the last thing I need is to compete with a robot that’s supposed to be programmed to be better at my job than me. Secondly, we need to be concerned about the possibility of A.I. replacing human relationships.

Because of the advancement of A.I., people are most likely to turn to digital companions to satisfy their relationship needs. Going back to the year 2020 when the world experienced COVID-19, there’s been an increased demand for connection due to isolation. This has encouraged A.I. devices such as ChatGPT to exist so that people can have human-computer relationships and become professional rivals for business organizations such as Microsoft and Google. However, this success could come with long-term consequences.

“Florida International University psychology professor Dr. Sorah Dubitsky worries that Gen Z will be negatively impacted by the A.I. influence on love and sex because that age group, which includes 11 to 26-year-olds, has grown up tied to digital instruments”. Digital Broadcasting Major Nicole Ardila stated in a Caplin News source. One example would be the A.I. mental health chatbots that were designed to help people with psychological issues such as extreme loneliness due to the pandemic.

Another example would be other chatbots that are designed to replicate human behavior and emotion. This would help consumers become more emotionally attached to and romantically attracted to them. This has its duplicity, of being a blessing and a curse. “If people are feeling anger, grief, anxiety, despair, depression, sadness, and the bot is helping to heal that, on one hand, that’s good” Sorah explained. “On the other hand, though, does it make it so that you don’t need other people? And that’s a problem”.

Sorah also explained how the advancement of A.I. can have a negative effect on mental health, due to the increasing isolation as people substitute human relationships with virtual ones. Finally, Sorah expressed her fear that interpersonal relationships and human connections will cease to exist due to people becoming more dependent on A.I. digital devices. “Dubitsky specializes in researching sex, love, and spirituality”. Nicole explained “She worries that with fewer people wanting to get married and the advancement of A.I. and digital devices like a long-distance kissing device for couples, humans will lose connection and interpersonal relationships”.

This is a major concern for me as well, and this is the issue that makes me most concerned about A.I. It’s the threat of human relationships being at risk of no longer existing due to the advancement of A.I. Imagine replacing your childhood best friend, with a computer-generated robot. Imagine replacing your childhood sweetheart, with an A.I. digital device. Imagine replacing years of history and memories you’ve made with people; with a plastic device you’ve had for a few minutes.

Having technology around may be helpful and useful, but they’re not the definition of life. Technology may have been a big help for us during COVID-19 in terms of staying connected with people, staying connected with work, and staying connected with school. However, it’s still just a plastic device. It may be designed to help us get things done in our lives, but they’re not designed to take over our lives. Our lives are meant to be controlled by us, and we’re supposed to always remember that real life happens off the internet, it doesn’t happen because of the internet.

Therefore, A.I. may have its place in helping the advancement of professional work, but it doesn’t get to take our place by stealing our jobs and stealing us from each other. As I’ve mentioned previously, robots don’t have emotion, they can’t convey strong emotion, they don’t have passion, they’re never motivated, they don’t have a drive for anything. They just consist of metals, bolts, wires, and other elements of machinery. So, the thought of replacing a blood flowing human being for a giant metal toy should be considered outrageous to everyone.

We’re talking about the value of human life, and how it should be viewed as something that’s priceless, precious, valuable, meaningful, and irreplaceable. Human life matters, we should never allow ourselves to forget something so important and special.

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