Let’s not be ridiculous

Steven Welzer
1 min readApr 26, 2023

It’s on the verge of going too far now, this silliness about AI becoming a superior life form.

Maybe it can be partly attributed to the significant fact that we have, indeed, lost our bearings when it comes to thinking about who we are. We’ve become so alienated from nature that we can feel more related to our machines than to the rest of the community of life. Nonetheless . . . let’s not be ridiculous.

The world of life is special. What’s going on is not just some quantitatively additional chemical-electrical complexity. There’s some kind of special life force. It animates. A rock doesn’t have it, a machine doesn’t have it, an algorithm doesn’t have it.

We see that we can build intelligence into a machine or a program. It’s an impressive characteristic, but it’s a mechanical, one-dimensional kind of intelligence. The world of life has an enormous rainbow of characteristics.

We can understand what the algorithm is doing. It may be extensive and complex, but we can understand the phenomenon, including the self-teaching when it gets that advanced.

We have no idea what the animating life-force is. We can experience it, feel it, sense it, wonder about it. We can speculate about it and make up stories. But it’s beyond our ken. I think it’s best to accept that and … Let The Mystery Be and … not have an inflated regard for our machinery creations.

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Steven Welzer

The editor of Green Horizon Magazine, Steve has been a movement activist for many years (he was an original co-editor of DSA’s “Ecosocialist Review”).