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Why Do People Resist AI – A Journey Through History’s Misjudged Innovations

Why Do People Resist AI – A Journey Through History’s Misjudged Innovations

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Do you ever wonder Why Do People Resist AI – or do you resist it yourself? To address this question, I wrote the following epic text. It sure is a long one to read, but at least I enjoyed it whilst writing it in cooperation with GPT-4.

Why Do People Resist AI – A Journey Through History’s Misjudged Innovations

It has been quite interesting to notice how, once again, even bright minds have begun to resist AI. To be honest, this is nothing new, as, throughout history, humans have been preparing for the worst in a world that has been dangerous for us. The basic reason for this is that we are somewhat easy to kill when you think about it; slowly maturing hairless apes and not too strong or fast – but are fast to adopt and can use tools like no other creature on Earth. 

We resist because we want to make sure our babies prevail.

Also, historically observed, we are also addicted to reproducing (as basically, everything sex-related is nature’s cocaine) and have evolved to be good at it (and yes, I know, there are always individuals who do not work the way most do – but in short, desire to pass down genes is the thing why you can read and I can write this).

Most of us are also good at cooperation even with members of the neighboring tribes (as long as they don’t try to steal the resources, which basically all are somehow sex related), which are governed by strict hierarchies. This innate sense of caution and resource protectionism has served us well, allowing us to survive and thrive in a world where death lurks behind anything unpredictable. 

Don’t be “Kodak”

However, for the past 100 years or so, this deeply ingrained fear of the new is more often hindering progress and stifling innovation, as demonstrated in the following, be warned, epic article. Also, it’s important to remember that change is always a threat to the old power structures and businesses. Ask Kodak [1] or Blockbuster [2], for example.

“Despite the recognition and innovations achieved by this company, Kodak is often used as an example to describe the moment when a company fails to grasp and understand the importance of a strategic change, with disastrous consequences. Over the past 15 years or so, Kodak’s story has become a terrifying tale for executives who underestimate the digital revolution and the impact of new technologies.”

[1] Skaleet.com

“In 2000, Reed Hastings, the founder of a fledgling company called Netflix, flew to Dallas to propose a partnership to Blockbuster CEO John Antioco and his team. The idea was that Netflix would run Blockbuster’s brand online and Antioco’s firm would promote Netflix in its stores. Hastings got laughed out of the room. We all know what happened next. Blockbuster went bankrupt in 2010 and Netflix is now a $28 billion dollar company, about ten times what Blockbuster was worth. Today, Hastings is widely hailed as a genius and Antioco is considered a fool.”

[2] Forbes.com

In this article, I present a selection of disruptive innovations – roughly proceeding from the earliest to the latest – initially met with suspicion, resistance, or even ridicule. While this list is not comprehensive, it highlights a recurring pattern in human history: our reluctance to embrace the unknown, followed by eventual acceptance and appreciation of the revolutionary potential of these game-changing inventions. As I demonstrate the recurring pattern (with the help of my friend Artificial Intelligence), I hope to help my fellow humans overcome our instinctive fears, adapt to change, and continue pushing the boundaries of human progress. At the end of the article, I also reveal why I see progress with the help of AI as exciting, essential, and a must.

The Art of Writing: Fearing the Loss of Memory

Image generated with Midjourney.

Socrates once warned against adopting writing, as expressed in Plato’s Phaedrus, fearing it would lead to forgetfulness and a decline in critical thinking. Despite these concerns, I find it silly to write here that, indeed, as bright as Socrates was, he was utterly wrong, and writing has become a fundamental tool for communication, learning, and preserving human history, enabling us to share ideas across generations and cultures:

“This discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.”

Phadreus, by Plato

The Dawn of Print: Gutenberg’s Press

In the mid-15th century, Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press faced resistance from, for example, scribes who believed it would lead to the loss of their jobs and degrade the quality of books. Also, some were worried that printing books “would lead to information overload.”

However, needless to write here, the invention of printing revolutionized information dissemination, allowing for the mass production of books and the spread of knowledge.

Image generated with Midjourney.

Vaccines: From Doubt to Disease Prevention

When vaccines were introduced, they faced opposition due to concerns, for example, about their safety and effectiveness. Today, vaccines have saved countless lives by preventing the spread of deadly diseases, contributing to overall public health and well-being. However, as ridiculous as it is, some are still skeptical about vaccines; some people never change…

Photography: From Dismissed Art to Capturing Reality

Image generated with Midjourney.

Early photography was met with resistance, as it was not considered a legitimate art form. Today, photography has become an essential means of communication, self-expression, and documentation, capturing moments and preserving memories.

Source: https://daily.jstor.org/when-photography-was-not-art/

The Advent of Automobiles: From Horseless Carriages to Modern Marvels

In the early days of automobiles, they were seen as noisy, dangerous, and inferior to horse-drawn carriages. Fast-forward to today, cars are a vital part of modern transportation, with continuous advancements in technology making them safer and more efficient.

The Telephone: Connecting the World, One Ring at a Time

When Alexander Graham Bell introduced the telephone, people were skeptical about its practicality and thought face-to-face conversations were irreplaceable. Nowadays, the telephone and its modern successors have become indispensable communication tools in our daily lives.

The Radio: From Static Noise to a Broadcasting Revolution

Radio technology was considered a passing fad with limited usefulness when it first emerged. However, it quickly became an essential entertainment, news, and communication medium, laying the groundwork for many subsequent innovations.

Cinema: The Birth of a New Art Form

The advent of cinema initially faced skepticism, as many believed it was a passing fad with no artistic merit. Over time, cinema has evolved into a powerful medium for storytelling, self-expression, and cultural impact, becoming an essential part of our entertainment landscape.

The Television: From Doubt to Dominance, The Evolution of TV’s Reputation

Image generated with Midjourney.

As television emerged as a preferred media in the 1940s and ’50s, many were concerned about its potential impact on society. In America, for example, critics worried that television’s mass appeal would lead to the spread of Communism, with some fearing that the entertainment industry was actively promoting this political ideology. Others viewed television as anti-intellectual and believed that reading should be prioritized instead. This sentiment persists even today, with some individuals proudly claiming they do not own television to avoid its perceived mind-numbing effects.

Despite early skepticism, television has become one of human history’s most culturally significant innovations to this date.

Computers: From Impractical Machines to Everyday Essentials

Early computers were seen as overly complex and impractical for everyday use. However, the rapid development of computer technology has made them essential tools for various aspects of our lives, from communication and entertainment to scientific research and business operations.

The Internet: From a Geek’s Playground to a Global Phenomenon

The internet was once seen as an obscure, complicated technology with little relevance to everyday life. Today, it has become a global force, shaping how we live, work, and communicate.

A brief history of the future: the origins of the Internet (Naughton, John J., 2000)

Email: A Technological Threat to Our IQ or Just Another Misunderstood Innovation?

Once upon a time, email faced its fair share of skepticism and fear. Surprisingly, this apprehension wasn’t a relic of the early 1990s but rather a sentiment expressed in a 2005 CNN article. The article claimed that email could harm one’s IQ “more than pot.”

Social Media: The Double-Edged Sword of Connectivity and Influence

When social media platforms first emerged, many dismissed them as frivolous time-wasters without real-world impact. I also saw this up close. It turned out to be a significant misjudgment for many (including online shopping, which was not seen as “serious business” for quite a long time, at least here in Finland. Until finally, Covid-19 was what converted even the latest of laggards).

Despite the dismission, social media has become a powerful tool for communication, activism, and even toppling governments over time. It has provided businesses and individuals a platform to connect, share ideas, and build relationships.

However, as our understanding of the potential impact of social media grows, we also realize that there may be some dangers associated with its extensive use. It’s important to note that while the innovation itself is not inherently harmful, it becomes a double-edged sword when people struggle to use it in moderation. Let’s face it; it’s not the innovation itself that poses a threat but rather our ability (or inability) to use it healthily and responsibly as individuals.

The Touchscreen Revolution: Swiping Away Skepticism

Touchscreens were once dismissed by some industry giants, like Nokia, who believed they would never gain widespread popularity.

Today, touchscreens are found in many devices, from smartphones to cars, and have redefined how we interact with technology.

Image generated with Midjourney.

Artificial Intelligence: From Fear to Revolutionizing Industries

In the early stages of AI development, many people were (and are) concerned about its potential impacts on employment, cybersecurity, and ethical issues. However, even narrow AI (such as ranking algorithms, fraud detection AIs, and medical diagnostic AIs) has brought numerous benefits.

Search Engine Ranking Algorithms

One of the early and impactful applications of narrow AI was in the development of search engine ranking algorithms. These algorithms analyze and index billions of web pages to determine their relevance to a user’s search query. By continuously refining the search results, AI-powered ranking algorithms have made it easier for users to find relevant information quickly and efficiently.

Fraud Detection Systems

Financial institutions have leveraged narrow AI to develop fraud detection systems that analyze vast amounts of transaction data in real time. These AI-driven systems can accurately identify unusual patterns and potentially fraudulent transactions. By detecting and preventing fraud more effectively, businesses (and people) can save significant amounts of money, protect their reputations, and maintain customer trust.

Medical Diagnostic AI

In the healthcare sector, narrow AI has been applied to develop diagnostic tools capable of analyzing medical images, such as X-rays and MRIs, of identifying potential health issues. These AI-driven diagnostic systems can recognize patterns indicative of diseases or abnormalities with remarkable precision, often matching or surpassing human experts’ performance.

In short, AI has helped us understand the world, crunch data, and solve complex problems that would be impossible to tackle without its computational force long before the storm generated by ChatGPT.

Generative AI: The Next Key for Unlocking the Utopian Future?

Generative LLM AI models, like GPT-3 and GPT-4, have demonstrated a remarkable ability to generate coherent, contextually relevant text based on given prompts. This capability has the potential to revolutionize industries such as marketing, journalism, and customer support by automating content creation and providing personalized responses to user queries. By streamlining these processes, businesses can save time, reduce costs, and allocate human resources to more strategic and creative tasks.

Although it is good to talk about the risks generative AIs possess openly, I believe these novel AIs are quite likely the next key to unlocking a utopian future. But only if we are willing to redesign the system, just like it has been redesigned in the previous industrial revolutions. I just hope we can be more civilized this time. Let’s be less apes and more sentient beings.

Beyond GPT: Other Disruptive Generative AI Models

Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, for example, are examples of cutting-edge generative AI models that can create highly realistic images. Another example is, for example, AIVA, an AI model that can generate original music compositions across various genres and styles. I personally have been using AIVA since 2019 for inspiration. It’s not perfect, but it can be fun to play with.

For example, these models – especially if combined with GPT – can potentially revolutionize the advertising, entertainment, journalism, customer service, sales, and product design industries. For instance, they can generate high-quality visuals for marketing campaigns, write and illustrate articles, provide personalized learning experiences, or create unique concept art for movies and video games.

These models can potentially disrupt creative industries by enhancing the creative process and enabling the rapid production of high-quality content. Quite soon, by using natural language voice controls.

Research and Innovation

Generative AI models can also play a significant role in accelerating research and development across various domains. By analyzing vast amounts of data and generating hypotheses, AI-driven tools can assist researchers in identifying new patterns, trends, and potential breakthroughs. This accelerated innovation could lead to groundbreaking discoveries in fields such as medicine, materials science, climate research, and also in cross-discipline research – as it’s easier than ever to combine knowledge surpassing academic silos, ultimately benefiting society and science.

While addressing the potential risks and ethical concerns surrounding generative AI is crucial, it is equally important to recognize its transformative potential. To summarize: AI offers enormous potential to drive innovation and efficiency across various industries.

Conclusion

Throughout history, innovations have faced skepticism and resistance, only to become indispensable parts of our lives. As we look to the future, it’s crucial to keep an open mind, embrace change, and recognize the potential of new technologies to shape our world in unimaginable ways.

I believe that the journey to explore the depths of the Universe has just begun – with the help of AI.

Ps. to read more, my AI-related articles (mainly in Finnish, just translate them with AI if necessary) are found here.

Appendix, innovation invention time and inventor(s)

InnovationInvention Date and Inventor(s)
Writing3500 B.C. by the Sumerians
Gutenberg’s Printing PressMid-15th century by Johannes Gutenberg
VaccinesEdward Jenner (smallpox vaccine, 1796); Louis Pasteur (rabies vaccine, 1885)
PhotographyEarly 19th century by Nicéphore Niépce, Louis Daguerre, and Henry Fox Talbot
AutomobilesLate 19th century by Karl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler, and Wilhelm Maybach
Telephone1876 by Alexander Graham Bell
RadioLate 19th century by Guglielmo Marconi, Nikola Tesla, and others
CinemaLate 19th century by Auguste and Louis Lumière, Thomas Edison, and others
TelevisionThe 1920s by John Logie Baird, Philo Farnsworth, and Vladimir Zworykin
ComputersThe 1930s-1940s by Konrad Zuse, Alan Turing, John Atanasoff, Clifford Berry, and others
Internet1960s by J.C.R. Licklider, Leonard Kleinrock, and others; 1980s-1990s popularized by Tim Berners-Lee
Email1971 by Ray Tomlinson
Social MediaIn the early 2000s, Multiple platforms and creators
Touchscreen Technology1965 by E.A. Johnson; commercialization in 1980s by several companies
Artificial IntelligenceIn the 1950s by, Alan Turing, John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky, and others
Generative AI Models (GPT)For example, GPT-3 (2020) and GPT-4 (2021) by OpenAI (founded in 2015 by Sam Altman, Ilya Sutskever, Greg Brockman, Wojciech Zaremba, Elon Musk, John Schulman, Andrej Karpathy)
Other Generative AI ModelsMidjourney (image generation), first public beta in 2022 by David Holz (Midjourney), Stable Diffusion (image generation), initial release in 2022 Emad Mostaque (Stability AI), MuseNet (music generation), 2019 by OpenAI
Co-generated with GPT-4.

#tekoäly #ai #artificialintelligence #machinelearning #generatiivinentekoäly #koneäly #koneoppiminen

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