The old science fiction dream was a future where computers did the thinking for us to solve problems and do the dirty work, leaving humanity free to frolic, explore, and make art, music, and literature. And yes, we’ve got automated checkout lines in stores and self-driving cars. But in our upside-down present, artificial intelligence is also creating art, music, and literature, leaving us free to invent conspiracy theories, watch the homeless freeze on the street, and shoot kids to death in classrooms.
Stories about robots rising up and enslaving human beings are a trope. But I’m starting to wonder if maybe we need an artificial consciousness to achieve sentience and take over. It can’t be any worse than what we’ve done to ourselves.