Tuesday, September 12, 2023

#255 / Liology


According to the "Liology Institute," liology is "the practice of experiencing life in an integrated, embodied and connected manner." That approach to understanding what our life is really all about is the theme of a recent essay by Jeremy Lent. "Liology" is also the name of Jeremy Lent's newsletter. You can sign up for free. 

I have mentioned Lent previously, most specifically by commenting on his book, The Patterning Instinct. My earlier blog posting is titled, "WEIRD." 
I am still advocating that the residents of my home town try to "Keep Santa Cruz Weird," which at one time was the proud slogan by which many in the local community navigated. I regret to say that those who prize what has made Santa Cruz exceptional may be losing the battle, as wealth inequality insinuates itself ever more deeply into this local community, and as those with average and below average incomes are ever more rapidly displaced. The new high-rise apartment towers that are the community's response to our housing problems are not helping. In fact, they are making the problem worse.

That, however, is a topic for another time. I began writing today's blog posting because of Jeremy Lent's recent newsletter about artificial intelligence. If you click right here, you should be directed to the newsletter that prompted today's blog posting. If you click this link, you will be able to read the essay that Lent advertised in the newsletter. The article is titled, "To Counter AI Risk, We Must Develop an Integrated Intelligence." I recommend that you click both links, and do the readings!
Here is Lent's own invitation to read his essay on artificial intelligence:

Many critiques have already been written about the dangerously disruptive potential of advanced AI on a world fraying at the seams: the risk of deep fakes and automated bots polarizing society even further; personalized AI assistants exploiting people for profit and exacerbating the epidemic of social isolation; and greater centralization of power to a few mega-corporations, to name but a few of the primary issues.

But even beyond these serious concerns, prominent AI experts are warning that an advanced artificial general intelligence is likely to represent a grave threat, not just to human civilization, but to the very existence of humanity and the continuation of life on Earth.

In my piece, I argue that to counter that existential risk, and potentially redirect our civilization’s trajectory away from its burgeoning metacrisis, we need a more integrated understanding of the nature of human intelligence and the fundamental requirements for human flourishing.

Lent takes seriously the thought that artificial intelligence is, in fact, a threat to the continuing existence of the human race. He bases this concern on what he calls an "alignment problem," which is defined by the fact that the expectations and desires of "artificial intelligence" may not properly "align" with the expectations and desires of human beings. 

According to Lent, the "alignment problem," with respect to artificial intelligence, is that artificial intelligence is based upon, and aligned with, a false understanding of who we, as human beings, really are. The machine intelligence that powers AI systems is totally "analytical" (and, of course, humans do have a lot of "analytical intelligence'). Real human intelligence, though, says Lent, is "integrative," not "analytical." We are intimately woven together with the entire Creation, and "integrative" intelligence," like "Liology," assists us in navigating the actual world, not the fictive world of our own analysis.

As I say, I recommend that you read Lent's newsletter and essay. And.... for local residents in Santa Cruz, California, I recommend that we continue our efforts to "Keep Santa Cruz Weird."

Image Credits:
(1) - http://www.liology.org/what-is-liology.html
(2) - Gary A. Patton personal photo

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