Friday, July 6, 2018

A.I. and us

intelligence, artificial? absent?

what profiteth a species
to have the answer to a billion questions,
readily available,
but not the means to know how to ask the right questions?
and the desire to do so?

accumulating knowledge does not coalesce wisdom
from out of the mountains of facts,
we people can still be ignorant, and stupid,
if we pick and choose what to notice and what to ignore,
gigabytes within Wikipedia do us no good unless we access them,

we are fascinated by artificial intelligence,
the way our tools will not just implement directions,
but be able to make decisions themselves,
to be able, amidst a cascade of possibilities,
to see a better path, and choose it,
I wonder how much A.I. intrigues us
because we know, deep down, 
how little we use our own intelligence to make our decisions,
and instead rely on the prime directive from our emotions,
our limbic system in charge, not just in advisory capacity,

I teach middle school,
and every year I watch the empowerment of the mind 
come into its power,
while the hormones course
and Mr. Hyde supplants Dr. Jekyll,

as a species, we need to use our mind 
even to make sense of our emotions,
so that can listen to the advice of the heart
to help steer us in service to the greater good,
the heart without the mind is just as fallible
as the mind without the heart,

somehow we need to program ourselves,
to build upon the surety of our awareness of self
so that the prison that can be the ego can find the open air,
where the best that is possible
shows itself to us as a shining light
that can lead us to the hill where the light will not be hid.

by Henry H. Walker
July 1, ‘18

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