Today will be my last day posting on Facebook and Instagram. As of 2pm, I canceled my Meta accounts on Facebook and Instagram.
I was an early adopter of computers, the Internet, the web and social media. I honestly thought these innovations would change the world (for the better). Rather, it enabled the replacement of one set of powerful corporations with another. The latest innovation, artificial intelligence (AI) will be the most disruptive technology of all. In the near future, nearly all of your interactions with the outside world will be influenced by AI. Maybe that’s ok, but the thing is: at what point are we relying too heavily on a technology that is being leveraged by those seeking power and profits, and who clearly don’t have our best interests at heart?
But it’s not hopeless. Far from it. After all, we’re humans, not robots, and we can choose. In particular, we can simplify and reduce our reliance on AI and computers. To that end, I’ve developed a small manifesto for myself.
- Interact with people, not machines
- Experience the real world, not a simulation
- Use a computer as a tool, not as an advisor
- Choose critical thinking over algorithmic biases
I recognize that it’s impossible to live completely without computers and AI; it’s infiltrated our daily lives, from driving a car, to your daily news, to filing your taxes, to going on a holiday. Heck, I use a digital camera and Photoshop, which is laced with AI, to create my art. But we can still decide how we live our life from day-to-day. For me, this is a first step.
This image below is part of a Sperry-Univac magnetic core memory plane circa 1967, photographed at the Ingenium Institute in Ottawa. Measuring 95x55 cm, it stored 8 kilobytes of computer data.