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Luiss Guido Carli

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Luiss Open: Éric Sadin believes the new digital world of AI will force us to remain human

An extract from the French philosopher's new book for Luiss University Press


Characterizing artificial intelligence, beyond the confused discourses that surround it and the never-ending litany of claims that it is destroying the job market, beyond still the oft-praised progress in medicine or the near-complete optimization of business operations, is the extension of a systematization, a science of classification and relations, that is destined to be applied to all areas of human life.

Every automated statement of the truth is thus destined to produce an event that triggers an action, primarily for commercial or utilitarian purpose, proceeding to a sort of artificial and uninterrupted stimulation of reality. Take for example a mirror connected to the web: its purpose is not to merely reflect the image of an individual, but to also collect data about his face and body to suggest products or services that are deemed appropriate according to an advanced analysis, and, more or less reliable, to collect data on the person’s health and even psychological wellbeing.

The overpowering presence of the digital world in our lives thus changes human behavior and is destined to offer, moment by moment, the models of existence for individuals and the collective that are deemed to be the best to apply. And all of this will go unperceived, fluidly, in such a way that it will seem to be a new natural order. This is why technoliberalism has made aletheia technologies their workhorse. In them, they see the fruition of their hegemonic ambitions, thanks to the rise of an “invisible automated hand”, in a world governed by reaction and feedback, a data-driven society, where every manifestation of reality is subjected to a series of operations in order to move in the right direction, time and time again, following precisely defined criteria. In other words, a project that continually aims to avoid any form of inertia and at pursuing profit in everything, crafted in the minds of mathematicians, engineers and researchers – the fathers of cybernetics – in order to fight against entropy, the supreme evil, and put in act, after a half century, not merely to correct forms of disorder, but also to gain advantage from the robotized interpretation of any circumstance.

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