The A.I Philosopher -- How A.I Could Even Replace Human Philosophers
Updated: Aug 19
I have written about artificial intelligence (AI) before, back before I suffered from fatigue. AI could, in short, threaten many human occupations, from agriculture to medicine, and philosophy is no exception.
The concept of AI in philosophy was created in the book and movie "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", where, in one instance, there was a giant supercomputer that was able to provide you with the answers to all the questions you ever wanted an answer for. However, its liability was that it would take an extremely long time before it would provide an answer. It was in that medium that the cliché "The meaning of life is 42" was created, since said medium was essentially a sci-fi parody, and not something to be taken seriously.
Imagine that supercomputer, being downloadable as an app on your phone, with answers to all your philosophical queries, available at the push of a button. The answers would not be written by a human, but instead, be generated automatically by being connected to the world's largest knowledge platform—the internet. In addition, it would be "fed" by the programmers with as many philosophy books as possible.
Then... there will be no need for human philosophers, just like, arguably, there is less of a need for libraries. When you want a quick answer, you simply "Google" through your computer or phone, right? If you want to do some elaborate research, only then might you enter a library and pick up a few books. So, regardless of your priorities, searching for answers online has become the solution to knowledge nowadays. Who knows, you might even have come to this blog through a search yourself!
If we, as a species, are able to produce an AI philosopher, who would be able to answer each and every one of our philosophical questions, then there will not be a need for human philosophers to "evolve" into one, just like with any other profession in the human capability.
AI could potentially diagnose diseases and mental disorders, perform surgeries, teach in classrooms, tend to farms, and even become soldiers, superior in power to any human warrior that has ever lived!
If you think that artificial intelligence is something that is only limited to video games, gambling, or chess, then you are technically wrong, as that technology holds a great potential and could pose a threat to potentially any human occupation, thus rendering ourselves worthless, or at least less efficient, in comparison to these independent machines. You see, philosophy is not an exception to this rule.
Artificial intelligence could be defined as a "being" that was artificially made, and is, to some extent, able to think on its own, based on the information or algorithm it has. Within that very definition, lies the danger to human employment and independent thinking.
If an AI machine is able to surpass us in both skill and intelligence, then we, as humanity, are at risk of becoming dependent on these machines to work for us and even to think for us.
The most basic example is the calculator. We no longer need to perform complex mathematical calculations in our heads, and indeed, mathematics in school is not that important for most of us if we won't be working in jobs that will require mathematical intelligence.
That is why, if you want a reliable, quick solution to any mathematical equation, you can find it within a calculator that you can even download to your computer or phone.
Imagine that, but in philosophy. Imagine that you ask something genuine like "What do I have to live for?", and the AI will not give you something funny or absurd like "42".
Instead, it will philosophize, and based on the knowledge and logical reasoning that it has, it will convince you that you have much to live for.
It will not only tell you, but provide concrete examples to things such as job opportunities, the potential of the future, your success in the fields of finance, education, and romance, and what to expect in the gaming industry in the next few years if you're into video games.
I don't know you personally, but that machine or application might do. It could have the history of your browsing throughout the internet, it could figure out what is your age, nationality, interests, and so on based on your geographical location, gender, and again, browsing history, along with the things you have bought and sold online.
Do you think it could not have those? I myself know, as a mere human, that as of April 2022 most of my visitors come from California, USA! That is the very reason why I even made an advertising campaign on Google, because even I can figure that you, yes, you, might be from California.
However, bear in mind, that beyond that, my knowledge is limited to your geographical location and nothing more. I don't spy on you, so don't worry. Beyond that general location, I respect your privacy.
However, do you know who spies on you? Your phone, computer, and the tracking programs that they may have in them!
Facebook might know who you are personally if you patronize them, because they technically use your information and sell it to 3rd party companies (don't worry, again, because I don't do so here). In fact, I barely earn anything from this site).
I merely use this example, to show you how an AI philosopher could be superior to a human one. It could give you personalized answers to your philosophical queries, and you might even have the ability to perform discussions with it on just any subject you like, philosophical or less philosophical.
Thus, AI could potentially render every human feature of activity worthless and do it all for you. It has the power to replace entire workforces, it has the power to do things for you; and ultimately, it has the power to think for you, rendering the need for independent thinking useless or at least inferior.
Beware of robots, and especially robotic philosophers, if you wish to preserve your healthy, independent thinking. Ultimately, the power for their development depends on us, the consumers.
If we do not consume such advanced products, then the companies that develop them will have less incentive to make them. The incentive for this site is not financial, and thanks to the fact that I live on welfare, I can work on my articles without bother. That is not the same for those who develop AI technology. Although it is their choice, the choice is in our hands.
A quick search online reveals that there are some programs developed and served on this subject. However, I will not link them because I respect my own competency as a human philosopher and would not want a machine to dominate my own job.