Just a Tool?

Day 90 Week 13 Q1  Friday, March 31, 2023

Tools are great, and the latest tool, ChatBot AI, is one of the greatest that has shown up in a long time. But let’s not get too carried away. Tools do not take away people’s jobs; other people using these tools take away people’s jobs. Don’t blame the machine or device. A knife can save a life in the hands of a surgeon or take a life in the hands of a killer.  Nuclear energy can fuel the planet or destroy the planet. The people who wield tools get the blame and the credit. We are a tool-making species. It is part of our superpower to adapt dynamically and even force the world to adapt to us for better or worse.

The real issue is responsibility. You can not outlaw innovation. Humans are natural adaptor innovators; without this capability, we would have fallen prey to larger, more capable predators long ago; in short, we can not exist without our ability to create tools. We would all be extinct. So please let us not blame the tools or the toolmakers for going awry. It is just the way things are. It is neither bad nor good. We are involuntary innovators seeking to survive by adapting, which includes creating new tools. We would fail if we tried to return to being knuckle-dragging cavemen. It is not in our nature to unthink thoughts that have already been thought.

We have been dealing with tools and tool-making for millennia and successfully when we are responsible and pay attention to what these tools do, which is nothing! We are using these tools and must pay attention to what we are doing. Tools do not do anything by themselves. Oh, sure, people are saying this time. It is different; the machines will take over. I say nonsense. If some people abuse other people using the tools at their disposal, it is the people who will be to blame,

If the current world mantra seems to be “what’s in it for me?” Then surely we will have problems. If we instead say what’s in it for us and not only our friends but all of us.  Then we can have different outcomes. But if humanity is too insecure to act in ways where we care for each other, not just ourselves, and if we do not stop worshiping and deifying celebrities, then we know what will happen, for it is already happening.

I will embrace these new AI tools strongly as I believe they will help me get things done. I am not trying to figure out how to use them to manipulate others, take their jobs away or dominate the world. And just as with the other tools, I need to use discretion about their use. And even if these tools can become assistants, and I am already beginning to think of them this way, I will use the same discretion as when hiring a consultant, plumber, or anyone.  

I will take reasonability for my tool use, and we all have to. If you go to a doctor or any other expert and they give you advice that does not seem reasonable to you, reject it. Do not complain that our AI assistants are stupid, misleading and dangerous. Some consultants are too. Some politicians are. Some CEOs are. We each have to take responsibility for what we set in motion, who we hire or elect, or what tools we use.

Most CEOs, politicians, consultants, neighbors, tools and laws are pretty good, and our job is to ensure they are used appropriately. We have invented systems to evaluate and correct and need to use them. They are tools as well. 

The real issue is it comes down to taking reasonability and not blaming progress because of our fear and insecurity. But if I were you, I would not ignore this current new tool, perhaps the greatest ever invented. Explore, understand, and take advantage of them to improve your life. 

It is certain that if you do not, others will, and they will pass you by. This particular tool is far too powerful to ignore or pretend it is not there. It is here. It is here right now, and it is being adopted more rapidly than any other tool in memory. Remember, twenty years ago, we did not have or think we needed smartphones. Things are accelerating so much that this tool will become ubiquitous in much less time, so pay attention to what is happening and do not just trust what you read or what people tell you. 

Try it yourself and come to your own conclusions. It sure beats the alternative of huddling in the cave of your ignorance, waiting for bad things to happen. Most people who read what I have to say are not the fearful ones trying to go backward in time, but maybe you know some or are even related to some.

Spread the word, a new age is upon us, and like all new ages, tools and insights, it has tremendous potential for how people use it, both good and for bad. The more aware people are, the better things will be, so spread the word.