As a technologist who studied technology both in my undergrad and post-grad, I do appreciate it in general especially AI because AI is a great tool that can make our life easier as humans. It can build great experiences and enhance a lot of aspects of our life. However, humans in general fail to look at things in the long term and we’re driven by survival needs and instant gratification. We have proven that throughout all the ages with climate change, wars, corruption, social media addiction etc. which are all man-made.
So, for AI and tech in general most of the world are excited about digitizing everything, shifting to remote work, infusing AI in many places in our lives etc. failing to see the long-term consequences of all that. Any tool can be misused and in the case of tech/ AI in general, since it’s part of everything in our life nowadays, it’s becoming harder for us to know if we’re misusing it or not.
Although we can have both Emotional Intelligence (EQ), good human connection, and wellbeing exists together with tech but let me explain to you what I mean by the title of this article and why in my opinion EQ in our current world is more important than AI, and more important than technology advancement in general.
Let’s leave things like privacy, data, social divide, and mental health problems that arise from tech on the side, and let’s talk a bit about one of the most important functions of humans which is; self-awareness and self-reflection. It’s the first and main category of EQ and one of the main things that separate humans from animals. With technology, it’s generally making us less self-aware by making us spend less time thinking, less time contemplating, less time reflecting, and less time questioning ourselves and the world. How?
As Nietzsche said “Whoever does not have two-thirds of his day for himself, is a slave, whatever he may be: a statesman, a businessman, an official, or a scholar.” So for example, consuming digital media, scrolling social media news feeds, using digital devices for everything, listening to digital music while we’re cooking or in nature etc. Thinking that you’re actually multitasking or being productive, in fact you’re actually not. You’re just distracting yourself from thinking about yourself and the world, not connecting properly with the physical world, and not reflecting etc. That’s why a walk in nature sometimes inspires us because it makes us connect with nature which doesn’t have the distractions that tech and social media and the other multiple tools/ apps we all use every day are having on us.
I actually want tech to stay and I want us to develop better AI but as long as we are not overusing or misusing it. Currently, in my opinion, we’re moving too fast and we’re running faster than humanity as Einstein once said “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” One way to look at this, if you compare the number of developers, software engineers, and other tech people to doctors, psychologists, mental health professionals, philosophers, and teachers you will see that tech people surpassed them all.
In my opinion, we should have as many psychologists for example as software engineers until we solve many of the world’s problems that exist everywhere including 1st world countries that are very tech and AI driven like the UK where things like depression, divorce rates, and other mental health problems are very high. Until we fix things like the politics and Trump mentality in the US. Then after that, I think we have the right to emphasize and focus on tech advancement as much as we’re currently doing.
I made a video that talks about this you can check it out here:
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