We’ve got music in the park, jazz fests with many different, excellent musicians, all of them super excited to be out playing again. Covid has forced most performers and entertainers into a two-dimensional digital world and lonely isolation for the past two years. ‘Musicians, maybe more than anybody else need each other to play. Zoom bands is not where it’s at. That’s why it’s fantastic to see live music once again,’ I said to Camp who was sporting sun glasses and a Hawaiian shirt for our Thursday meet at the seaside pub.
‘We are headed for a two-dimensional world as it is. Many administrative and office jobs will never return to in person work spaces and the advent of AI interactive Atavars like physicians, counselors or investment advisors will save you a trip to the clinic or the bank.’
‘I’m not sure if I like Artificial Intelligence Robots replacing humans. There is a lot of hype and speculation from self-driving cars to resurrecting dead actors like Peter Cushing, who died in 1994, to reappear in the 2016 Star War’s movie ‘Rouge One’.
‘It doesn’t matter if you like AI or not. It’s here to stay and we will see more and more of it and it will be harder to tell a real live human from an AI Atavar. I just watched a video of the Google created AI interact with Elon Musk. Pretty convincing stuff.’
‘But aren’t these AI characters designed to appeal to humans and only mimic human behavior, telling us exactly what we like to hear. I don’t believe they are able to produce their owns concepts and ideas or even their own opinions which is after all the essence of consciousness.’
‘Maybe not yet, but I predict that the future is going to be crowded with robots and Atavars and we won’t even know if we’re interacting with a flesh and blood human or a digital creation.’
We both stopped and enjoyed the summery view from our perch above the beach. Nothing can replace the seagulls and seals, the trees and the snow-capped mountains on the other side of the tranquil waters of Howe Sound.
‘Just to change the subject Camp, I’ve read an Abacus Poll taken in May which has some startling data. 52% of Canadians don’t trust the government’s accounts of events and 44% believe that information from news media is false. Also, 37% believe in replacement theory, a racist view, often cited by white supremacists. Furthermore, 16% of Canadians think the US election was stolen from Trump, 18% believe that Princess Diana was killed by the Royal Family and 20% think that the World Economic Forum, held annually in Davos, is trying to control the world. All in all, not very different from the conservative radical views our neighbours in the south are spouting.’
‘This would explain the surprising amount of support for the 6th January insurrection on the US capitol and the odious trucker occupation in Ottawa this winter. Both events were fuelled by misinformation, conspiracy theories and distrust’, as one journalist wrote.
‘You mean to say that millions of Canadians hold views that are not much different than the radical right-wing republicans in the US? These are indeed troubling findings. Extremism and radical, kooky views are spreading like the virus, fuelled by ignorance and superficial, ludicrous and unsubstantiated theories and we as Canadians are obviously not immune to ignorance.’
‘Maybe a neutral, unemotional AI Atavar could help out with facts and scientific proofs to dispel these dangerous, misinformed views.’
‘How about replacing Boris Johnson with an AI?’
‘Mr. Brexit? He was the loudest amongst a bunch of petty squabbling politicians who disregarded the consequences of an ignorant decision made by an uninformed electorate. I think an Atavar could have done much better.’
‘As long as nobody replaces personal servers like Vicky,’ Camp said.
And just like she knew what we were thinking, Vicky appeared with two fresh brews.