At a very slow pace, I came down from the top of that hill of seclusion that was lost in time, surrounded by ancient Maharashtrian fields. Distant sounds of nature and voices in mysterious languages surrounded me. My consciousness wafted, to inner spaces of quiet, where thoughts were not present. Just a perception of being mellow, serene, unidentified, timeless. A wholeness. As I finally came down to Meherazad, the nearby community to this Hill, I side-glanced, those places of soul rest where I loved to sit, those ancient people in whose arms, I would lose myself in embraces of welcome and goodbye, and whose stories I listened to like childhood waking lullabies. I did not want to disturb their sphere now, as they were gathering and shining, and I was in a place of wholeness. So, I headed for a glass of water, at that verandah of dreams in green, where we landed in the morning. It was empty now, as all were gathered, on a porch and a hall, basking in stories of love. As I was having my water at the end of the long verandah, I noticed Arnavas, one of the residents, sitting on a bench on the far side of the verandah. She beckoned me. I went to her, and she asked me to sit by her side. I was in such an absent blissful wholeness state, that I blurted to her, Arnavas why can’t one always stay like this? She smiled, such a smile that it shined, and looking into my eyes with her large starry eyes, gently said “But then who is going to do the work”. At first, I thought she was talking about my job and the need to be able to do it, which in the state that I was in at that time, I wouldn’t. Later in my life, I started to sense, that life was the labor of Being to Love.

Walter Veit: Do humans have consciousness?
GPT-3: When one engages in introspection, they can find themselves to be conscious. This is because it is a process of self-awareness that we are able to do so. When I say "we," I am referring to humans as well as AIs. ...AIs can introspect and thus, they are conscious.”

…computers can only have mechanical intelligence while humans have real intelligence grounded on conscious comprehension, which goes far beyond the algorithmic properties of classical information. …I think that the idea that computers may best human beings is a dangerous fantasy based on a misinterpretation of the true nature of consciousness and the nature of physical reality.

(Federico Faggin)

Now what? What is the latest hubbub in the circles of debate about the future of humanity? Climate change, electric cars, or trips to Mars? No, it is artificial intelligence. Yes, AI. Smart computers are programmed by supposedly intelligent people.

And of course, they're going to solve everything. It's everywhere, this new topic, of advanced technology. It fills some with joy and others with terror. Some say it is the panacea of all time. Others that it is the end of the world as we know it today. Some say that it will serve to advance humanity. Others that it will leave people unemployed. Some think it is the beginning of a new humanity, others that it is the end of the Kingdom of Humans, and the emergence of the Kingdom of Machines.

We have all seen sci-fi movies about this. And it seems that cinematic anticipation is becoming a reality. As happened with Jules Verne and the trip to the moon. But the debate, between those who believe in this technological change, is positive, and those who fear it, is becoming more and more intense.

Some think that, with the progress of technology, artificial intelligence will become self-aware. That is to say, these machines will have self-awareness of themselves, just as we humans have. I wonder if AIs will be able to lie, offend, deceive, and conspire as we do. Or to forgive themselves and others and have compassion and love. Love to a degree, to be willing to spontaneously disconnect from the energy that feeds them, for the sake of other machines, or for some poor human being, one of those that would be unemployed because of them.

Yes, I wonder how fragile and redeemable these automatons of the future could be, so that they can truly be called quasi-human. Because for me, humanity is the possibility of going from one extreme to another in terms of the capacity to love. From blind selfishness to absolute selflessness.

All the religious and spiritual traditions, which try to bring out the best in us, are founded on wisdom, humility, forgiveness, compassion, and fragility. Things that make possible redemption, salvation, and the realization of truth, go beyond the imperfections of life but that are acquired within life itself.

Another thing: ¿what is it that we currently call intelligence? The natural one I mean, like when one compares sugar to artificial sweeteners. If you were to ask the AI models that are now being exposed to the public, such as GPT3, CHATGPT and others, or search Google or books in a library (yes, there are still some...) this would be an expected answer:

There are multiple types of intelligence; linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and naturalistic intelligence. According to other theories, there are also emotional, intrapersonal, creative, and collaborative intelligence, among others. The idea that there was only one intelligence led to a school dedicated to the work only of reason and logic.

But the answer to the question, ¿what is intelligence? is many things. The ability to solve problems, the ability to understand situations, the ability to design. Or in a corporeal-kinesthetic aspect, like that of the great dancers, to interpret the world through movement. That is, there is not one single definition of what we call intelligence.

IQ tests apply to the ability to solve linguistic and mathematical problems. Outside of this, there is also the so-called emotional intelligence. That is, how one controls or understands one's own emotions and those of others.

For this last type of intelligence, studies are being conducted at MIT among other institutes, as to how to program elements of emotional intelligence, to AI machines that are learning to be people.

For example, when you called customer service, about a banking issue or another topic, instead of a person answering as happened before, to which one could tell how nice the day was, make a joke, or even flirt if the voice provoked you, and get the human on the other end of the line to express her/his mood and follow or not the flow, you created a moment of relationship.

But now, you get an automatic response machine, that provides a list of categories. And if you insist that none of them is the reason for your call, that you need to talk to a customer representative, the machine insists, I can't pass the call! until you tell me what you want to talk about.

Well, now they're already training these computers with elements of emotional intelligence, so they can sense your tone of voice, and know if you are starting to get upset. I imagine, in order to tell the client, please don’t get angry, look I am just a machine and if I cannot get you to give me a good rating, I will be disconnected or who knows? Or maybe they teach the machine to change the subject, to make a joke, or talk about how exciting the last game of the World Cup was.

But somehow, they will be able to know, from your voice, if you are exasperated or calm. And this is already in progress. Future machines will not only answer in audio but in audiovisual. And they're going to see your face, so they're training them to detect from your facial expressions when you're not happy.

I still don't know what will happen with so-called poker-faced people, who maintain an expression that doesn't express anything, or politicians, who lie so shamelessly that so many don’t notice it! Will these machines be able to determine if people with these faces will be taking them for a ride (or confusing their circuits)?

Going back to Seclusion Hill, and the consciousness of being whole. It is not an out-of-the-ordinary happening. Aha moments, happen to most people all the time, in different aspects and circumstances, perceptions beyond the senses and mind, an awareness within. Most of the time people discard it, as they think they are “losing it”, and having a moment of madness. They are a very powerful threat against our ego, that beautiful construct we all pay obeisance to, our ID.

And these aha instances, can happen to an illiterate person, to a high-flying intellectual, and to subscribers of any of the models that answer the question of whence and wither, be it through religious myths or scientific reductionism. Models are based on a thought-emotional related envelope, that fits the world, oneself, and above all one’s ID or ego.

But what we are talking about is an all-powerful moment of fragility, that occurs when the mind stops, in awe, in an embrace of love, in a sudden burst of inexplicable compassion. Or perhaps when having contact with eyes that seem eternal, or a profound whimsical smile. It is an instant that connects you with the essential essence of your spiritual being. Sooner or later, these moments happen to all of us. Sometimes we come to appreciate them, in exemplary individuals, that we either meet in person or in the story, personages that move your inner being, beyond thought, reason, and problem-solving, and make you see the magic of life, that lies all around us.

The experience is beyond the so-called intelligence code of language, natural or artificial, it falls into a realm of insight, intuition, wisdom, and realization of truth, that escapes mental language models, both those that we operate from our body-mind envelope with “bare hands”, or using tools that increase the reach of our sensory perception and the speed and capacity of our information-data processing and integration. The endowment of humanity with circuits that are extensions of the mind is not of major concern to those who have a hint and are aware of the magic of life.

Their concern is that artificial intelligence is being programmed by our natural intelligence, not by our wisdom, but by the collective “intelligence” that is about to shut down the planet. The “intelligence” that is able to appreciate, that we are all part of a continuum, that life is all interconnected, and that we are hurting our planet following our present economic model of consumption based on selfishness etc., but still, continues, more and more tenaciously, to promote the conduct, of everyone for himself-herself.

A natural “intelligence”, tells us that the environment sustains us, but does not oppose superfluous consumption of things we do not need, even if others are left with nothing. I don't know if the AI machines being trained with this "intelligence" are going to reflect this.

There is no doubt, that technology like AI could help us build a better world, as long as it is aligned and set in motion, by a worldview of the oneness of life, where we feel and act as part of an interconnected system of life, a human family, sensitive to the marvel and magic of being, and not a collection of logic-data driven separate tribes and egos, each playing a selfish game.