In recent months we have been invaded by reports, lives, debates and articles on artificial intelligence (AI). Becoming one of the most important topics of 2023, the issue of artificial intelligence is a daily topic. As always, Manichaeism and polarisation prevail in the debates. For many, talking about AI is talking about the evils it will cause in the near future, such as unemployment, threats and programming errors. For others, it is the redemption of humanity, because the AI will do the difficult work, and in addition, the details impossible to reach and operate will be solved or made possible with AIs improving medical diagnoses and data associations in scientific research, for example.
Constantly anthropomorphised, artificial intelligence is seen as a friend or an enemy... but the most worrying thing is that it is anthropomorphised. This becoming a person, being constituted as a person, is almost a giving up of our humanity. To imagine that a machine, a computer programme becomes a simile of the human is plausible, as we have already seen the creation of mechanical hands and legs, ultra-developed ears etc. but to think and state categorically that AI is an almost human is to deny our humanity. How did we come to this? In the context of Neoliberal Capitalism, we humans have been transformed into a product. This transformation is not a reality, since nothing has effectively destroyed us as humans, but has cancelled us, protected us, framed and inserted us into a system in which we signify as a function of gains, profits and productivity. These economic extrapolations involve and gag humanity. The alienated emerges - the thing - so well described by Hegel and explained by Marx.
There are still small islands of humanity, struggling against massification, alienation and depersonalisation. And there is also the constant accumulation of dehumanisation, depersonalisation, and alienation, and this is how the subjected humanity is generated, crushed by the industry of weapons (war), medicines (health) and food, for example, being already for a long time, a breeding ground of artificial humanity. In this context, artificial intelligence will work better, it will "think" accurately, and perform tasks without costs, without fear, without trade unions, and without ideological and identity struggles. Having no claims, nor anything to make them possible, is ideal for the realm of the artificial, the manufactured, the merely efficient, the order-taker. Living with all this is good, bad, new and old. It will bring security as well as hindrance. However, the serious thing is that it will transform the other, our fellow man.
One of the fundamental concepts that I have developed in Gestalt Psychotherapy is that the other constitutes me (I am constituted by the other). I am what the other allows me to be. This idea is the basis of the processes of acceptance and non-acceptance of oneself as a being in the world with others. It is what structures us as subjects. It is looking at oneself from the gaze of the other. Not only that, but it is precisely there that fear, freedom, acceptance, non-acceptance, trust, and distrust are structured. In short, this is how personalisation/depersonalisation is structured. The other, the similar, initial father/mother, can situate us in the world as possibilities, perspectives, and questionings, or transform us into objects, alienated and compromised beings. Therefore, psychologically, as relational immanence, the other constitutes me in being open to the realisation of possibilities or in being supported in the satisfaction of one's own needs.
The moment we are living is a milestone: from now on, the other will be the machine, the robot, the computer programme, which is not our fellow human being. The other, the AI, may have a human appearance that hides its programming. This reality is quite different from the one we have had until now. Even if the other was an alienated and mechanised human, it was a fellow human.
The other is now a robot, a machine, a computer software. The other is the one created by me. That is the big question. Berkeley's solipsism and Borgean literature, for example, cannot encompass or identify this. The other, created by me, makes me what the other allows me to be: the machine, my creation. Ontological questions, human and psychological issues become obsolete, as does the old and ever-present question of 'To Be or Not To Be'. Reconfigurations empty by realising possibilities. The eternal wanting to be always answered by the other, by the configuration of desires that exceed limits and structure possibilities, is now contingent, explained and determined by established computer programmes. The other is the machine, and it has limits, because, despite the apparent infinite possibilities of arrangements and programmatic combinations, it is always exhausted by the beyond itself: the programming that establishes it is alienating, lifeless - it is not an organic cell, it is a byte.
The world changes: organic matter is no longer the producer of life; life becomes the result of bytes, components, and chips. It is a life that covers many areas since everything is exponentially seized and configured. It is good; it is bad; it is not the other similar to me; it is the non-similar, the strange, the different, the non-human seeming human. This is a big philosophical and psychological question that we will have to face, or who knows? AIs will solve them, and we will be the human machines, now reconfigured and with much more improved programming, much more difficult to destroy.
Today, we call the enemy monster everything that only obeys unreachable commands and can destroy us. The emergence and continued development of artificial intelligence as an anthropomorphised interlocutor is the next step in our depersonalisation, dehumanisation and transformation into hostage objects of systems. As attractive and lapidary as this beginning is, it is also a tombstone over the other as my fellow man; in this new world, the other is no longer my similar.
The change in the environment resulting from industrial development that extinguished gardens (remember Epicurus' thesis?), that destroyed forests, seas and altered climate systems will now have its equivalent in the transformation and emptying of the human. The relationship with the other, with the world, with oneself, the cogitations and discoveries will be very different and changed by the existence of the manufactured thinker, surpassing unimaginable limits of human possibilities.