Valerie Marquez
Don’t get me started… Or should I say, where do I start? We as humans have the IQ (Intelligence Quotient) to create fantasy and make it reality. That fantasy is here right now! I believe it has got out of control. One man’s theory is another man’s practice. It is said that if you can dream it, you can create it. In my humble opinion AI is the future but I fear not necessarily for the better.

Take the banks, for instance. I personally am not one who accepts change easily. I don’t like online banking but it seems I must move with the times or get left behind. I remember walking into the bank about 15 months ago and standing there aghast… There were no counter staff. I wondered if I’d stepped into a parallel universe, where there were only ATM machines. How was I going to pay my bill? I had the cash but…what should I do? There were two floor staff, one of whom helped me. However, since I didn’t have a current account at the said bank I would now have to pay online through my current account. I am not sure this is what you’d call moving with the times. I had the money; I should have been able to pay my bill. However, without AI, we wouldn’t be able to access our money out of hours, or online,  or use a bank all day. Cash will soon be a thing of the past as the banks are slowly disappearing off the high streets. I always knew where I was with money in my pocket and knew that when that last penny had gone, I would have to wait until pay day before I was flush again. I couldn’t spend what I didn’t have, but today we tap or swipe and go, not knowing if there’s enough money in our accounts until we’re put to shame at the checkout when our card is declined. Almost everything we do nowadays is done online. It seems the elderly and disabled people are not being factored into the changes. Trend-setters need to consider that people are living longer and are set in their ways. They will be left behind; the trouble is today’s government doesn’t care. Most elderly people would prefer the human touch, a kind word, or just a smile. In some cases it’s the only time they get to leave their homes for a specific reason once a week. This especially applies to those people who live on their own and are lonely. It would appear old people are a curse on society. AI in this instant isn’t geared up for everybody. It’s the way I feel, as a disabled person myself; we don’t count. If we don’t have the facilities or the know-how to go online, then it can’t work for us. Further, all we crave is a little company and chance to speak to another person.

Children of the future won’t ever know what it is to have money in their pockets or understand what change they should receive when spending cash. They are taught from an early age that all they need is a card to get what they want, whether it be in shops or online: tap, swipe, and go. Films like ‘Enemy of the State,’ that came onto our screens in 1998, is a brilliant film with a lot of food for thought. It opened my eyes to all sorts of fantasies that are now realities. Bugs, spyware, tracking devices, our mobile phones are efficient trackers. How easy it is to be tracked and found! 007 movies had most of these already,  but that film along with ‘I Robot’ brought it into perspective. AI was already in place. I hadn’t realized just how far it had come or how easily we as humans are manipulated. Big Brother is watching us. I believe that soon every child will be chipped at birth and Big Brother will know that child’s every move. They won’t need money; everything will be done by the chip under their skin. I don’t believe that’s a life worth living; there is no freedom in any way, shape or form. Computers control our lives, right now. We rely on them for almost everything: appointments, our medical history, banking, coding, aviation, to mention but a few. What will happen should they break down? Those children in nursery right now are the ones that’ll feel it the most…they won’t know any better or be able to write or sign their names because pen and paper will soon be a thing of the past. AI is the present. Who’s to say whether a fingerprint will be your signature of the future? Future lives will be that of the Chinese may years ago, when families were only allowed one child each as there will be no future for them. I assume that families who want more children will have to purchase a robot to be that child’s friend/companion. The electronic devices are dumbing us and our children down. We now have ChatGPT that will write essays and theses for us, and PowerPoint to make presentations.

Artificial Intelligence spews out predictable texts, and allegedly correct spelling mistakes. Some Applications won’t know whether a word is spelt correctly, or what the correct spelling should look like. AI agents have apps for just about everything. Maybe I should have used ChatGPT; it probably would have made a better job of this piece than I have. AI is great in aesthetics, surgery, and many more areas within the NHS. What the naked eye can’t see AI is more than likely to pick-up. It is  excellent when correctly deployed in medical technology. AI is taking over our jobs, putting people out of work. Look at the advances of AI in shopping; it has  taken away jobs from humans, just like the banks. Soon enough they’ll be no point in training for jobs in banking or some parts of retail.

It is said that by 2050 AI will be smarter than every human. Art will soon be a thing of the past as AI can and will produce pieces that replicate or improve on anything that Rembrandt, Picasso, Monet, and any of the other great Artists have created. My 11-year-old grandson took part in a class debate ‘Robot (AI) verses human teaching.’ He stated that he believes the AI teacher in some areas would know more than a human and although it would be nice to experience the difference he would most certainly opt for a human teacher,  because a robot doesn’t have any empathy. It is not programmed to show emotion and some children that need that little extra help will get overlooked. Maybe we shouldn’t view IQ and AI as opposing forces and recognise them as merging forces, for one complements the other.  It’ll boil down to what came first…the chicken or the egg. Humans can offload boring and repetitive jobs to AI, leaving them to focus on higher level problem-solving. The joining of forces between IQ and AI could revolutionise transportation, scientific research, banking, and healthcare. I doubt we could live without AI now; it just seems to have accelerated, and here we are. Technology is both a blessing and a curse.

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