Technology of gods and Palaeolithic mind

Category: technology, neuroscience, psychology, mind, artificial intelligence, evolution

Technology of gods and Palaeolithic mind

Technology is advancing exponentially and its evolution seems to exceed the limits of human rationality. The asymmetry between technological progress and the progress of the human mind is evident. As a result, important consequences can be observed: our ability to adapt to technological changes, the capacity of technology to influence our decision-making, the integration of technological devices that optimise both our health and our habits, the new discoveries that are yet to come (and that will take us forward in giant steps), the consequences on mental health, the consequences of the explosion of AI, etc... 

These were some of the topics that The Cocktail put on the table last Thursday 26th January in the auditorium of La Matriz. The main objective of the meeting was to stimulate our capacity to analyse the current trends involved in areas such as technology and the knowledge of individuals, as well as their possible consequences on our future. As an organisation that provides technology solutions based on a deep understanding of the individual, we wanted to build a common point of view on a challenge as big as this one. 

The event had a round table format and was moderated by Álvaro Marín, Head of Behavioral Economics at The Cocktail, and starred three great specialists in technology and psychology: Dr. Manuel Martín-Loaches, expert in psychobiology and cognitive neuroscience, Juan Pedro Nuñez Partido, expert in Mental Functions and Artificial Intelligence, and Juan Lupión, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at The Cocktail and expert in Artificial Intelligence and artificial neural networks.

"We are anachronistically judges of decisions that others will make" (Juan Pedro Nuñez, expert in Mental Functions and Artificial Intelligence).

During the event, a myriad of avenues emerged that we clearly need to talk about, question and debate. 

The three main ideas that helped to intellectually challenge both the audience and the speakers were as follows:

1. Technology is developing exponentially and our capacity to adapt to it is limited. However, this development not only has a high cost at the adaptive level, but also at the economic level. Technology requires constant evolution, which is tremendously costly. To what extent is this sustainable, and can we predict the pace of its change?

"A future reflection that we are going to start to ask ourselves very soon is how sustainable is, for example, ChatGPT. The climate impact of this type of system is going to start to concern us more and more" (Juan Lupión, Expert in Artificial Intelligence and artificial neural networks).

2. In the past, technology had the function of supplementing the motor functions of people, such as machines for agriculture or architecture. Today, technology could have a larger-scale function: transforming reality. What are its side effects? Could technology be thinking for us? Is it possible that at some point it will replace and enhance human capabilities in any field?

“Kahneman says that we should let Artificial Intelligence make decisions for us because they are more free of bias and noise than we are" (Dr. Manuel Martín-Loaches, expert in psychobiology and cognitive neuroscience).

3. Finally, the issue of freedom was introduced: does Artificial Intelligence have free will, do humans have it, and could libertarian paternalism also be immersed in new technologies?

"All the freedom that technology has given us so far has been to exercise our cognitive functions more" (Juan Pedro Núñez).

With all the reflections that were put on the table, it is worth stopping to think and reflect on what the future holds in relation to this asymmetry... Will there be a tipping point or will there be progressive or infinite adaptation? Will we see an integration of technological devices that interact with our brains? What about the ethics of changing human nature and turning ourselves into technology?

Questions such as these invite us to reflect further and to stop and think about where the next mind and technology debates should go. What should our next concerns be in this regard? 

Watch the full video here.