HomeOpinionA new threshold in the social use of knowledge

A new threshold in the social use of knowledge

In the early 1990s, several authors were already announcing the change in the way knowledge was produced and transmitted (Alvim Toffler, Michael Giddens, Nicholas Negroponte). The computerization of society began. Which in principle meant that computers entered factories, shops, schools, offices, government agencies. Windows Personal Computer and Universal Compatible Access made this process easy.

Now, with ChatGTP and Artificial Intelligence available to all audiences, many feel fear or anxiety about entering this new dimension of extended knowledge. Some fear the uncontrollability of this power and others fear being left behind or excluded from the uses of these new tools.

It is true that we are crossing a new threshold in the social use of knowledge. Therefore, it would be an act of lucidity to assume this new principle of reality. But this has diverse and profound implications in all dimensions. The most spectacular ones are already taking place at the same big tech companies with huge layoffs, while creating new opportunities with smart companies.

What will happen in university classrooms or high schools? We assume that in primary school, socialization functions will remain central, although AI can help improve learning from kindergarten. But at higher levels, the function of transmitting information found in books can become redundant, having the world’s libraries at hand with a click of the computer.

Knowledge management is already being altered or transformed into medical activities, teaching, research, security, planning, administration, etc. This implies that all workers need to become re-literate to take advantage of the uses of Artificial Intelligence. Which is not as fanciful as some think because there are already indigenous communities in North and South America that use information technologies to improve their organization, their productions or their commercial activities.

On the other hand we found the problem of AI limits. For 30 years it has been observed that in cases of bullying or harassment, computer mechanisms have often been used. This facilitates anonymity and impunity. It constitutes a current problem in the repression of attacks against the dignity of people. But here the capabilities of the AI ​​can be harnessed to more quickly identify the culprits of those acts.

On the other hand, there seem to be no adequate mechanisms to repress abuses of power, computer crimes, acts of political violence, military or terrorist attacks. This is the reason why many personalities have requested a moratorium on the dissemination of the uses of Artificial Intelligence.

But the bottom line of the matter does not lie in the technologies but in the uses of human intelligence. Since Antiquity, the myths of Prometheus or the Tower of Babel warn us against the abuse of knowledge. This does not justify the technophobia of many, who claim a return to primitive cultures. Human aggressiveness is as primitive as the wheel or the use of the knife.

Surely new codes will appear to regulate the uses of the AI. What is certain is that we all have to readjust to assume the impacts of Artificial Intelligence in our professions or activities.

We are in the middle of the battle of Intelligence. But the fight is not against the robots as some movies imagine. The fight is against the imaginary that allows everywhere to reproduce relations of domination and deny the inescapable responsibility towards others.

Technological alienation is not a predetermined destiny for Humanity as posthumanists maintain. Nor is it a simple result of the scientificization of society. It is the result of a lack of awareness and action on the part of the ruling classes. The unconsciousness of the leaders drags the people to irrational behaviors.

Paulo Freire said that education meant “awareness”. So we should take up the slogans of the Brazilian pedagogue, to begin to guide collective intelligence and Artificial Intelligence according to universal values. On the other hand, Artificial Intelligence gives students the possibility of developing their autonomy and learning together with teachers.This means that education will stop being directive to be interactive and convivial as many educators have proposed.

*Dr. in Philosophy. Professor of the Doctorate in Higher Education at Untref and at the University of Palermo.

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