Yesterday I visited the Alumni Awards event of IEDC, my MBA and MSc school. I like coming to their events, from time to time, but can’t say I’m a fan, let alone a groupie.
In these events a guest lecture by a famous or more often distinguished professor is the norm, and this time it was no different. The lecture is inspiring, challenging and, wait for it, expected. This time, it wasn’t. Dominique Turcq whom the school invited to talk at the Presidential forum and then recycle his speech for the alumni, was different.
Prof. Turcq was announed as an expert in artificial intellingence. And yet instead of praising it, like everyone everywhere does now, with very few exceptions, professor gave us a sobering lesson.
Here are a few excerpts, most of which I like, but one I serioulsy didn’t and also disagree with it. But first, let me count all the notes that struck my chords in his speech.
Artificial intelligence is limited to specialised cases and will not become universal anytime soon, if ever. Thanks professor, never, that is the answer I heard from you, because it’s exactly what I think.
Digitalisation is not improving us, it is taking away what is becoming more and more precious, the human touch. Here it’s possible that we might be getting closer to human touch still, but not because of digitalisation helps, but because it is being moved out of our way somehow, through becoming mobile, and auditive and letting us get back to where we belong, in front of each other, to talk, touch, kiss and …
Augmentation of the genome is a reality. Pigs are growing fatter, other pigs grow our organs, we are grown to be resistant to some diseases, some nasty diseases are predicted upon analysis of our genome.
What is needed in this world is not a genetic alternation of the men, but improvement of the society.
We need to just think. Hard to do, but think.
And here’s the one I don’t agree with. We will augment our intelligence. Nay. I disagree. The smarter a GMO human will become, the stupider he will be, my words here. The mismeasurement of men on the point of IQ is such, that the old idea of phrenology, that is of measuring the sizes and shapes of human skulls to determine superiority of one (race) versus another is still considered viable, albeit moved the the realm of the genes. Same thing, I tell you.
Nevertheless, prof Turcq did not dissappoint, on the contrary. His humanity and humanism are wonderful, his quick with charming, his wife a bit young, but the hour he spoke, in spite of saying he would speak only 15 minutes dashed through in a breeze. Wonderful.