The Rapid Rise of Machine Learning
When I ws a kid, I first learned of Artificial Intelligence thanks to James Cameron’s The Terminator series in the early 1980s. He inspired a love/hate relationship with machines driven by AI. Of course, before that there were many other key movie moments: Bladerunner, Space:2001 and many, many more. I suppose Metropolis was the first real ground-breaking movie in the 20th century that envisioned a world run by something other than humans.
Buzz words, right? ‘Artificial Intelligence’ certainly wins the award for being discussed in tech circles, the press and media and day-to-day conversations since early 2022.
It goes back further: the creation myth.
So many cultures and religions revolve around how we got here.
In recent years, I was first introduced to what’s happening in the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) when I took a certificate program with Pacifica University in California called ‘Applied Mythology‘.
It was an exciting course and many perspectives on AI were tackled:
- Different cultural and historical contexts for the ‘creation’ myth and how humans have always been looking for answers about where they came from and why we’re here. More to the point, WHO created us?
- Prometheus seems to attract a LOT of attention: in Greek mythology, this titan stole fire from Zeus and shared it humans, making us unique from all other creatures on Earth. Was it a gift or a curse? Prometheus becomes a central figure in creation stories like Frankenstein or my own book Extinction Event.
- The potential outcomes that might arise from AI platforms and who their creators are: are they Titans or Gods that just got bored and wanted humans as playthings to amuse them and stir up shit for them?
Again, in modern times, the focus of most AI development revolved around the young, white males that are emerging out of major ‘thought’ centres like Silicon Valley and Toronto. We all know the names so I won’t rehash them here.
As I progressed through the Applied Mythology discussion, I kept raising the question about what AI might look like if it was developed by women or people from China. What traits would AI inherit from its creator if that were the case? If it were the former, would stereotypes like a more motherly, empathetic approach emerge or if it were to originate from a dictatorship that had little regard for humanity, would the AI offspring be just as malevolent?
I think these are fundamental questions that we should all be asking, but I’m worried that they’re routinely being ignored in the pursuit of endless spew of bullshit and rants from large language models (LLMs), the platforms that provide the DNA to all of which we label as AI.
Enter Extinction Event
I wrote Extinction Event over the past summer (2023) after being inspired by a couple of students who were using different programs like DALL-E and Kaiber to create images and short videos for their projects.
Just in case you didn’t know this, I returned to college last year to participate as a mature student in a music program. It was this new venture that inspired Extinction Event.
Extinction Event isn’t your typical ‘oh no … we created AI and it’s sentient and now it’s going to kill us all …’
Actually, it is, but it’s different. I’ve created unique twists that revolve around music, communication, a whiff of cryptology and hidden messages and, most importantly, our potential to communicate with all other non-human creatures on planet Earth.
What will happen to humans when we realize that there are so many new levels to explore in our world, driven by communication and interaction with other creatures? Will we continue to find ways to justify slaughtering more than one-hundred billion creatures PER YEAR for protein so that we can continue to over-inflate our presence on Earth?
Will we finally understand the profound sadness of endless columns of animal prisons, where mothers are separated from their offspring, only to watch them be beaten and abused by their human captors?
Things have to change on planet Earth and Extinction Event is a clarion call to all of us out there who want it to spiral in a positive direction.
How to Buy It?
Right now, Extinction Event is only available on Amazon:
You can also purchase Extinction Event in Kindle / epub format.
I plan to have all versions available on other sites where you like to buy books and in physical locations, primarily independent book retailers.
An Audible version will be available early in the New Year.
More Shamless Self-Promotion
Please buy the book. If you like (and I’m sure you will), please post a 5-star review on Amazon. It helps increase the visibility of the book to other readers and users of the site.
Thank you for reading!