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After all, does Artificial Intelligence support evolution or hinder free will?

On March 21, 2024, in New York, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN, 2024) unanimously adopted a landmark resolution on the promotion of “safe, secure and trustworthy” Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems that will also benefit sustainable development for all.  The importance of the topic is emblematically portrayed by Linda Thomas-Greenfield, United States Ambassador to the UN, as the “choice to govern artificial intelligence rather than let it govern us” (UN, 2024).

AI can be defined as “a learning system […] with various levels of autonomy, capable of generating […] predictions or decisions […]” (Souza, 2023, p. 2).  “AI systems” require prior and continuous human supervision to avoid “unacceptable” or “high” risks, such as “cognitive-behavioral manipulation,” “malfunctioning of essential infrastructures,” or issues with generative AI, in short, practices that violate our fundamental rights (European Parliament, 2024).

In summary, AI, like other social techniques, needs to respect the “free will” granted by God to His creatures (Kardec, 2009) towards “moral perfection” (Kardec, 1999).  This rejects abusive AI practices and those contrary to the “Moral Laws” of “equality,” “freedom,” and “justice, love, and charity” (Kardec, 1999, questions n. 803-806), while appropriate use complies with the Law of Progress and Destruction (Kardec, 1999) since everything is constantly changing (Gleiser, 2020).

In these times of “transhumanism” (Gleiser, 2020), AI – like algorithms and other automated systems – plays a part in everyday human decision-making process (Souza, 2023, p. 1-2).  Leibniz, in 1703, saw in the “automation of reasoning” – “through the reduction of numbers […], like 0 and 1” – an algorithm capable of creating a “universal language” and uniting the “entire human race in the Heaven of Goodwill.”  However, Fo-Hi already possessed this knowledge 4,000 years ago (Mattelart, 2006, p. 15).  Despite its contribution to “religious sciences,” the ideal of union among peoples was postponed by voluntary isolation, represented by the Great Wall (Emmanuel, 1996, p. 74-75).

“To love one’s neighbor” (Kardec, 2009), free from exclusivism (Freud, 2011), reveals a “universal language” capable of promoting peace and harmony among peoples (Bauman, 2004).  Exclusivism is also detrimental to the “exchange of ideas” when it turns against the “intangible” and the “immeasurable,” in favor of a supposed scientific rigor (Gleiser, 2020).  The study of AI cannot do without the influences of philosophy of mind to focus its efforts on the “most complex […] known object: the brain” (Gleiser, 2020, p. 183), since “the truth is that it is the metaphysical interrogation about thought and the (physical) world that is at the center of everything” (Miguens, 2020, p. 106).

This difficulty inspired Turing’s “imitation game” (1950 cited in Miguens, 2020), in which a man and a woman try to deceive their interrogator about their status, which, if replicated by a machine, would demonstrate it would be an intelligent machine (Miguens, 2020, p. 110).  Searle (1980 cited in Miguens, 2020) criticizes materialistic cognitivism and “Strong AI”, as its programs would have a syntactic nature, therefore insufficient to create a semantic mind.

For Goswami (2015), more than semantics, the mind is “quantum,” distinct from the brain and the divisible, circumscribed objects of the physical world.  Gleiser (2020, p. 184) reflects that the nature of “program intelligence” will never be like ours: “What is an intelligence that does not suffer and feel pain?”

In light of the nature of mental acts and substance dualism (Neumann, 2023), in 1843, Ada Lovelace, a precursor to computer science and philosophy of mind, refutes the idea that machines can think.  Despite its potential for progress and achievement, AI poses risks that must be duly considered and  that are not amenable to automated solutions.  Machines lack the inherent senses of the immortal Spirit, whose consciousness must be responsible for its own evolution and that of others: Towards the Light!

References

BAUMAN, Zygmunt. Liquid Love. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar, 2004.

EMMANUEL (Spirit). Toward the Light. Psychographed by Francisco Cândido Xavier. 22nd ed. Brasília, DF: FEB, 1996.

FREUD, Sigmund. Civilization and Its Discontents. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2011.

GLEISER, Marcelo. The Blue Cauldron: The Universe, Humanity, and Its Spirit. 6th ed. São Paulo: Record, 2020.

GOSWAMI, Amit. The Physics of the Soul. 3rd ed. São Paulo: Goya, 2015.

KARDEC, Allan. The Gospel According to Spiritism. 365th ed. Araras, SP: IDE, 2009.

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