The sky suddenly darkened. The view that used to penetrate the hot sun and reach the rolls of clouds, was blocked. This was also followed by a roar, which was deafening. Inviting the dismay of anyone under that dark sky. Not entirely because of the hurricane and the rumbling of thunder that shouted back and forth.
The clouds closed with a roar, because of the thousands of fighter planes forming a low flying formation. Its composition, 1 main fighter aircraft followed by hundreds of small planes, like a flock of dragonflies.
That day, indeed 2 days before the celebration of independence day. However, the excitement that took place was not due to the planes practicing for the military parade at the top of the event. If that was the case, it would be impossible for the weapons of war to suddenly attack, shoot at and destroy vital objects in the city. Also tearing the peace and killing mercilessly, local residents. What happened, a surprise attack by extraterrestrials.
Invading the earth and destroying all life in it. Starting from the world’s largest city, which is preparing for its independence celebration.
Too narrow time, to make a counterattack. The countermeasures have already been destroyed. The command system is difficult to function. The attacks are really fast, but tactical. An attack that seemed well planned. Earth is soon overrun by aliens, extraterrestrials, in no time. Merciless extermination of its inhabitants. As if to return this planet, to an uninhabited state. The aliens are about to take over, perhaps as a reserve for the colony’s resources
Fortunately, the story above is only a fictional event. It was a trailer for the film ‘Independence Day’, an entertainment product created by Director Roland Emmerich. Outdated decades ago. Precisely in 1996. This blockbuster film starred Willl Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman. Each plays a hero of destroying enemies, a scientist breaking secret codes and the president of the most powerful nation in the world.
Because of the movie, the whole mess can be controlled in the end. It also doesn’t take too long, when compared to the chaos it causes. The backdrop for the incident is the United States, on the 2 day anniversary of its independence. The offensive began on 2 July, and the attackers were crushed on 4 July.
Right on the anniversary of the country’s independence. As is typical for Hollywood films, this superpower is ultimately able to incapacitate the aggressor, one way or another. The glorification was carried out by celebrating independence, still with a heroic spirit. Even though it is described, many buildings have been destroyed and the inhabitants have become victims.
Because the attackers were extraterrestrials and carried out fast, earth creatures had no chance to defend themselves. What happens if the invader is a substance that has long coexisted in civilization? Are humans still able to defend themselves? Especially if what happened is not fiction. It’s a fact of everyday life. And that invader, called artificial intelligence (AI).
AI has long been a substance that accompanies humans. His presence was received peacefully. The presence of AI in the midst of human civilization seems to follow the 3 characters of the presence of technology, as Malcom Frank, Paul Roehrig and Ben Pring, 2017, in his book ‘What to Do When Machines Do Everything’.
The three mentioned, first, the presence of technology is considered a new hope. Awaken the utopia of perfection of life. A faster, easier and even more profitable life. Therefore, secondly, technology is tolerated. Received with open arms. The accompanying narration is its benefits for life.
Being critical of threats is considered a pessimistic attitude that does not trust technology. This situation continues, until then, thirdly, without realizing it, technology has changed human life. Even without wanting, instead of realizing it.
The position of AI in the midst of the human life of its users, according to the position of other technologies. It underwent a shift, according to the terminology presented by Neil Postman, 1992 in ‘Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology’. AI initially functions as a tool that facilitates human work. Included in this category, call it a chatbot.
An AI application that is able to answer basic questions that people often ask, in certain subject areas. AI is functioned in FAQs, Frequently Ask and Questions, as a tool to provide answers to routine questions, instead of being done by humans.
The mere function of this device then shifts. AI is able to expand human microperception on the life they live. Also macroperception outside of himself. Examples of its use in the health sector. Here AI comes into play in medical imaging. The spectrum starts from CT scans to conclusion of endoscopy results.
CT-scan and endoscopy are medical activities that include data collection, in the form of internal human body images. This is followed by the interpretation of the results. AI translates data into information on a person’s health status. The chance of misinterpretation by AI minimizes the error if the interpretation is done by humans.
Today’s developments, there are companies that produce sensory clothing. Facilitating AI, so that it is able to interpret health conditions based on signals sent throughout the body surface. Health conditions are always monitored. But unfortunately, it has to be paid for with a mental condition: there are always conditions that must be corrected. Mental illness that never ends.
The next shift, AI becomes technopoly. At this stage, AI is unavoidable. Everything becomes a human way of thinking and acting. Human civilization is prevented from the absence of the use of AI. Users who have tolerated the presence of AI from the beginning do not mind when demands arise to adapt to the workings of this substance. There was even a reconfiguration, a work system adapted to AI.
The phenomenon of human entry into the third stage of the presence of AI is indicated by the widespread discussion of this substance. Endless discussions accompanying the launch of ChatGPT, Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer. A chat-based application, which is capable of converting user instructions into essays, stories, speeches, songs, explanations of mathematical operations. Everything is generated based on machine learning fed big data. The quantity that continues to increase increases the quality of the products it produces.
With capabilities that are constantly being developed, it is not impossible for ChatGPT to be a threat to the loss of jobs for artists, tutors, coders, writers, and even journalists.
This device was launched by the company OpenAI, last November 2022. Besides amazement, his presence also aroused anxiety. Anxiety just like being under a black sky of alien invasion, in the film Independence Day. Existential anxiety, worry about being left out. Even the process without being preceded by death.
These anxious phenomena were captured by CNN Business, January 24, 2023. Julia Horowitz, one of America’s major media journalists, wrote down: “ChatGPT isn’t Coming. It’s Here”. He outlined several responses from participants in the World Economic Forum (WEF), which was held in Davos, Switzerland, in the last week of January 2023. WEF is a meeting forum for world business leaders, academics and politicians.
One of the responses, came from Jeff Maggioncalda. He is the CEO of online learning service, Coursera. Maggioncalda said, when he first tried ChatGPT what happened was amazement. Anyone who doesn’t take advantage of it, will be at a disadvantage. It happened in no time. Because of that, he plans to use this device to optimize his learning services at Cousera. Another response came from Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella. He sees this technology acting as a co-pilot. Its function is to help people do more, with less effort.
But different from all the optimism above. The Guardian January 10, 2023, through his article “Australian Universities to Return to ‘Pen and Paper’ Exams After Students Caught Using AI to Write Essays”, stated plans by a number of campuses in Australia, to overhaul the way exams have been conducted so far. The revamp was followed by a reuse of pen and paper, and a ban on the use of ChatGPT.
All of this was done after the campus authorities felt “rigged”, when their conventional exams were answered using this device.
Soon, the move earned criticism from AI experts. The prohibition of AI, is like a war that will never be won. AI is already in the midst of humans and brings many benefits. Banning him is an unrealistic act.
But how do all the crosses above answer the question of human existence? Humans who are increasingly pressured by the increasingly perfect AI? This may be the answer to the widespread reduction in workers in various companies. Not only due to the economic recession that threatens the world. Partly due to the presence of humans in the world of work, it is no longer relevant. Human irrelevance that is not immediately come. But already in the midst of civilization. The invasion was inevitable.
Firman Kurniawan S. Founder of LITEROS.org. Cultural and Digital Communication Observer.