Post 1

I really need to start writing my book. Of course I’ve been saying that repeatedly over the last 30 years or so. I always get caught up in the functional details though. Should it be written from first person, or third? Should I write a metaphysical tome on the meeting of science and spirituality? An autobiography? A novel? What would the plot be? Little stuff like that.

I know what kind of subjects I would want to talk about. Of course it would have to be about spirituality in some way – most likely my attempt to “prove” that mystic principles can coexist with science. And AI. There would have to be stuff about AI, just because I am so interested in it. I mean, how can anyone not be? I am quite the fanboy, and am fairly certain that most people have no idea just how quickly it’s progressing and what an impact it is going to have on our world.

In fact just the other night we were having dinner with my daughter who works at an electronic payment company, and she was telling us how she is growing uncomfortable in her work. She is a customer service rep, and talks to people on the phone. But she was telling us how “the robot” guides and directs them as to what they can and can’t say – serious – and that she doesn’t even know why they have people working there anymore. The general consensus we came up with is that the humans provide the “soft” touch to deliver news to people in a way that makes them feel more cared about, or something like that.

What was really disturbing though was how she told us that lately, they have been working on “training the robot” on how to detect certain kinds of fraud. In the past, they had a human override button or something like that that would allow the human operator to flag an account, suspend it, etc, if he or she noticed illegal activity. But her bosses told her that they were taking that away, that they needed to let the robot detect that stuff to train it. So now, if she sees something bad happening in real time, she has to just let it go in the name of training “the robot.” She was telling us how sad it made her talking to people who wanted her to do stuff to help them, knowing that she couldn’t do anything, and she certainly couldn’t tell them why she couldn’t. And that’s happening NOW, today. Even I, Mister AI fanboy, was taken aback at how incredible that sounds. So yeah, my book would have to have something about AI in it.

Oh, and quantum physics. At least I would like to work something in about it. Especially considering the incredible advances they’ve been making here lately. A little while back Google claimed that they had created a quantum computer that could perform a calculation that would take a regular computer 10,000 years in only 200 seconds. Damn… Just think about that for a minute – it’s incredible, and portends some amazing advancements just on the horizon.

But I don’t think most people really care about all this stuff. Most of us are lost in the day to day tasks of going to work, taking care of kids/parents/animals/spouses, hanging out with friends, keeping up with social media, be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, keeping up with our favorite band/sports team/YouTube star/etc. We truly live in an age of distraction the likes of which has never been seen before – especially for young people. The new old cliche of everyone having their heads down looking at their phones is all too real. So what kind of book could I possibly write that would hold anyone’s attention? That truly is the question. Hence, it’s still just an idea in my head. But someday…

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