The End of the Information Age

The Information Age is over, or at least on its way out the door. Artificial intelligence is an idea sprung out of the Information Age. Yet its mere actualization is proof that times are changing. Companies that do not adapt to the changing environment are bound to fail. One of those companies may be Google if their chairman doesn’t change his perspective.

Eric Shmidt recently quipped that human-curated services are far inferior to computer-generated services. Actually, it is quite the opposite. I agree with Adagio Strange, who asserts that computers are not any less prone to bias or any other human faults.

Information alone is not valuable, but rather what we can do with it.

Computers are amazing machines that have solved many problems for us. With mobile devices, they have become extensions of ourselves. They are excellent workers that can store vast amounts of information and follow instructions. But they cannot think and they cannot feel.

A computer will never get hungry when browsing food sites. It will never feel insecure about one’s weight by looking at super-skinny models. Information and knowledge are valuable. But they are only as valuable as the meaning that we discover, define, and create from it.

Using Facebook, I can find out where someone lives and what their email address is. I can see pictures and names of their friends and family. But this fails to tell me who they are.

With Pinterest, I can find a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. With structured data, I can see the recipe without having to go to the website. But this fails to tell me what the chocolate chip cookies will taste like.

Humans will always seek humanity.

It cannot tell me how I will feel getting to taste something that I made myself. Even when cookies are able to be 3D-printed, many people will treasure homemade cookies.

We are starting to realize that information alone is not valuable, but rather what we can do with it. Artificial intelligence researchers are working to take raw data and make it more meaningful.

Humans will always seek humanity. Artificial intelligence will only succeed if it can be humanlike. And in order for that to happen, humans will have to continue to develop and improve it.

We will fail at creating something that mirrors its creator without any flaws. Likewise, we have failed to mirror our Creator. But the journey will be exciting.