Forthcoming Major Revolution in Global Dialogue
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 28 Oct 2013
Challenging New World Order of Interactive Communication
All the pieces are in place, or being rapidly developed, enabling an unsuspected revolution in dialogue as a consequence of a convergence of communication technologies. There is every reason to foresee in the immediate future the possibility that dialogue with artificial intelligence, in a variety of forms, will become more engaging and interesting than that with other human beings.
Dialogue methods are not engaging effectively with existential crises. Curiously, like religions and sects, they each excuse themselves by citing failure to surrender to their particularly modality — despite their evident (if not bloody) failure to engage fruitfully with competing dialogue methodologies.
Although the concern here is with “global dialogue”, the argument makes a distinction between a sense of geographical globality and the more obscure sense of integrative globality. Typically their unthinking conflation hinders recognition of a need for more integrative forms of dialogue. Potentially these have implications within references to an emerging global brain, themselves readily confused with understandings of a noosphere, especially in a period of disclosures of massive electronic surveillance by what amounts to an invasive “cyclopean” awareness.
The argument here notes the recent rapid rate of uptake of communication technology and its associated applications, the relevant technologies, and the relative advantage that the coming revolution will bring to “dialogue” with emerging artificial intelligence applications. It raises the question — deserving careful reflection — as to what will then be the comparative advantage of dialogue between humans., whether face-to-face or otherwise.
To what extent do humans engage in profoundly integrative forms of dialogue, making them preferable to those which artificial agents will shortly render possible? The challenge is already evident in the preference within families for use of social networking facilities over the internet to that of engaging in face-to-face “local conversation” within the living room, as explored by Sherry Turkle (Alone Together: why we expect more from technology and less from each other, 2011).
Wherever it “resides”, will “artificial intelligence” come to be recognized as a more “sustainable” dialogue partner than another human being? What possibilities are there then for dialogue of a more profound nature in the longer term?
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 28 Oct 2013.
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