William Hammett, Independent Ghostwriter

Writing Sample ~ Nonfiction ~ Artificial Intelligence

Note: The following excerpt has been used with the permission of a former client and/or the publisher. Please note that I can adjust my prose style for a particular genre, and the following is not intended to represent my full range of styles or the number of genres I consider. For nonfiction, the level of complexity can be adjusted depending on client preference. .

Many sociologists and tech gurus are warning about the advent of Artificial Intelligence, or AI. Actually, it’s already here. It’s in your phone, computer, laptop, iPad, doorbell, appliances, watches, medical implants, and car engines. But just what is the definition of AI? It’s pretty simple – and more than a bit scary.

Artificial Intelligence refers to machines that mimic human actions and can adjust and improve their own functioning without human input. The general warnings, therefore, amount to “What’s going to happen when we no longer have control over our own creations?” Will we live in some dystopian future in which, as in movies, machines are our masters, and we are mere slaves who are continually monitored and punished for incorrect behaviors?

It is a genuine concern, and the warnings at present are falling on deaf ears because we relay so heavily on the devices created in the digital age. Convenience, some say, has blinded us to the “machine revolution” that is taking place in real time at every second of every day. Indeed, critics of technology – the Luddites among us – claim that our machines are already so advanced that they can perform mathematical functions and real-life tasks in a nanosecond, tasks that would take humans weeks to carry out.

The real worry, however, is what happens when these machines are so sophisticated that they begin to talk to each other. That’s already happening as well. Our doorbells communicate with our smart phones; pacemakers communicate with hospitals and doctors’ offices; computer chips in automobile engines communicate with car dealerships; streaming services communicate with mobile devices and television sets; computers in physicians’ offices communicate with insurance, pharmacies, and pharmaceutical companies; and our computers constantly communicate (whether we like it or not) with servers that help companies like Google and Facebook give us targeted ads on their respective platforms.

The ten-thousand-dollar question, however, is what will happen when various devices start communicating with each other across these diverse platforms? It is predicted that within ten years, automobiles, televisions, physician-based PCs, cell phones, alarm systems, wrist watches, and server farms will begin to speak with each other. Remember that AI implies that machines >have the ability to improve on their own and make their own decisions. The day will come, observers say, when our machines will decide that they can achieve tasks more efficiently than their creators, a day when Artificial Intelligence is so pervasive and sophisticated that worldwide digital networks will begin creating themselves, and humans will be left out of the loop.

These are sobering thoughts, but the most alarming commentary on the above is that the advanced processes inherent in a worldwide digital network created by our electronic devices is already operational. Just maybe we don’t know exactly what our machines are really doing every day when we turn them on. Maybe the judgment on humanity has already been rendered, and it has been decided that the destiny of the planet cannot be left to biological creatures.

 William Hammett

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