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  • Writer's pictureLoren Saunders

The value of the human experience

Just finished watching this documentary last night. What a thought provoking movie. 

A.I. made history when it beat a human at the game Go, believed to be the hardest board game in the world. *

What Lee Sedol understood and the movie implies, is that this series of 5 games was an existential battle for meaning rather than skill. 

If a machine can be more creative, tricky, sneaky, skillful, beautiful, than the human mind, then do we eventually become relegated to second class talent/citizenry and the side show? 

The current advances in AI technology which are understood and being worked on by only a few today will become a real battle for all humans in the future.

Interestingly, now more than ever in this time of Covid19 and voluntary isolation do we see the value of the human connection and relationships. Now more than ever we get to enjoy that connection for those of us stuck at home with family. Now more than ever most likely the single folk long for that connection with a special someone (for those who seek that). 

Perhaps this will be a turning point in history, where people start to wake up and realize that there are higher pursuits than just profit or efficiency. Perhaps people will start to ask how we can invest in the things that make this experience more meaningful and interesting.

I personally believe that there is value in the environment that sustains us, in the art that communicates feeling and experience. There is value in shared connection and struggle. There is value in human endeavour and achievement. There is value and obviously lessons to be learned in history.

One great question to ask about history, "old Europe" and other places that are not bent on profit and an eternally growing economy is... "if they're so terrible.. then why do people go there so often for vacation?"

If nature, art, history, libraries are not so valuable, then we do we go there for both solace and inspiration?

The current stock market valuations seem disconnected from "reality", either because of irrational exuberance, hope, or just outright manipulation by some dark hand getting ready to dump everything back into cash.

What is our "reality" exactly? What is "value"?

These are questions we should be asking ourselves as we build infrastructures that are engineered to last only a few decades then go on vacation to visit things that have stood thousands of years

This Covid19 time has given us that opportunity to ponder and think about "value". Many people say that the world will "never be the same" that this event and experience will change society forever. I sure hope so.

* Important to note that Lee Sedol wasn't just playing against one other player, but rather a team of experts who had amassed millions of hours of experience with the game of Go, and encapsulated that experience into something greater than the sum. It is perhaps more a great illustration of not what humans are no longer capable of, but rather what humans are capable of when putting their collective efforts together and being given adequate tools to overcome what many before have deemed "impossible".

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