AI can become more than just a tool, but first we need to stop being afraid of this new technology.
In his recent essay, Lance Cummings introduced the concept of 3 ways to think about AI. Instrumentalism, Formalism, and Posthumanism. I’ve begun to think about these three approaches, and I feel that they represent a kind of evolutionary stages.
1. Instrumentalism or AI is just a tool.
Instrumentalism is an approach where AI is treated as a tool.
A technologically advanced hammer that helps us hammer nails. A device to automate tasks we do ourselves to facilitate and improve various processes.
A slightly more complicated Excel macro.
2. Formalism or AI is a complement to the creative process.
It’s a Google search on steroids.
Formalism is an approach that looks at AI as a tool to solve problems, but also to create new opportunities and solutions. We ask a properly formulated question to which we get the best answer according to statistics.
Big Data analysis that simulates creativity.
3. Posthumanism or AI is a partner in the creative process.
The difference between the formalisms is subtle.
Posthumanism is an approach that treats AI as a partner in the creative process, not just a tool.
Here, the change in perception of this technology is important.
Just as in the past writing down thoughts broke divine laws and taking pictures robbed the soul, today AI is taking creativity away from us.
The fear of change has always been limiting.
Everyone who comes into contact with AI is likely to evolve through all these ways of thinking. But before that happens, we need to overcome our fears and explore the potential of this technology.
The most important thing is that our approach to AI is thoughtful and responsible.
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