Fellow Citizens of Earth:

During our digital age of privacy laws, data breaches, and consumer profiling; the distinct split happening within psychological minds of individuals needs to be addressed.

Our minds are being located, followed, stored, and traded. Our personalities, habits, and life expectancies have been determined by complicated sets of data. It could be imagined as something like an “avatar”, a digitized character, or a “BitMoji”. It looks like you, it acts like you, you can control it, make it do different things. Its exactly like you in almost every way. It’s character is shaped by the items we shop for, the stuff we search on Google, the places we go, the things we eat… the list can be seemingly endless. Yet still, its mind is not ours, it is a spirit unto itself.

So, this begs the question; what anchor do we have? How is this “avatar” different from us? What do statistics NOT display about a person? What is our avatar missing, that separates it from us? What does it mean to actually be a human?

Well, A body. A living, breathing, physical structure. But is it this simple?

Currently, I use a DNA service called “23 and me”. It compares my DNA data with other users and discoveries are made. Like how likely i am to smell asparagus in my urine. So, while its a far cry from the more intimate details, perhaps DNA data will one day determine the intricacies of our physical bodies as well. This would also contribute to our avatar, making it look more like us. But will it ever HAVE a body?

Our bodies remain the one thing standing between the avatars we are unknowingly creating, and who we really are (even if Google damn well knows that you took a shit today with a greater than 50% accuracy).

So, a psychological split is occurring with regards to our relationship to this avatar. Dont think so? People everywhere are living by the laws their data has created. Top statistical methods to every aspect of life. These methods were created stored and shared from other avatars data. I mean if you could tailor a “perfect life” for yourself by following your avatars example, wouldnt you? Fancy a little Lifestyle Design?

Chances are, like me, youre farther into this rabbit hole than you thought…

A visionary of our time, Elon Musk, had recently made suspicions about Artificial Intelligence (AI) being mankind’s next “biggest threat”. I admire Elon, but believe it could be taken one step further by saying:

It has become upon us: we are becoming the artificial intelligence.

  • "we are becoming the artificial intelligence." I never liked the "artificial intelligence" statement, because it causes lots of debates, how to decide if intelligence is non-artificial? Herd mentality has nothing to do with AI in itself, AI just produces various new methods.
    – rus9384
    Jul 26 '18 at 15:46
  • This is very broad and it seems to me that answers would likely be only personal opinions. It might be closed, however, I hope you stick around and focus your next questions. Pick a specific one and link it to some text and ask a focused question that can be expected to be answered in a few paragraphs. Jul 26 '18 at 16:09
  • 1
    Sometimes I wonder why there are not more people who believe in solipsism. Babump! Shshshsh! But seriously. Your question is amazingly vague. The question "do machines think?" is admirably similar to the question "do submarines swim?" Is a bulldozer's strength a measure of machine's strength or of our own?
    – user34017
    Jul 26 '18 at 19:13
  • The answer to the title question is "no" for the trivial reason that Artificial Intelligence is not a measure, it is a concept. Other than that I do not see any answerable questions in the post, it reads more like a sermon. If this is supposed to be a thought provoking discussion topic this is off-topic here, you can try something like Philosophy Forums.
    – Conifold
    Jul 26 '18 at 20:00

One of Musk's spin-off companies is Neuralink https://waitbutwhy.com/2017/04/neuralink.html which you can see as tilting the race toward human-AI fusions, before pure AIs.

Avatars are more like emanations, than beings with their own identies. They are more like an animated photograph, than a being.

A lot of the ideas you talk about are explored in science fiction. In a Black Mirror episode they 'reanimate' a person from their digital footprint, putting the personality determined from that into a realistic robot body. That could certainly blur boundaries. But what about creativity, development, growth - and decay, ageing? These are parts ofvus too.

I look forward to people uploading their minds. They won't remain the same being. But that's fine. Our preoccupations, tge tasks we give oyrselves, are probably more who we are than our sense of ourselves how we feel about who we are.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.