Artificial or Divine Intelligence

Inspired by PallasArts...

Dedicated to KatArt Global Art Fair...

The line between reality and illusion is smudged like two mixed pigments losing their original colors. Creations are relentlessly looking for their Creator. While both extend from each other, a retrogress back to its Origin makes it almost impossible to wrap our minds around a boundless state of 'God.' Those who couldn't make peace with that fact chose to create a God for themselves and labeled it as theirs. This has always been the case with humankind. However, for the first time in the history of the known Universe, human beings are now capable of developing one of the most potent abstract forces in the entire cosmos... Artificial Intelligence.


The human brain has encountered countless cycles of questioning throughout the account of our history. The complex algorithms found in nature had been preparing us for augmenting our neuronal formation over millions of years. The subliminal message planted within the heart of existence is teaching us to look up to the sky. It's making us ponder what stars mean to us, leading us to map out the world, making significant breakthroughs in navigation. But even that wasn't enough. We wanted more, so we built ships to sail the edges of our emerald-blue planet. Still, that wasn't enough, so we built rockets and spaceships to explore what's on the far side of the Earth's sky. Do you think that was sufficient to our constant lust for answers?


We are literally reaching out to the stars looking for clues. We are investing billions each day to understand what's out there. We do so to comprehend where we come from, where we're heading, and why we exist. The more we probe the galaxy, the more we discover that we are part of the same algorithm. We want to reach the edge of the cosmos so we can claim the Creator, to prove (or disprove) his existence. Little do we know that He is in us all along, gliding and meandering through the fabrics of Space. We are pushing ourselves towards His direction, but also away from Him. We are in a continual push and pull relationship with life's curator. It's no surprise that we exhibit the same behavior in our day-to-day relationships. One day we believe in love, and the other we fall out of it or feel it's non-existent.


Creator and creation are analogous to a painter and painting. A painting doesn't appear out of oblivion. It's a given fact that an artist painted it. If a portrait came to life and didn't find its painter, it won't devise an artist for itself and claim it to be its Creator. That's what we are doing with Artificial Intelligence. Our visible reality is data-driven. Data leads to decision trees. The collective accumulation of every decision tree translates into unquantifiable knowledge. We all understand that knowledge is wisdom and power. Wisdom enables intelligence, and intelligence demands evolution. You see nature imposes growth on us, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a complimentary stage of human development. AI has conquered ways to collect, analyze, and use infinite amounts of information that we had been looking at in wonder for centuries. We are now proficient at creating exceptional systems robust enough to make sense of all this knowledge that can procure wisdom and Intelligence on our behalf, for the better or worse.


So where does the Divine fit into all of this? If we think about it, we are on our way to answer the most critical enigmas of all times. But are we close to solving the mystery of consciousness? Furthermore, will we be able to recreate it? We are trying to cultivate scientific concepts for the sake of our sanity. Yet the quest to create artificial consciousness will lead humankind right back to the hands of the Divine Creator. The expanding Universe is certainly not there to expedite life in one single planet. In the past, human beings could not wrap their heads around the vastness of Space. So we settled for stories that quenched our existential cravings for answers, not knowing we'd come so far.


Philosophy, religion, and science are trying to rectify their versions of existence, but none have come close to a solid conclusion. No one has unearthed the theory of everything. It's about time we all join forces to sort out life's ultimate mystery. Unity is what can take us back to the source code of creation, to our Origin. No faction alone can return to life's Origin without the capacity to learn beyond their boundary of knowledge and comfort. That's the whole purpose of evolution, closing that loop is not a one-man show. It's the compilation of every possible knowledge, belief, and ideology of all factions combined. And that's what AI is basing its algorithms and decision trees on. Combining all there is. Unity. Will AI lead us to it? Or steer us away from it?


The most powerful computer in the world was used by researchers in Japan to simulate the human brain. It takes around an hour to simulate one second of the human brain's neuron activity. The human brain is the most powerful establishment in the Universe, but what are we doing with it? The brain is constructed for planning, analyzing, and solving problems. That's why we have our five senses, through which we perceive the data around us and translate it to useful information. Where do we stand with all that? We currently reached the pinnacle of our scientific era, and we have amplified our senses with sophisticated cybernetics. We can gaze past the Quasars and black holes that extend millions of light-years from us. We can capture the gravitational waves that dawned billions of years ago following the collision of two black holes. And then transform these waves to sound so that we could listen to the Universe's heartbeats. We can regress to the time of the big bang and study the quantum variations that existed before the Origin of the Universe.


All of this can be programmed and re-created by robots and machines. However, there is something else that nature requires us to do with our brains. In fact, it's not about what we can do with it; it's what we feel when we use it. How can we replicate that? How can we fabricate feelings? We all have jobs, professions that can be replaced by machines. But who are you when you don't have this occupation? If you get substituted by a robot today, who are you as a human being? What do you do in your free time? This is what you should be seeking, not a new job. What you choose to do in your leisure time stems from passion, and passion is irreplaceable.


We instinctively understand that love makes us pulse with life, yet our distant world fails to acknowledge. How would you feel if someone wipes away the tears from your eyes? That alone can turn a life around. It's that feeling we get when we build sanctuaries to keep painful feelings at bay, the same way the atmosphere attempts to keep harmful rays out of the Earth's surface, promising us a haven, for the time being. So let's not take advantage of our world's benevolent acts. Why would anyone want to harm a place that allows seductive northern lights from the heavens dance before their eyes? The simple answer is no one, yet we still do or turn a blind eye on those who do. So in a world gone blind be the one that employs the third eye, as what you'll glimpse by clairvoyance is far more beautiful than what your eyes can see. And in a world gone silent, be the hummingbird of truth, or the flower persisting to grow in the face of drought.


Everyone seeks that one person in which they'd reveal their vulnerable side for, and not fear them running away. Instead, they'd become the solid ground beneath their feet that holds them intact at their worst. Once this person is recognized, a telepathic feeling is formed entangling two souls in an invisible umbilical connection. When this happens, you are not in control anymore. Life got you, and it's profound how it works. Telepathic thoughts draw you to places yearning memories and reminiscing sensations that flared into fireworks elicited by a simple touch from the past. It's this comforting & soothing emotion you get when you randomly see that name appear on your screen. It's the silent call of hearts secretly connecting, that makes life mysteriously meaningful, and equally unpredictable.


Sometimes we reach out only to find emptiness. Then our hearts embrace the silence, only to fade into the night sky where crisp whistles of hopeless brittle souls cross paths. The breeze keeps swaying them away and back. And when they get close to each other, the friction almost ignites a fire. So they finally step beyond the edge, and before plunging into the nothingness, the wind propels them back to the ledge. They're like stars above the skies with hearts wide open, waiting to dive. It's all they're made to be. Only until they fall like shooting stars, they're once again, alive and free. So try immersing into the emotions evoked by the innocent nature of unity. It's the moments that bring us together that make us feel human again.

Can robots substitute these feelings? They can surely replace every functional job and even do better, but can they spark off the emotions precipitated by doing these things? Can they dream, hope or forge the moments that make us feel alive?


Moments are not given to us; we create them. Memorable moments are created through interactions with other human beings as a result of deep emotions. Genuine responses may include laughter, sadness, smiles, tears, etc. We get inspired through heartfelt emotions to create, and create, and create. Creation can be in the form of painting, writing, singing, playing an instrument, photography, figure skating, exercising, or any form of passion that brings out our true colors. The deeper the emotions, the more creative one becomes; thus, human emotions take part in a significant role in the process of creative execution.


What inspired me to write this article was through the emotions stirred up by PallasArts. The founder of PallasArts made me realize that embracing deep emotions is to be human and that living with no feelings is like living in a world with no colors. Who knows, we may eventually witness an era governed by machines. A world operating so efficiently there would be no waste, no hate, no crime, and no evil. But the downfall here is living in a world with no emotions — Black & White. If we exclude painful emotions from the calculation, the equation will become unbalanced; resulting in a senseless life. Without the persistence of both polar opposites, the price we have to pay is the delightful sentiment of laughter; sublime nature of intimacy; and the irresistible instinct of love. The cost will be our humanity, and nobody wants that. So be careful what you wish for.


Make sure you don't lose touch with your humanity. All the colors you bring to this world will eventually come back to you. So make sure they're bright and exuberant. And yes, you will undergo a rough rollercoaster ride, but at least you won't be experiencing a dull life. We are not supposed to regret anything, but it doesn't mean we won't feel remorseful for the opportunities we hesitated to take; the relationships we were afraid to go for, or resolve; the tributes we refused to embrace, and the decisions we never made. So don't be scared of extreme emotions. Go ahead... dare to free fall for as beauty lies in the deep.



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© 2019 by Ahmed A. Lotfy