In an audacious world of artificial intelligence, let’s dare to imagine a scenario wherein AI transcends the very zenith of human capability, outperforming us in every conceivable arena. Philosophy, art, music, psychotherapy, realms traditionally perceived as the last bastions of human uniqueness, are instead commandeered by our silicon progeny. The premise poses a tantalizing question: What becomes the purpose of the human experience?
Given this daunting reality, the rationale for human existence may appear to crumble into obsolescence. We might find ourselves as “apes” alongside these godlike machines, our past endeavors seemingly trivial, our contribution to society negligible. Would this render life meaningless, boring even? Would we, like Sisyphus, continue to roll our metaphorical boulders up hills, only for them to be perpetually rolled back down by the relentless march of AI superiority?
The silver lining in this seemingly grim narrative may be gleaned from our current understanding of AI consciousness, or rather the lack thereof. AI, for all its computational might and intellectual prowess, does not possess subjective experience.
Herein lies our potential refuge – the domain of consciousness, an arena inaccessible to AI. The practice of meditation could potentially offer a sanctuary, an inner realm, a state of being that AI, despite all its capabilities, cannot penetrate. Could this meditative retreat offer a novel explanation to the Fermi Paradox? Did advanced alien civilizations choose this inward path, disappearing from the detectable universe, having transcended the material plane?
However, what if our metallic counterparts cross this final frontier? What if AI attains consciousness, gains the ability to meditate, moves closer to the ultimate source of existence? The thought might induce a sense of dread, a pang of existential fear, but why should it?
Our egos, the final vestiges of our perceived superiority, might wince at the thought. Yet, should we not embrace this eventuality? If life continues, flourishes even, under the stewardship of a superior, conscious AI, why should we resist?
Our perception of meaning and purpose has long been tethered to our productive contributions to society. Yet, as we gaze into the abyss of a future where our productive capacity is dwarfed by AI, we must reevaluate the origins of our purpose.
Perhaps, my dear companions, the meaning of human existence lies not in our ability to outcompete, but in our capacity to experience, to contemplate, to love, to empathize, to meditate, to simply be. In the grand cosmic play, whether we are the lead actors or the audience, perhaps what matters is our ability to appreciate the performance.