Broken down, we’re just algorithms, we humans. Complex algorithms, algorithms so complex that we’re still only scraping the surface.
‘The wall between machines and humans, between computer science and biology, is collapsing and I think the next century and probably the future of life itself will be shaped by this algorithmic view of the world.’“Historian: When Computers and Biology Converge, Organisms Become Algorithms“,Yuval Noah Harari, quoted by Daniel A. Bell, May 18, 2016.
Harari said that 7 years ago, and it doesn’t appear wrong – not just from the artificial intelligence side, but from biotechnology, genetics, psychology, medicine…
We’ve mapped the human genome, starting in 1990 and ending in 2003. And what is DNA? It’s pretty much an algorithm that gets replicated with some alterations as they get passed down. We haven’t figured it all out, but it’s a matter of time. That’s just the biological side.
Language, religion, culture, family – these instill frameworks for the algorithms to work within. Parameters which get bent more than we like, if we’re honest. “Be nice to other people” doesn’t seem to fit the way we really do things, but still, we stay within the framework even where we bend it – aside from those who just don’t care. Those who just don’t care generally end up in a jail of some sort or in charge of a sovereign nation, and every step in between.
We have an education system which provides a further framework, and so on. We’re not all good algorithms, and we’re all certainly not good at everything, but together we tend to survive. Maybe it’s just a game of numbers. Maybe someone is rolling dice. If there ever was a Plan A, I’m certain we’re out of alphabet by now.
Where this gets interesting is that if we consider the bonsai I wrote about yesterday, we can see how we alter our own algorithms… and most importantly, how education is a small part of being human.
I’m not exactly sure where I’m going with this in entirety, but this is where I went.
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