I, Human: AI, Automation, and the Quest to Reclaim What Makes Us Unique, reviewed

We look at this relevant book by Thomas Chamorro-Premuzic . I, Human: AI, Automation, and the Quest to Reclaim What Makes Us Unique is available from Harvard Business Review here.

I, Human: AI, Automation, and the Quest to Reclaim What Makes Us Unique, reviewed

This is a topical and relevant book, though perhaps the cat is already out of the bag in terms of Chamorro’s concerns that he attempts to remedy in this book. Chamorro argues his points well, riffing around the concept that AI is making us dumber, and that we need to spend less time on and checking our devices. All valid points that we would completely agree with.

At the end of each chapter there are pop quizzes to assess where you are on the scale in terms of your own user habits. As we did the initial quizzes we did wonder if your responses are guided to a large degree depending on whether you are a pre-millennial or not. For the diminishing number of us who can remember a pre-internet time, there is often less of a need to instantly check for updates, notifications and all the anthropologically engineered ticks aimed at making various apps and platforms as sticky as possible.

We are all however part of a big, unstructured data gathering experiment where we are the lab mice and AI is the beneficiary. Chamorro does a great job of articulating the issues, and the challenges. Where it feels like a harder sell is whether it is too late to do anything about this. He is absolutely right that separation and divorce from our devices is necessary if we are going to retain and regain some of our intrinsic intelligence before it all goes artificial.

A thought provoking book, well worth reading, even if it is perhaps a little depressing in terms of what humanity might actually be able to achieve.

More about this book

For readers of “Sapiens” and “Homo Deus” and viewers of “The Social Dilemma,” psychologist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic tackles one of the biggest questions facing our species: Will we use artificial intelligence to improve the way we work and live, or will we allow it to alienate us? It’s no secret that AI is changing the way we live, work, love, and entertain ourselves. Dating apps are using AI to pick our potential partners. Retailers are using AI to predict our behavior and desires.

Rogue actors are using AI to persuade us with bots and misinformation. Companies are using AI to hire us–or not. In “I, Human” psychologist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic takes readers on an enthralling and eye-opening journey across the AI landscape. Though AI has the potential to change our lives for the better, he argues, AI is also worsening our bad tendencies, making us more distracted, selfish, biased, narcissistic, entitled, predictable, and impatient.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Filled with fascinating insights about human behavior and our complicated relationship with technology, I, Human will help us stand out and thrive when many of our decisions are being made for us. To do so, we’ll need to double down on our curiosity, adaptability, and emotional intelligence while relying on the lost virtues of empathy, humility, and self-control.

This is just the beginning. As AI becomes smarter and more humanlike, our societies, our economies, and our humanity will undergo the most dramatic changes we’ve seen since the Industrial Revolution. Some of these changes will enhance our species. Others may dehumanize us and make us more machinelike in our interactions with people. It’s up to us to adapt and determine how we want to live and work. The choice is ours. What will we decide?

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