Stephen Fry showing how ancient Greek wisdom might describe our future with AI

During an interview on Dutch television, Stephen Fry came up with a mindblowing analogy of what we, as human beings, have to decide on when it comes to future developments in Artificial Intelligence.

Somehow, he combines the Greek mythology of Prometheus with the rise of the Internet and extrapolates this to an impressive summarisation of the whole AI debate.

Most of the time, the participants of this debate are divided in only two camps: the believers (in all the good that AI will bring) and the non-believers, leaving not much room for a more moderate opinion (of which I’m a strong supporter as you can read from this LinkedIn article). His words described in such a wonderful way that this is just too simplistic, so I decided to turn this part of the interview into a separate clip for others to see.

The most interesting take aways from his passionate, 6 minute plea:

  1. The nature of his analogy which summarises the current ethical debate in an ancient wisdom
  2. The way he highlights how even ancient civilisations understood that “…. when we have something that seems perfect, there’s no possibility but it also contains its opposite”
  3. If we want to get rid of this darkside, we also get rid of the beauty; it’s two sides of the same coin
  4. This seems to be a tragic consequence of everything we do as human beings but still not realise and tend to forget when hailing technological progress
  5. The consequence is that we should be thinking ‘grey’ when it comes to the impact of AI and not an overly simplistic concept of black or white, ‘pro’ or ‘against’

But please, do watch this interview yourself (until the end).

Only one man can do this.

I also posted this clip on LinkedIn, spurring some tremendous attention. Have a look at the LinkedIn post.


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