How Will AI Shape Human Behavior?

How Will AI Shape Human Behavior? article and permission to publish provided by

AI is bringing out many questions, fears and possibilities. Some are jumping with great enthusiasm about all the potential ways it could augment our humanity without stopping long enough to consider the unintended consequences of whatever app, program or machine they are in the process of developing or creating an algorithm for. Others fear the science fiction stories of robots, with a central brain-computer taking over the world.

Some see it as a panacea to solve all of our current problems – injustice, education, business, climate change, to name a few. 

The truth is that it is everywhere and is exponentially multiplying to reach every human endeavour and profession, from accounting, real estate, education, medicine, the judicial system, consulting firms, and the military. Even journalism and the arts are not immune to its impact. It augments the brain and leaves behind the heart and soul.

The probability of Artificial Intelligence learning to Feel, Learn and Evolve

We are concerned about the impact on employment, equity, the financial and technical gap expanding between the have and the have nots, our democracy, freedom, and our very own existence. We are questioning what consciousness is and whether or not AI can self develop one as it learns and evolves. In addition to the biases that favour some over others or can have a profound detrimental impact on the lives of individuals that can rob them of their freedom, destroy their reputation, their privacy, and can ensure personal compliance to the norm as the social scorecard is doing for citizens in China. Logical, all within the context of current governance, ignoring the individual differences, and punishing the dissidents.

How does a two-dimensional world of 0 and 1, of inputs (data) and outputs (success parameters), capture and function in a complex, multifaceted world with multifaceted individuals, multiple cultures, and various contexts? How does it capture the exceptions to the rule and the flexibility needed in multiple circumstances? The world is not black and white. Since the onset of technology, we have changed the definition of death from having your heart stop to being brain dead because of sustaining the organs artificially. And that is just looking at the physical side of things, let alone the emotional side of it all.

Lost In Translation: Machine Learning vs Human Learning

We are attributing and giving AI great powers in many dimensions. We are doing so with an emotional brain that we don’t yet understand, and from which we are only in the last few years able to have some degree of access and explore inside our brain and our body. As I understand, AI is great for concrete focused things like performing a less invasive surgery and flying a mini drone on Mars. Yet, we are probing into much more complex and ambiguous areas like education, morality and law.

We are already seeing misuses of AI in employment selection, in awarding parole or keeping a person from obtaining credit to better their lot in life. We see misuses in generalizing the information to areas that it was not initially intended for, without regard to the cost and impact of those actions not only on the people it entails but also on society.

Computers changing human’s programmed mindset of a move, a step, a strategy

We’ve seen the computer beat the world champion of GO in four out of five games, where the computer changed on its own its strategy in the last game from the traditional points plus territory to winning just by a point. In some ways poetic, a move from a mindset of conquering territory which has dominated humans for millennia to a more, I would say neck in neck perspective, winning by one point. 

A paradigm change. It is not clear yet what the implications are to have achieved such a feat. It has impacted the GO champion, all GO players, and the team of programmers contemplating the need to make sure ethical guidelines are discussed and implemented. After all, it is a game, yet the ability to create its moves outside the possibilities it was presented, jumping into new potential permutations creates many questions. What are the implications, and what are the possible unintended consequences?

It was interesting to watch the video of the champion wanting to read his opponent’s non-verbal, emotional cues, yet there were none to be read. A variable that was now not available to the champion to infer his rival strategy. As humans, we rely not only on calculating probabilities of success; we also gather cues from our senses and respond to our emotions at conscious and unconscious levels. Memories are stored not only in the brain, and we have postural and texture memory and auditory and olfactory ones which inform our thoughts, emotions, and actions.

Understanding the Language of Play

Play is not just a game to humans and other species but a precursor to life. A way to learn social skills and norms, solve problems, anticipate danger, learn strategy, and flexibility. Play is about imagination, sharpening our skills, and facing the unknown. It is about developing bonds, connections and friendships. 

It is about challenging ourselves, about collaboration and competition, confidence and resilience. Play is about experiencing our emotions from pain to joy. Play is about fun, about the future, possibilities, and hope. Play is about rules and ethics. About failure and success, companionship and trust. It is about learning from Nature, as well as being part of Nature. It is about intimately connecting with Nature, loving it, and respecting it by being aware of her power, complexity, and awe.

A World More Artificial Than Natural: The battle between virtual and human consciousness

Recently, I watched YouTube on the internet where a person was asked to choose between living in a virtual world or living in Nature. The person in the video, without hesitation, responded in a virtual world. 

When I think of the newer generations spending more and more time on the internet, playing video games, interacting with others without really interacting physically with one another while using their combined imaginations, I find the response deeply disturbing. This led me to write this article. Interacting with moments captured in Social Media and not with the fullness of life. With seeing half, a person, and partial cues captured in Zoom. Often with exotic and or orderly esthetic rooms as backgrounds, detached from reality and context.

It brings the image of a Twilight Zone episode that I saw many years ago of a man who is able to walk into a painting to escape consequences and his reality. Unbeknownst to him, the paintings at the museum have been switched, and instead of walking into a bucolic, beautiful painting, he finds himself trapped in a nightmarish painting. Are we, as humans, walking into a nightmarish painting thinking we are walking into paradise? 

Entering a New Age: Future of our Brains and Technology

Are we moving toward altering our brain as we connect to machines and machines connect with us and, as a result, become less human? More intelligent, and less flexible and compassionate? We are learning that many children related to social media have difficulty interacting live with their peers. Social media also impacts emotional development and regulation through, among other things, a skewed tribal placement, with an unrealistic tribal size and reach as our brain is wired for fewer tribal members, resulting in more frequent depressions, suicides, and a lack of resilience.

Language is more than words, more than communication of information; it embodies a unique way of thinking, perceiving and viewing the world. It reflects a whole cultural way of being in the world; speaking the language and understanding allows us to penetrate a unique world. When embodying it, we are offered many subtleties that escape the untrained eye. There is wordplay, and phrases, intonations, and contextual elements which cannot be translated. Word plays, innuendos, lost historical references that still colour the horizon. When we are unable to speak a language, we rely on a translator. The translator shares the perceived information, and when we hear it, we sense that something is missing. We know we are losing much in translation.

Exploration into communication and language barriers

In life, whether we are playing a game and/or interacting with each other and with life, there is no substitute to interacting fully with the natural world with all the senses firing, all the emotional tonalities surfacing, the exchanges, the energy, the vibrations, the subtleties, tonalities, the dimensions that are felt, seen, heard, smelled, touched, sensed. The search for discovery and connection involves the head, heart and gut.

Balancing the subjectivity and the objectivity, developing, emerging and understanding the human condition as we go through life with each other and with Nature. Building trust, seeking what is truth, evolving in partnership with each other, in “Carne y Hueso” (skin and bone – alive, in person) and Nature, evolving and expanding our language without losing its roots, its evolution, its culture, its heart, its emotions, its soul, its humanity. 

On Our Own Terms: The Future of the Intersection Between the Human Mind and Artificial Intelligence

We have to make sure that as we connect to machines and machines connect with us, we are not altering our brain in ways that give the intellect at the expense of the heart and the gut. That we are not exchanging the fullness of Nature by what we capture through a selected technology. That we don’t end up living in a translated world and lose the richness of humanity, our heart, our soul, and our world in the process.

Originally published on Medium on 16th November 2021

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Ana Maria Irueste-Montes

Ana Maria Irueste-Montes

Ana Maria Irueste-Montes PhD, PCC, BCC is a personal and executive coach who works with clients to help them grow and transform.
Individuals, micro and small businesses, and entrepreneurs can all benefit from her coaching services. Her top organizational values are diversity, sustainability, and connection.
She is also an adjunct faculty member at the College of Executive Coaching, a certified school who trains and certifies coaches all over the world.

Bilingual, as well as bicultural. A lifelong learner who has been accepted as a student by the MKAI community.
Committed to upholding the best qualities of humanity through respect, ethics, gratitude, and compassion.
Otherwise, you'll find her having fun as a grandmother, writing poetry when the muse inspires her, laughing with friends, and admiring nature.


How Will AI Shape Human Behavior?