Choice of living: On Autopilot (man-machine-time) or the ancient Athenian way – Georgios Ardavanis (Ph.D.) 

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Men used to put in roughly 90 hours per week of work in 1920. Men now work an average of forty hours per week, with about half of that time spent online from their homes after COVID-19. Some nations aim for a thirty-hour workweek. According to this viewpoint, the individual will have more free time. Most men’s mental and physical energy was used for constructive reasons sixty-two years ago. The men, therefore, took action to secure their survival. Today, we only devote a small portion of our time to basic requirements, such as food, shelter, and clothing. There are two issues with replacing human employees with machines because of machine progress (robotics and AI). Machines imprison us even as they liberate us from employment. In other words, a man simultaneously becomes the handmaiden of the computer in his quest to accomplish his convenience.

What are we going to do with the extra time? The issue in the past was how busy we’d be. When the workers demanded the eight-hour day and the Sunday holiday, there were labor movements and strikes, and much blood was shed. What will we do with all the extra time we have now that machines are becoming more and more prevalent in people’s lives?

Since robots can complete tasks more quickly, affordably, and with greater consistency than humans, they have replaced mainly manual labor and economists, accountants, controllers, and managers. The only workers left in the future will be engineers, technicians, and programmers. The next stage of AI development will allow for self-programming, machine maintenance, refurbishment, innovation, and invention. The next step will be the creation of the next generation of machines using robotics and AI. As a result, since robots can replicate, program, and govern themselves, no technical personnel will be required. The machines won’t need to be designed, built, or operated by men. Instead, mankind will be expected to entertain the machines. In particular, the machines will enslave men and force them to live wholly mechanical lives.    

The machines will keep a man around for amusement. They’ll make him their slave and force him to live a mechanical lifestyle. The machines will program him so that he lives in an opulent prison where he will sleep while being affected by electromagnetic waves at a specific time, wake up at a programmed time when the electromagnetic waves stop being emitted, and perform specific work in electronic circuits primarily for fun to occupy his time rather than because he will need to work. He will then enjoy certain scheduled entertainments (television viewings), eat at predetermined times, and watch specific scheduled television programs.

The machine will be different from what we are accustomed to since it will be guided by human thought, programming, and direction. Because man is always more remarkable and better than machines because he possesses qualities that machines will never have, it is highly likely that this threat will be addressed in time and that we will never become their slaves. Judgment.

The human brain consists of ten billion cells. The electronic brain, instead of cells, has keyboards. But there is no such thing as an electronic brain with ten billion keys. And this immediately brings the second to a subordinate position against the first. The human brain, for example, has, according to experts, the ability to store two hundred billion pieces of information of all kinds. In contrast, the most perfect and giant electronic brain cannot surpass this dizzying number. The rule is to reach 1/10th of this number.

On the other hand, the electronic brain consumes thousands of times more energy than the human brain to maintain function. Other scientists contrast the following with the claims made by those who favor the supremacy of the human mechanism.

 The machines run at a set, a predetermined performance that is unaffected by internal or external factors. They don’t stop working during the day or night, and they don’t participate in strikes, protests, or other forms of unrest. The electronic brain can be trusted, but we can’t necessarily say the same about people. The machine can work thousands of times quicker than a human and frequently do tasks that would typically take an employee their whole life to complete is what matters most to the machine’s proponents.

Many forecast that man would be replaced by his creation, the machines, based on the aforementioned factors. Some people tell us to accept this displacement as an unavoidable progression to which we cannot declare acquiescence since they believe it inevitable. Others are agitatedly raising their voices in protest, decrying the awful threat and requesting that action be taken to address it while there is still time. However, those who choose the aforementioned entrepreneurs over man or machine are making a critical error. They use quantitative criteria rather than qualitative ones. This is due to the similarities between humans and machines, which are more superficial and quantitative than qualitative and real. Calculations are performed by both a human and an electronic calculator, albeit the latter performs them more quickly. Of course, information is processed by both the human and the technological brain. And because the changes are so much more significant in the second, the processing is carried out with considerably more precision.

Most of the characteristics of a human brain are not present in an electronic brain of a computer. the concept. Only the knowledge imparted by man, the brain’s creator, is available. The machine does not alter or add to the already existing data. His responses are yes and no, without any room for judgment or synthetic thought. The computer turned out to be a mediocre poet and musician. The machine is incapable of invention, prototyping, change, or creation. The machine is unable to produce anything new. It is a slave that will never pose a significant threat to its master. Unless he loses his mind. Afterward, everything is feasible.

Another significant issue is that as machines advance and become more prevalent, people will have more and more time available. The availability of this time has already begun to cause issues in modern civilizations. In terms of his mind and spirit, the man was not ready for such an abundance of time. He is unsure of what to do. This is the typical occurrence known to psychologists as “Sunday Blue.” On Sundays, many people who work all week are unsure about what to do. They aimlessly wander around, drink, play cards, feel unhappy and dejected, and ultimately, on Monday, they return to their jobs with a sense of relief. There also emerged other harmful societal phenomena. the irate young of developed nations who are jobless and unsure of what to do. Today’s social problems are primarily caused by unemployment, which manifests as nihilism, anarchy, alcoholism, and drug abuse. The phenomenon of boredom exists as well. It is about the wealthy who go to great lengths to have coffee, go to a wedding, watch an NBA game, or take in a fashion display. They lack the skills to pass the time or fill the emptiness in their lives.

Sociologists and psychologists already concerned about what will happen when the amount of time remaining has increased even more are understandably concerned by all these events. Some say that man is made to work and can do nothing else to spend his life humanly. We must return to work now to discover human employment and production methods. This viewpoint is incorrect. Because the ancient Greeks, notably the Athenians of the “Golden Age,” had limitless time at their disposal. What did they do with the remaining time? They carried out the initial “Greek Miracle.” They built the Parthenon and philosophy in place of rebellious youth and nihilism. The focus was on writers and artists rather than boredom. As a result, the problem is not a lack of time but instead how effectively we use our time.

How will this be accomplished, too? If we rediscover the universe of mind, it will be accomplished. Let’s say we set aside the limiting utilitarianism and individualism that characterize our time. Assume we know there are other higher-quality employment opportunities besides the one that secures our material subsistence. If so, it secures our continued existence on a moral and spiritual level. Thus, man can pursue inventions, science, the fine arts, literature, sports, and tourism after he is liberated from his work of physical labor and, more generally, livelihood work. Then he can serve his fellow men as a pastor, an educator, a doctor, or an explorer. He can ponder, debate, and think. He can have good communication skills; thus, he can interact with others, read books, and know how to amuse himself. However, he must plan and arrive on time to be well utilized. Therefore, schooling needs to be modified. Must shift from being a biased and zealous accumulation of knowledge to primarily instructing ways of thinking and living. The imparting of knowledge should be seen as something other than the school’s exclusive or primary goal. Because learning never stops, and there is always more to learn. If you are given the means of learning, you will consistently acquire knowledge on your own throughout your life. The institution must offer this option.

Additionally, the school needs to give you a way of life. This should be the goal of education, which ought to be improved. The mandatory general education should be extended from six to eight years to nine, twelve, and fourteen. Additionally, education needs to be made permanent. Today, knowledge ages far more quickly than clothing and footwear, but we still make sure to replace our footwear or clothing, not our knowledge. Daily learning occurs while yesterday’s information has already been surpassed. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a system of continuous education that includes free study and training facilities, irregular periods during which all residents return to school, and commensurate use of the media for educational objectives.

For a man to live humanely and have plenty of free time, we must restore him to his rights and values. Let’s find what is unique about talent and potential in each person and use it. Therefore, the education system should be adaptable toward detecting and utilizing each person’s unique potential. We will have to restore the complete human being, the complete human being who has rights, values, and potential and utilizes them properly. The man who combines action with thought is the complete man. Neither the one who isolates himself in the glass tower of thought and disregards activity nor the one who is illiterate, uninformed, and disregards rational thought and practical action. We will all have a lot to do and be busy with if everyone engages in everything if we have engaged citizens who are interested in everything, deal with everything, and become involved in everything like the ancient Athenians. Then, life will take on a new dimension, and the time we still have left will be a blessing and a source of delight and blessings.

Georgios Ardavanis – 16/08/2023

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