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Eco Friendly Home Cooked Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence and the expression ‘home cooked’ have something in common. They both point to something which many feel they understand. Often the reality of each phrase doesn’t quite match up to what you see in the real world.

Home cooked (as seen on a pub sign for example), can mean ‘lovingly hand made from basic local ingredients’. It could also mean locally microwaved. AI can simply mean it’s a bit clever. It could mean technology. It could mean something very clever. It’s also curious how AI has taken on an identity. It’s become a thing. People interact with ‘an AI’ as if it was an entity in itself. People don’t say “I’m having a home cooked tonight for main course, and an artisan for pudding.” They could I suppose.

Terms like these invoke an emotional response. AI conjures up images of super intelligence or at least very cleverness, or Terminators. ‘Locally sourced’ means quality, care and some wonderful environmental credentials delivered by a free-range donkey from your neighbour.

Society is littered with these terms, most leading to a purchase or at least a preference on one things over another. There are other terms that sway your purchasing habits:

  • Eco.
  • Street food.
  • Sustainable.
  • Hand-made and better still, hand-crafted.
  • Artisan.

HyperLocal is an expression I came up with years ago. It was an attempt to guarantee a product came from a defined small radius and was made by people who would happily tell you about it. Someone signing up to the brand would also have to have open doors for people to see the product being made.

I probably wasn’t the first one who thought of HyperLocal, but at least in my world I hadn’t heard anyone else use it, so I’ll claim it. 😊

I didn’t do anything with the HyperLocal idea  like with so many of the ideas I have had in the past. However, someone else did. In fact, I am sure loads of people are now using it. I saw it used by a startup vertical farming business which was, by pure coincidence, something I was just about to do myself. They used the term perfectly to describe what they were doing, unlike most pubs who use the expression home cooked.

AI, like home cooked or artisan often points to something more than what it really is. Most AI is just ‘I’, no artificial behind it because it was a real person that created the algorithm. The program or  algorithm is often just a subset of the intelligence of the people who created it. It isn’t often the word ‘artificial’ has been given more meaning to it than it deserves. I do wonder if the pub chalk board menu said “Good food: cooked by AI” would lead to customer satisfaction after the curiosity subsided. I am slightly puzzled why artificial sweeteners are considered unattractive, whilst artificial intelligence is so exciting.

I’ve seen the rise and promise of many technologies, from the birth of Google, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I’ve seen the explosive growth of social media and I dare say I will also see its slow decline. I’ve seen so many technologies promise so much and deliver so little (like those phone menu systems everyone hates). Some of these, like Google are everyday helpful staples for everyone. Some like YouTube started off as a novelty and found their way into our lives as an incredibly useful resource for learning.

Whether AI goes from what it currently is, which is essentially very advanced pattern matching, it still has a long way to go. It’s no more intelligent than a worm, even a rather dim one. Whether AI moves forward towards something approach human intelligence is only a matter of timescale. It will. Whether AI develops something similar to human consciousness is unknown, as nobody can really understand what human consciousness is.

I can say for certain, whether AI turns out to be a threat to humanity is dependent on the worldview it is booted up with. If it embraces the Darwinian model it will quickly realise human beings need to be culled, if not exterminated, in order for the planet to survive. If however, it has another worldview based on the sanctity of human life and the need to protect the environment for the continuation of all life, then I guess it has a dilemma.