Thought — 2 Min Read

Changing Reality

by Case Greenfield, May 1st, 2021

Thought – 2 Min Read

Changing Reality

by Case Greenfield

May 1st, 2021

We are at the brink of “AI reality”. Nobody knows exactly what it will look like. Also, it will take the next fifty to hundred years to really establish. But it will come. It is inevitable. And it will change our life dramatically. Life as we know it today will be gone in fifty to hundred years from now. The biggest change? We will live in a new reality, a reality that we simply could not see before.

In general, I do see art as a useful means to escape from the limitations of reality. But with my art, I try to find a way to merge the realities, that we create to shape ourselves, into a futuristic interpretation of reality in the age of artificial intelligence (AI) and other disruptive technology, hence accepting a totally new form of limitation: our position in the evolutionary grand scheme of things. Bridging realities and reality, synthesizing the Humanities and the Sciences into a ‘Grand Unified Theory of Everything’. That is the starting point for my art … for you individually, as the beholder of my art, and for humanity as a whole.

This morning I was reading the SCMP, and an article on the role of AI in global politics and economy struck my eye. Especially this quote:

At 97, Kissinger has declared himself a student of AI, saying “it is fascinating not only economically, but also philosophically, because it will change the nature of human thinking about reality, which will affect all of us”.

” (…) [AI] is fascinating because it will change the nature of human thinking about reality (…)”

Well, if a very well informed person like Mr. Henry Kissinger – former USA Secretary of State – says things like this, and has become a student of AI, then something bigger is going on. Having been an AI entrepreneur in my pre-artist life, I have been well aware of this for a few years. AI will cause an unprecedented revolution.

I chose art as a way to express my ideas for two reasons:

  • Since I was 16, I always wanted to become an artist, but destiny had other career plans for me.
  • Convincing people with rational arguments has only limited effect; emotion is more effective.

So, this is exactly the point that I want to make with my art. I am convinced that we are at the brink of the biggest change in our perception of reality in the entire history of humanity, since we stopped being hunter-gatherers and created civic reality, since Copernicus’ heliocentric model created scientific reality, since Niels Bohr discovered out-of-our-world quantum reality.

By the way, do you see how these events follow-up in an ever faster pace?

We are at the brink of “AI reality”. Nobody knows exactly what it will look like. Also, it will take the next fifty to hundred years to really establish. But it will come. It is inevitable. And it will change our life dramatically. Life as we know it today will be gone in fifty to hundred years from now.

The biggest change? We will live in a new reality, a reality that we simply could not see before.

And do you know what the biggest challenge will be at the individual human level? The mixed bag of realities in our brain! Part of us still is a hunter-gatherer, part of us still is religious or superstitious, a big part of us still lives in classical, Newtonian, reality. And a very big part of those living today will never in their lifetime accept AI reality. Just won’t. Our brains are not plastic [as in: neural plasticity] enough.

So many people feel lost already. Not understanding the world around us. Not able to deals with everyday’s complexity. Seeing that they are not effective, but unable to change it. That frustration. That loneliness! “Lost in space.”

Art in general, especially postmodern art, has always been a useful means to escape from the limitations of reality. The biggest hurdle in AI reality will be our intuitive reluctance to “accept a totally new form of limitation: our position in the evolutionary grand scheme of things”. We are merely stardust in a specific configuration; not the smartest creature in the universe, and with no fundamental purpose or ‘raison d’être’, just being or as the Germans say ‘Dasein’.

Our raison d’être is Dasein

This existential loneliness will drive us together, like rabbits in a rabbit hole, always afraid of the fox — realizing that we are just a small cog in the universe. But, if we do it well, cozy together in our hole. With our own human pecking order, our own mutual dependence, our own reality.

With my art, I aim to bring joy from beauty, but especially, to bring affirmation of who we are – our identity, both individually and as human beings, in the new “AI reality”. My art should help us feel that we belong in the life that we want to live. That’s what I call “Warm Grounding“.