The Imperative of Human Thought and Human Touch in the AI Era

Robert Lyn Nelson | Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds Painting | Beatles Tribute Series

In today’s world, the advancements and contributions of AI doesn’t fail to amaze us. The speed, convenience, and mind-blowing innovation it brings to various aspects of our lives are truly remarkable. However, this progress also triggers a sense of unease and raises important questions. While there are ton of concerns about AI potentially dominating the world, today I’d like to focus on the concept of the human thought and the human touch as two fundamental elements that, I find, to be profoundly affected.

Human thought is a complex and multifaceted process encompassing various cognitive mechanisms, such as perception, attention, memory, conceptualization, reasoning, problem-solving, visualization and many more among others. Over reliance on the AI technologies and delegation of some of the basic cognitive processes to the machines can potentially and substantially diminish the human brain over time. In an era where we are constantly exposed to vast amounts of information, the thought process and the ability to critically analyze information are becoming a lost proficiency. Unlike the time of the industrial revolution, when the machines replaced mundane and arduous work, which resulted in fostering intellectual growth, today’s danger lies in delegating the thought process entirely or partially to the machines, which can result in the human brain potential degradation on evolutionary level. So given the circumstances, the cultivation of analytical, critical, creative, and logical skills has become all the more imperative.

The other day, I was buying flowers and the shop assistant told me. “Why don’y you buy these ones, they are natural and they smell delightful”. I was confused at the word “natural”, because I couldn’t see any artificial flowers. So I asked her what she meant saying “natural”. She said: “Well, these ones are green house flowers, they don’t have any scent to them, whereas the other ones are naturally soil grown and they have an amazing scent. It’s like online flowers, they look nice and have no scent to them.” I found that analogy so interesting, the interference with the nature’s processes and the elimination of the human touch so expanded everywhere is affecting everything as a chain reaction.

The concept of touch is undeniably one of the most fundamental aspects of human life and creative experience. It is through touch that we connect, find solace, draw inspiration, create, experience life, love and maintain mental health. And it made me think that the more connected we are with the rise of the internet and AI, paradoxically more detached we have become. In the online world, we find ourselves caught up in a whirlwind of interactions, only to find a undeniable lack of depth and a crucial missing human component- genuine human interactions, sincere connections, hugs, kisses, and moments of true intimacy that no fancy technology can ever replicate. And the more technology becomes immersed into our lives, the more we are going face the possibility of growing even more detached just to ultimately recognize the true significance of basic human connections.

I whole heartedly believe that human touch in its broader sense will always hold an indispensable value in the AI era. There is something uniquely profound about everything that is created or made possible through direct human involvement, based on inherent human experiences and emotions. This is also especially true for arts in general. While AI has made strides in mimicking and generating creative outputs, as of today it lacks the depth, emotional intelligence, and originality that are inherently tied to human creativity. Many new art forms will emerge and mind blowing creative outputs will prevail, and the better AI becomes at replicating human creative output, the more invaluable the idea of basic human touch will become for people.

As we navigate the awe-inspiring advancements of AI and its impact on our lives, let us never forget the irreplaceable essence of human thought, the power of genuine connections, and the profound value of human touch. In the era of AI, these are the fundamental elements that will shape our world with authenticity and depth.

p.s. I bought the natural flowers.