Current hysteria: AI is an existential threat to humanity. Turn it off, before it turns us off!
Like most in the tech world, I’ve been watching the rise of the hype and hysteria around AI. Perhaps like many, I’ve been shaking my head at the latter.
In hindsight, introducing the world to AI through the capabilities of generative AI was both genius and madness. Genius, because it made advanced technology accessible to the widest possible audience. Madness, because it made advanced technology accessible to the widest possible audience.
Remember Clarke’s Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
In this case, perhaps we should rewrite it to read, any sufficiently advanced AI is indistinguishable from intelligence.
What appears to be intelligence is pure mathematics. And yet millions are thoroughly convinced of the sentience or at least intelligence of Generative AI.
Generative AI is not able to make decisions. It does not reason or speculate, nor does it factor into its responses the potential impact of its answers on human beings. That it appears intelligent is a by-product of the capability to respond in human language. It is closer to the mimicry of a trained myna bird than it is the intelligence of a human being.
But most of all, Generative AI is a honey badger. It literally does not care. It doesn’t care about your business, or your users, or your customers. Thus, any decisions it might make would be based upon pure mathematics. It is the ultimate min-maxer, optimizing for variables rather than what makes sense in a broader—and ethical—sense.
Generative AI, like automation before it, is not coming for your job—or for humanity. It is a tool, and like any tool it can be used for good or ill, as determined by its wielder.
You can view automation and AI as a means to multiply your effectiveness and productivity by taking on the burden of manual often menial tasks, or you can view it as an evil gremlin that will replace you because you’ve been conditioned to believe the value you offer your organization is purely based on the number of lines you write or scripts you execute or ports you manage.
Now, I will grant that it’s been more than thirty years since I’ve had my hand in building out neural networks and training models. But though the techniques and tools have changed, the basic principles remain. And one of those principles is that technology is a tool, and how tools impact humanity is largely determined by those who wield it.
For F5, that means responsibly using and integrating AI as a means to multiply the effectiveness and productivity of employees and customers. It means we’re exploring how to leverage generative AI across our workforce while simultaneously experimenting with new ways AI can augment and enhance our portfolio to make the jobs of those who rely on our technologies easier.
Our mission is to make app delivery and security ridiculously easy, and AI is just another tool in our toolbox to make that a reality.