Reflecting on AI: Between Consciousness and Caution

Roshni Mohandas
2 min readDec 22, 2023

It’s been a while since my last post on Medium. Today, I’m reigniting my writing journey with a topic that’s garnering immense attention lately: the discussion of artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential to become conscious.

I am a proponent of implementing checks and balances in AI development, but I also believe in the power of open-source collaboration. Making AI open source could unite global minds, propelling its advancement to unprecedented heights.

Living in this complex world, one can’t help but marvel at the intricate tapestry of life. This complexity often brings about apprehension towards technological advancements. For instance, I recall the resistance to the computer revolution in Kerala during the early ’90s, similar to the opposition against weaving machines in France centuries ago. Such fears are now resurfacing with AI, particularly regarding its potential to disrupt industries and affect employment.

The prospect of AI achieving consciousness might seem distant, perhaps a century away. However, its impact on jobs and its potential misuse in industries like weaponry are immediate concerns. The advancement of AI, although significant, is still in a nascent stage. To equate AI with a ghost-like entity or to attribute free will to it is an oversimplification. Even human agency, often linked with free will, is a complex concept.

The idea of AI reaching a level of consciousness akin to human beings or fictional depictions in ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Terminator’ is far-fetched. We must remember that intelligence comes in various forms. For example, octopuses exhibit unique cognitive abilities, yet they don’t aspire to dominate humans. This analogy extends to AI — our brains, with their 86 billion neurons, embody complexities that AI models, despite their advancements, cannot replicate, especially in terms of emotional and aspirational capacities.

Nevertheless, the potential dangers of AI are manifold. Its applications in warfare and its disruptive influence on job markets warrant serious consideration. The real concern lies not with AI itself, but with how humans might use it. In many ways, human beings pose a greater threat, especially when they use AI to harm others.

To conclude, while we must approach AI with caution, it’s equally important to adopt an open and inclusive perspective towards its development. My aim has been to convey these thoughts in simple terms, hoping to spark thoughtful discussions on this pivotal subject.

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Roshni Mohandas

Entrepreneur, Data Scientist , Startup , Hustler : 100% follow back