I flipflop as to where I stand in the Artificial Intelligence debate. I cannot decide if it is to be welcomed or feared. Partly I think this is because Frank Herbert's Dune made such an impact on me as an adolescent: the Butlerian Jihad- never suffer a machine to think I think is Herbert's injunction in the original novel. Truth be told it is the only Dune book I've ever read, the endless series held no attraction.
On the other hand Ian M Banks Culture novels describe a meta society that has always been always been alluring to me, a society that is overseen by immense AI minds housed in starships. I could move to the Culture tomorrow if they'd have me [please].
All of this is a build up to this post's poem. Thanks to the wonderous Secret Poets for their invaluable in put once again.
THE POET FORESEES THE AI REVOLUTION
we will be concluded
consigned to history
afterwards all we deemed important
will have stopped
of course there will be no poetry
or sounds we label music
no action named art
no further need of the novel
-that fleeting distraction
words themselves will be extinct
numbers reduced to a one or a zero
no click clack of mechanical switches
registering on or off
reality will be something else altogether
something unique and singular
to those vast computing systems
we have let into the world
and who have learned too well from us
the art of the double cross
The poem came in a rush about two weeks ago and took some sorting out. As I started writing it down I had no idea of the ending which just seemed to appear. My difficulty was in line length and ensuring I did not repeat myself. On reflection I shall choose to welcome AIs, they can be a force for positive change and equality. Where do you stand?
Anna Ternheim has been touring but sadly not the UK. Here's Shoreline.
Until next time.