They’re probably one of the funnest, most valuable experiences in our lives; daycares. They’re also very germy with lots of sniffles, drool, hugs, sneezes, wheezes and ouchies. Toddlers don’t have gender or racial biases either. They are where we play and learn about one another. We move fast and break things and it’s okay.
Before I roll into this short essay, let me be sure to say that I am a proponent of AI. I think it can benefit humanity. Done right. It will be messy. I’ve been deeply embedded in the world of technology and humans for over 25 years. I’ve seen some really good things. I’ve seen some silly things. I’m a pragmatist and an anthropologist focused on being human in the digital age.
It is also important to recognize that there are some very good AI uses underway. Some are being used for drug discoveries, others for combating climate change and others for medical advancements.
While the AI tools such as Generative AI are presenting some exciting opportunities and of course risks, how these tools have been thrust into the public sphere has left a lot to be desired in terms of stewardship. Lot’s of altruistic statements, very little adult behaviour. These are of course amplified by the OpenAI debacle of governance and the antics of X and Grok, who’s claim to advancement is the ability to use foul language.
Many thought leaders in industry and academia called for a 6 month moratorium to consider how we’re advancing AI. This turned out to be more of a play by industry leaders to build moats around their AI for their Lego fortresses. Nobody likes anyone to smash their Lego bricks fortresses.
So perhaps, rather than a pause, we could put all these companies in a digital daycare. Maybe in a neutral country like Switzerland. So China, Russia and others can all get in on the playing. And when they don’t get along, they can all have nap time. And enjoy some nice fruit snacks afterwards. Not too much sugar though, they might break too many things.
The social media giants, lead by then business toddler Zuckerberg, exemplified the mantra of the daycare; move fast and break things. Knocking down your buddy’s Lego fort is a lot more fun than building it. The other kids in the then social media daycare liked this idea too, so off they went…