From A.I. To What Lies Ahead

Artificial Intelligence will soon replicate human labor by half. Doctors, engineers, pilots and such. But would it last? It’s highly unlikely. Humans are known for their innate ability to draw from experience, knowledge, practice, and even privilege. And since Artificial Intelligence might be the next big thing in technology, and since humans are impervious to become more aware of their competitive surroundings as they are to themselves, this might just tip the scale to a whole new level.

I’m not saying that humans aren’t replaceable and A.I. is doomed to exist for just a generation until we realize the transparent scope of human civilization and how profound it is that it is run by humans and for them, but it seems to me that A.I. is just another existent trend that may soon boil down to just one purpose: proving to humanity that intelligence is much greater that what it was ideally set out to define. I’m saying that if there is a sector somewhere that would do more intelligibly with A.I. than with humans, there is still the demand for human beings to create that sort of technology, to build that foundation, and to maintain a certain kind of status in this world. We see it in the movies.

We hear about it from futurists, but what A.I. represents is just a fraction of what was meant to be invented. It’s not build to replicate human labor and make it more efficient, it is build to encourage intelligence from point X to point Y in a way that was never expected before.

For the short run, A.I. is challenging. For the long run, it may be exhaustive. One of the best qualities of human beings is that they derive a sense of belonging from what they do professionally and if this is taken away from them, it would mean the closing stages of augmentation. And frankly, what’s the point of it all then?

The evolution of humankind is to humanity what cement is to concrete. It’s great that brainy makers of this world have brought to us the scope of transformational reality that bridges the gap between what we have and what we think we eventually might possess, but that bridge is standing on human heads, human intelligence, and human-made postulation. Take this away from them and it will get complicated and knotty (no, it isn’t yet!).

That sense of belonging is great, isn’t it? It is in you as much as it is in me. We have to do something about something, no matter what it is to feel like we’re something. If humans are replaced by commanders who insisted that amount of power and intelligence, then this world will soon become one twisted tale of sadistic progression. I like to call it regression since the road has to lead somewhere, especially where science is concerned.

With the amount of expertise on this subject, A.I. is inevitable and it may soon surpass its own inevitableness when we regard it as an alienated convict that’s capable of defeating us in a way that our entire lives, online and offline, start depending on it. Already we’re turning tables between two worlds, and next in line is Virtual Reality that grants the very much pretended, but actualization of many whims and fancies in our minds, it is expected that we will soon adopt the mask of anonymous trounce of self-insecurity to live our lives made of something more “intelligent“, yet artificial, to the end of our days; this is only if A.I. is excogitated and materialized in place of HUMAN LABOR.

As much as A.I. is an advanced accessory waiting to shine, humankind is the only force that will stand the test of time and progression. Human history and the accurate representation of how A.I. is brought to life is the evidence of that force.

Another key point that differentiates A.I. from human beings beyond compare is the learning capability of the human mind. Even though A.I. research takes the prize in terms of machine vision and speed understanding, computer scientists conveyed in a research paper that A.I. will have more hurdles to jump over one after another infinite. Sectors that are meant to replicate human labor such as driving cars, medical services, etc. aren’t expected to adapt to sudden altering circumstances as they’re hard-wired without an authentic emotional intelligence quotient.

As it turns out that Artificial Intelligence represents the kind of life that might cause more harm than good, considering how people in the past have reacted to an unusual invention. The human mind is now adept to rely on machines one way or another for their betterment, but never will that time come that they begin to embark on a journey that makes human effort even remotely irrelevant.

To,
Artificial Intelligence

It doesn’t give to take. Neither do you. But what’s different between the two of us? We’re made to perish, learn, grow then build, and sometimes even conquer. What you’re made for are all those things that the human mind is incapable of achieving faster and in a more “plastic” way. So, as it takes for a plastic surgeon to make something seem artificially appealing, your appeal is quite on the contrary, that is useful, but it is still artificially developed meant for intelligent jobs alongside humans, but not equal to them. Because when there’s deep learning, there’s humanity; and when there’s calculated feedback, there you are.

Don’t take this personally. With you in the picture I have been awakened to the extended possibility of human intelligence and what it is capable of, but the bigger picture still relies on the human mind and its capabilities in this civilization. Not yours because you’re human-made.

Can you imagine more efficiency in all different walks of life when humans are the crisp representation of everything that ever was and ever will be? I’m sorry that I’m not sorry that I’m just not that into you.

Don’t fret. I expect great things from you. I know you’ll do incredibly well. After knowing you, I have found more depth in technological advancements and autonomous systems. You’re capable of many useful adventures, alongside humans of course. I just don’t see the meaning in working without the “human spirit” in all candidate-sectors. I’d love to meet you one day, someday. I’d love to interact and observe you just as you are. It’s a pleasure knowing you exist while I’m alive.

And I will always want to know more about you. Write back anytime.

Talk soon,
Ayesha Dhurue

Why I Look Forward To Hidden Figures

Gaining incredible spotlight, if you’re up-to-date on the reading, Hidden Figures is one of those upcoming movies that speak of an untold story from history about the great and prominent achievements that were found in making an auspicious change in the lifestyle of many. Not to my surprise, Hidden Figures is also an upcoming book that tells a remarkable story of a group of female scientists who were significantly behind the biggest and most influential advances in aeronautics, in the 1940s era.

What this movie tells is the proud story of a solid team of African-American women who aid NASA by providing them with crucial mathematical data in the context of making a startling change for so many black women who enjoyed their long careers within the community. According to a recent article published in The Guardian, it was pointed out in the book that just 2% of black women got a university degree and more than half became teachers. And only a few broke down their “chosen” paths to join NASA to become serious mathematicians.

According to the Hidden Figures website, hundreds of women worked as “human computers” for the NACA, former NASA, from the 1930s through the 1980s. This website encourages The Human-Computer Project that strives and has accomplished great to recover hundreds of names and legacy for all female scientists, data analysts, mathematicians, and engineers who worked at NASA during that time. It is a solid effort to bring to light what has been forgotten, or not given enough importance today.

Hidden Figures highlights the lives of those black women who paved the way, being steadfast and true to the end, during one of the biggest advances in aeronautics, and other influential moments that made the 20th century what it stands for today. Katherine Johnson, is an African-American physicist, space scientist, and mathematician, born in 1918. She’s been a part of many major space programs that also took a giant leap during the moon landing, a fact that remains unknown, until now. She wasn’t alone. There was a proud team of all-female and all-black scientists behind every major space program during that time. That’s what Hidden Figures is built to portray so contemptuously and with such single-hearted commitment.

And that’s why I am looking forward to this movie releasing in 2017. I will, most probably, read the book first, like I always do, but I might hold off a bit more just to read it at the right time when this movie releases so the spirit instilled in their story and their hard work is still alive when I sit with cheese and salted popcorn with a Red Bull can, to watch it passionately in the cinema.

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I didn’t choose to write about this movie, specifically, because it speaks of the unforgotten and untold story of black NASA women. I chose this movie because this is the perfect kind of movie that the world must watch right now. It’s empowering and it keeps us reminded of the marvels that have happened in the past that have shaped our present and future. Things are rapidly transforming from one generation to the next, but what stays are such brilliant biographical films about strong, intelligent, and beautiful people in the world. It inspires us to do more, be more, and give back more. Because what’s knowledge when it’s not passed on to others?

Coming from a time when African American women were barred from studying in colleges, they were unable to be literate, forget about being educated. They were kept from being confident enough to tell their own story. And this destitution had been passed on from generation to generation until women like Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and countless more who fought for their rights and place in the world. These were the women who never stopped striving, to find a way to face their own lifestyle choices in a way that it meant to go against whatever bias came their way. How can such a movie that reflects such brilliant principles not be interesting and inspiring for anyone?

Such movies boast of great sense and capability, at work and in a person’s personal life. When applied to making a change, being a woman who’s looked at as something meant to fulfill an already-decided duty, this untold and true story is heartening and conversable for all. That’s why I chose to write about Hidden Figures.

What Feminism Is Not For Me

Maybe you have been “told” by others what feminism means for you, individually, or maybe you’ve “seen” some short-lived video of what feminism means for both women and men today. But how is that going to make any difference if you’re still fastened to the mediocre remarks made by both men and women, especially youngsters, about how women MUST be treated equally and how they MUST be looked at differently in the eyes of men, and even society.

Given today’s influence of social media among Facebook or Instagram scrollers, feminism has become a kind of temperament for some women rather than a strong mindset. It has become a weapon for some, while it remains a wave of embarrassing confusion or assumptions for some who are ignorant enough to make up their own “idea” of feminists and debunk the entire realistic concept of it.

Suppression of a concept such as sexism or the mere slaughtering of it by means of completely untrue and contradictory feministic terms is disgusting and frankly, discomforting. We have been told what feminism is, but when do we learn about the truths that don’t make feminism. What feminism isn’t is something that I haven’t been exposed to, if I were to compare it against the versatile articles I’ve come across written by feminists about what feminism is for every human, on an individual level.

If you’re reading this, I request you to make a quick list of what feminism is not, for you and why. This should be done, obviously, after you know the transparency of the concept and its concise definition that frames the society.

WHAT FEMINISM IS NOT FOR ME

  1. It is not ignoring the way men are treated in society:

    We have heard this chant a lot. People think that being a feminist means that you disregard male oppression and only focus on female abuse and issues circling around it. For me, feminism is not just talking about prostitution or rape in the eyes of how women are abused and tortured. When I speak about important and worldly issues that involve the use of bodies as acts of suppression or exploitation, I refer to all men and women. Yes, a majority of them are women, but supporting only one side of the argument means that you don’t care enough about the global consequence of the matter, rather you’re being sexist yourself.

  2. It is not hating men.

    Feminism doesn’t mean hating men. That’s called misandrists. Instead, if we focused on equality of all genders rather than equality of women, we know what’s going on and why. Misandrists hate all men. It is a term like misogynist, but for hating men instead of women. And frankly, as a feminist, hate is a strong word because what good are you doing by hating somebody for what they believe in when feminism is about changing the way people think in the society by means of action and reaction. Women are beautiful when they’re angry, but don’t do it for the wrong reasons.

  3. It is not blaming every man with a “dick” because of certain deceiving men.

    If you think all men want to get into your pants, you’re wrong. But if you only meet men who want to get into your pants, I believe you. But how would you feel if you meet a man who thinks all women are emotionally overpowered just because he met only such? Categorizing the entire human race on a bunch of good-for-nothings, then you truly don’t believe in anything.

  4. It is not making it a “woman’s world”.

    I’m so sick of hearing this. When women get offended by “It’s A Man’s World”, how is that any different when they say that it’s time to make it into a “Woman’s World” through feminism. I thought you were a feminist, not an extremist. What matters the most when you filter the concept of feminism to its absolute definition, is that it is about gender equality and not gender dominance. Don’t make the fact that you’re a woman a weapon to impose upon men everywhere.

  5. It is not about being physically violent with men just because they’re women.

    You want gender equality or do you want men to obey you? We see this now more than ever. Women want to be excused whenever they hit a man. Why? Because we’re women and hitting us would mean sexism. All I’m trying to say is that if we want to be treated equally then we should be willing to accept the entire picture. We won’t let women get away with hitting men in the name of feminism because that’s not what this is all about. For this point, I must say that feminism is discouraging one human to hit another, regardless of their gender.

  6. It is not about showing your bra strap.

    Saying that public display of any kind of clothing is a sure-fire act of feminism, at least in some cases, is disgusting. Both men and women are mouthed off about the kind of clothes they wear. When men wear extremely short shorts, aren’t they laughed at or told that they should wear something more mannerly? It’s the fashion that certain people want to suppress, not sexism. It’s a perception, not a concept. Don’t make something as little as showing your bra strap in public a matter of feminism because it would only make sense if men, too, wore bras and they were not questioned for showing the strap in public.

  7. It is not about perceiving women who do not want to work as being sexists.

    I do want women to work and become independent, but that’s not something that I would express in the name of feminism. Telling women that it’s unacceptable to become a housewife or mother, just because you might not want those things, is ridiculous. Do not label that as being a feminist in any aspect.

  8. It is not about male restriction.

    I know a few women who have been subjected to social or financial restrictions by the men in their lives. Some women do that too, mainly mothers or sisters, but mostly it’s a man who imposes restrictions upon a woman on matters of dressing, social interaction, work life, etc. That doesn’t mean feminist get to impose those same restrictions on men just to prove that they’re equal. The feminist path is to change the perception of having no restrictions at all on another human being, man or woman.

 

These are just the basic and, most often, misunderstood definitions of feminism. Frankly, feminism is a life-changing and revolutionary idea, something that both men and women have to encourage and promote in their lives, but some pillars have been disgracefully manipulated by those pretending to support it in a way that it benefits their individual convenience and comfort.

Being a feminist is hard for every woman because it calls for equality, not dominance. Being a dominant soul is an effortless act, and it doesn’t require courage or intelligence. It calls for insecurity or extremism. Don’t be a dominant soul and learn to be open to gender equality.

If tomorrow you’re riding the bus to work, don’t feel insulted if a man doesn’t willingly get up to let you sit on his seat. You don’t own that seat and unless you’re physically disabled, you shouldn’t be sitting on it just because you’re a feminist.

Changeling: The Times in 1928

Changeling, based on true events, is one of the most provocative movies liberated on-screen. The movie begins as a story of a single mother, bound by her lonesome life, caring for her little boy and providing for her home. There is no defined direction to this movie as the story becomes more than just about the mother and her missing child: it transforms into a tragedy of struggle, and frustration.

There is a war between the powerful and powerless that’s taking course in the movie. To watch this movie is to live forever in the dark. I couldn’t understand the why, but I was looking for the where. This movie conveys fortunate when unfortunate is all it’s got. It represents life when death is all around. It gives hope when disappointment is all that’s felt. And I feel miserable when I wish I had something less miserable to focus on. Changeling is based on a true story and it’s heartbreaking as it is courageous. It is frustrating as it is foreseeable. The impact of the press was given much importance in the script of the movie, as it was years ago in reality. To read was to believe. That was the wave of influence that newspapers had on their readers.

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Even though the scenes in the movie were easy to grasp, there was something missing that needed to be found. This movie confused me into believing the hard truth but only for something that is so easy to understand. The characters played in this movie are justified and their motives plausible. The way each person is carefully given personality makes Changeling well illustrated. There is no time-killing pointlessness in the movie and the story felt as real as it could be. The expectations that were dictated by the plot seemed well-defined by the actors, especially Jason Harner (as Gordon), who’s acting was completely crazy and up-to-the-par of the movie. As much as I love Angeline Jolie (as Christine) and John Malkovich (as Reverend Gustav), they both completely surpassed their designated scripts as opposing to the way this movie was made out to be seen. The actors fit well with the kind of cinematography the director wanted to accomplish.

The way Changeling was staged, with women given utmost fashion and cultural responsibility, while men given more of a formal responsibility made me feel like this movie knows what it’s up against: an era at the cusp of an evolution. The story was made out to be very queer and hysterical- emotionally and foreseeable- fundamentally.

Changeling is not changed but the growth of mentality. I wished that the silent struggle would come to an end, but it never did. Changeling is the fight between love and hope; between what is lost and why. Changeling characterizes misery the way ice melts and fire burns; it’s inevitable. I’ve lived in this movie and after it. And in the end, the light in the darkness was the darkness itself.

Changeling changed the change by justifying truth when lie was all they’d got. It showed the sufferings are not felt, they’re understood and that is what makes the soul go mad.

Justness or Absurdity?

A police officer showed no more interest when a train passenger complained about being spit on by a man while she was travelling in the train. The complaint was put forth to catch the accused while he was stationed on the railway platform, with the help of CCTV cameras, to identify the indicted male. Would it really change anything if the police would have caught the accused? What else could have the police done other than charging a heavy fine for spitting on running local trains and the passengers on it? The stain remains on both the question and the answer. Why?

Because India has had a reputation of not changing gears in mentality when pressed by the police.

This incident doesn’t change anything, other than a modification for a safe, and clean train travel: wear raincoats that cover your entire body; even your face. Regardless of health advisory posters pasted on railway platforms and near ticket counters, both men and women are going to chew pan masala, and/or tobacco, to spit on the walls; leaving disgusting red stains as a mark of human existence. It’s the way spitters leave a mark to autograph their dirty habit, like a dog pees on a car tyre to leave a mark for fellow folks. It’s still a stain when it’s on a wall and it’s still a stain when it’s on humans.
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The question: Can one spitter’s punishment change other spitters’ habits?

The matter is not about the police refusing to comply with the complaint. It is that policemen are unable to change the mentality of other spitters in public because nobody scares easy, and nobody cares enough to change one dirty, disgusting habit. To put forth a complaint about such an incident isn’t justness in any common sense. It is an absurdity. Complaining about being stained by someone else’s’ filth is as ineffective as complaining about being a woman and stared at by uncouth men, while travelling by train.

It is a matter of mentality, and not behaviour that needs to be refined. Complaining is justice for an act such as this or is it absurd? Would you complain when you know that finding the accused is not likely to change anything at all?


This post was originally published on This Week Mumbai