Input Or Output?

In any system, you have the raw materials that go in (input), and the finished product that comes out (output). Is one preferable to the other? Is one more important?

Share why if you wish.

Input Or Output?

Is Faster Better?

Sometimes it seems that life moves very fast, and you need to move very fast just to keep up with it. But have you ever stopped to wonder: is faster better?

Looking at the issue in simple terms, it seems the answer is yes, faster is better. After all, the limiting factor in our lives is time. Even the longest living among us has a finite — and relatively short — amount of time to be alive. So if we move faster, we do more.

However, quantity is not the same as quality. Doing more is not the same as doing things well.

It is possible that doing one thing very well is more meaningful, more impactful, and more rewarding than doing several things less well.

Productivity is such a powerful notion, though. Productivity has steadily increased over the last several decades. This may have to do with us working harder. In addition, we have more tools than ever before to help us to be productive.

Companies like productive workers. Productive parents can do more for their children. You can be a better friend or family member through productivity. Or at least, that is the message from a society built around productivity.

That may be true for drudge work. If a machine helps you to wash dishes faster, for example, that leaves you with more time for other, more pleasant, activities.

But what about non-drudge work? Is it better to write faster? Read faster? Talk faster? Play faster? Are there some activities where doing things more slowly is better (however you define better)? Or is it the case that for everything we do in life, faster is better?

Related questions: How can we be more productive? Are we too busy? Fast or slow? What is the value of inefficiency?

 

 

What Do You Think About Artificial Intelligence?

As the quality of artificial intelligence continues to increase, it is easy to imagine that it will have a significant impact in many areas of our everyday life. How might it impact your life, and how do you feel about it?

Artificial intelligence, or AI, has long been a staple of science fiction. From Asimov’s robot stories to the computer HAL in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: a Space Odyssey, the possibilities of AI has often been the source of futurist stories.

Now, however, science fiction is beginning to merge with science fact. The recent advances in AI-generated text and images have captured the public imagination. People are using AI interfaces to generate marketing text, or to make pictures of any prompt they can think of.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘Is technology neutral?’ We also discuss another question as well, ‘Freedom or security?’


But while individuals play with the various interfaces, some have started sound alarm bells. While the output of many of the AI platforms can be spotted fairly easily now, the advances are happening quickly. It is not clear where the technology will go next, and some see a dire future.

Students could generate school essays with minimal research. Any conspiracy theorist can create legitimate-sounding content to dupe unsuspecting members pf the public. And in the ultimate nightmare scenario, AI could become so advanced that it has an agenda of its own, and ignores the wishes and desires of the humans who created it.

But is this all just fear of the unknown? Are the people spreading panic just not seeing — or not choosing to see — the benefits of the new technology? Will artificial intelligence be a tool of mankind, used to multiply our productivity, or is it instead an existential threat? Or somewhere in between?

What do you think about artificial intelligence?

Related questions: Will technology save us? What new technology do you want? What is the greatest problem facing humanity? How can we measure intelligence?