Co-Intelligence

Reading through my notes on the first couple of chapters of Ethan Mollick’s book, Co-Intelligence, I’m fascinated by the idea of GenAI as a co-intelligence. This isn’t just another tool in our toolbox. It’s an evolution. We’ve had tools to augment our strength, our senses, our calculations — but never before have we had a tool that amplifies our very thoughts.

Mollick positions AI as not merely an invention; but an alien intelligence, a partner in thought unlike any we’ve seen before. The potential is HUGE, Jerry! It is poised to have an even bigger impact on us than the steam engine or the internet. But for many of us, the uncertainty is unsettling. We’ve created something we don’t fully understand. We’ve created an alien mind with capabilities we can only begin to fathom.

This co-intelligence has the potential to be our coworker, our teacher, our mentor, even our companion. Imagine a collaborator with a limitless source of knowledge and inspiration. Yet, as Mollick points out, it is not human, and therein lies the challenge. We have to learn to communicate, collaborate, and coexist with this non-human mind, ensuring it serves our highest aspirations rather than our deepest fears.

I know it’s probably a bit sci-fi to think of GenAI as an alien intelligence, but to me, that’s what makes it both exciting and daunting. The possibilities are boundless, but so too are the unknowns.

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