It's hard to read an article, watch a video, or listen to a podcast these days without the "pessimists" telling us that we're playing a dangerous game with artificial intelligence that will overtake us, control our future, and that robots will rule the world sooner or later.

Many of them share stories that chatbots, for example, are threatening married and family life, undermining stable marriages, and threatening to wreak havoc on the world. When people see machines and robots taking over their jobs and replacing them at work, they become more terrified and make dark jokes about the future in which we will become machine slaves.

This trend has been reinforced by many science fiction books and films, from the 2001 film Space Odyssey (2001: A Space Odyssey) (1968) to the 2015 film Avengers: Age of Ultron, which predicted that artificial intelligence would break free from the control of its human creators, surpass them, and enslave or eliminate them.

The conflict between humans and artificial intelligence took center stage in the popular 2021 science fiction series "The Humans", which offered a terrifying vision of the future, where machines face hostile people who treat them with suspicion, suspicion, hostility, and even violence. Synth, a robot, fights not only for basic rights but also for their survival, against those who consider her less than human and pose a serious threat to them, according to a report by LiveScience.

The horror of replacement and penetration affects most people, from scientists and thinkers to the smallest individual in the world (Shutterstock)

Penetration of humans

Beyond series and movies, and in the real world, leading figures in science, technology and philosophy have warned of the dangers that artificial intelligence could pose to humanity, even arguing that the capabilities of artificial intelligence could wipe out the human race.

Writer and thinker Yuval Noah Harari, author of The Sapiens, a controversial bestseller since its release in 2013, asserts that humans are not only in a "technological crisis, we are in a philosophical crisis." "I think what's happening now is that the philosophical framework of the modern world that was established in the 17th and 18th centuries, around ideas like human capacity and individual will, is being challenged like never before; not by philosophical ideas, but by practical techniques," he explains.

"Every day we see more basic questions for the philosophy department, which are currently being transferred to the engineering (software) department. This is scary in part because unlike philosophers who are very patient, and can discuss something for thousands of years without reaching any agreement, and they are fine with that, but AI engineers will not wait long, and even if engineers are willing to wait, investors will not wait behind engineers; that means we don't have much time."

Harari believes that "the revolution or crisis of artificial intelligence is not just artificial intelligence, but also an intervention in biology. It's biotechnology, and there's a lot of hype right now about AI and computers, but that's just half the story; the other half is biological knowledge coming from brain science and biology. Once you link that to artificial intelligence, what you get is the ability to penetrate humans. I'm going to explain what that means; it's creating an algorithm that understands me better than I understand myself, so it can manipulate me, improve me, or replace me."

This is the horror that afflicts most people, from scientists and intellectuals to the smallest individual in the world; it is the horror of being replaced and hacked.

Saying that artificial intelligence is capable of overtaking us and taking over the world is only valid for science fiction movies (Getty Images)

Reality or fiction?

This question is answered by Jaron Lanier, the godfather of virtual reality, in response to a question about whether artificial intelligence is really capable of overtaking us and taking over the world, by saying, "This is a meaningless question, unrealistic, and it is just a silly fiction," stressing that this is only suitable for science fiction films, such as "The Matrix" and "Terminator", in statements published by the British newspaper "The Gaurdian".

You see, why is it absurd and unrealistic fiction? Did AI exist to serve humans rather than control and destroy them? And why all the fuss? And is the real danger that AI is driving us crazy?

Lanier doesn't even like the term "artificial intelligence", and objects to the idea that it is really intelligent, that we can compete with it, and said, "The idea of exceeding human capacity is absurd, because it is made of human capabilities, comparing ourselves to artificial intelligence is equivalent to comparing ourselves to a car (...) It's like saying that a car can go faster than a human runner. Of course it can, but we're not saying the car has become a better runner."

Lannier, 62, has worked alongside many influential visionaries and intermediaries on the network. He currently works with Microsoft as a multidisciplinary scientist. During his years of work, he spoke about the dangers posed by the Internet.

Although he is a distinguished technical expert, his main mission is to defend humans against the encroachment of "digital" on our lives, and he always reminds us in his books that we made machines and artificial intelligence. In his book "10 Reasons to Delete Your Social Media Accounts," Lanier argues that the internet eliminates personal interaction, stifles creativity and distorts politics.

It's not the technology that replaces us, it's the way we use it; it's humans who feed these robots with information (Shutterstock).

"You're not a machine"

Lanier believes that robots like ChatGPT and OpenAI can offer hope for the digital world, and has long been appalled that the internet has given the appearance of offering endless options, but in reality they are dwindling options. Until now, the primary use of AI algorithms has been to choose which videos we want to watch on YouTube, or whose posts we will see on social media platforms. Lanier believes that this has made us "lazy and apathetic."

But what about artificial intelligence that will replace us in the workplace? We already have the possibility that chatbots will write articles and journalistic stories. "It's not the technology that replaces us, it's the way we use it. "What feeds these robots with information are humans before and after everything."

In his book You Are Not a Gadget, Lanier writes that the goal of digital technology is to make the world more "creative, expressive, empathetic and interesting."

"This has happened in some cases; there are a lot of great things online, but there are also a lot of terrible tactical uses that can be used. I don't think it's an acceptable risk, after all, we don't fear AI taking over us, but the biggest risk is that it drives humanity crazy, and that's exactly where our deaths might lie. The beginning of our extinction is not because of machines and artificial intelligence, but because of us, because of our greed and lack of vision."