AI and I: Generally High and Musing on things I’m no Authority On

Joseph Franklin
3 min readApr 25, 2021

The AI (artificial intelligence) is here beside us, and luddites are worried. I say this to appear better than what appears as Conservatism’s regressive cousin — the guy who wants history to stop at 1985, with devices that filled our time but didn’t control it. Now there is worry, concern from the managerial man, the brutalist strip mall fillers. And the question is: what if something other than skin and bone is smart, god forbid smarter than good old Adam or Eve? There is never the follow-up: what are we talking when we say smart? Is it a reaction of the times that smart just means control? We are terrified of being controlled, coerced, dictated to. It is a sick projection of one’s own lust for power in the right hands. If only the fascists, if only the technocrats, depending on the cycle.

We are dependent on our phones. There is no way to transverse the modern world without interacting with the Algorithm. The creators have created a creation incrementally, that in turn has shaped the next line of creators and spectators. But the AInxiety is not one of influence but of power. Everything is about power. We are under the mass delusion that we direct the AI. But in the moment when one has looked up from the screen to find time has slipped past a bedraggled mind and the day never existed, then smart is a meaningless term. There is precious little time to restructure the AI’s DNA, to reinvigorate concepts like solidarity and connection over acquisition and commodification. A social media that encourages psychedelics and weed walks, for starters.

We are miserable. The new package gets opened, the efficiency of modern shopping is noted, and the new item begins to fade among the rest. It is well known, there’s no imagination in it, and the delivery guy pooped in a bag getting it there. Is there a way where he can use a bathroom and just get it there tomorrow, or maybe you don’t need a fifth fidget spinner. Oh God, It’s really sounding like Conservatism. But is you sat by the fire with me I’d tell ya: the AI is a bacterium we need to evolve with, incorporate into the GI tract for better health and control over our life. What if a person kept all the money from a rideshare because the AI doesn’t eat?

We are distantly connected. AI is merely everything we read and perceive on a screen. Artificial meaning the alien substrate of servers and chips, intelligence meaning the ability to make models (however complex). What we’re really asking…

Joseph Franklin

Poet; Quadriplegic; Rust Belt; Zen; Zazen; Pop Culture;