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AI Isn’t Going to Save Us, and It Won’t Make Us Happy

Happiness doesn’t grow on chips and AI doesn’t really care about us.

ScottCDunn
5 min readFeb 23, 2024

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It's hard to ignore all the buzz about AI. Some people have been made rich off of AI. I guess they get the buzz, and apparently, I’m not one of those people.

I didn’t go to the right school. I don’t know the right people. I don’t intend to use AI for much, but it seems to be everywhere I want to be when I’m online. It’s making decisions for me, but the one thing it can’t do is make me happy.

I think about happiness often. I’m not sure that artificial intelligence, or AI for short, is going to make me or anyone else happy. I’m confident that AI will perform wonderful and magical works of art, do some cool tasks, and write some nice puns. I see it as a public utility, something that all of us can use if we want to. But we have to decide to want to use it. And even then, we have to decide if what AI does is something to be happy about.

Happiness is not a passive experience. Happiness requires a constant stream of decisions to attain and even maintain a state of happiness. We are not designed to be happy all of the time. Our experience is not one of a river of constant joy because our brains are designed to wander.

But even if anything could make us happy, we still must decide to be happy. So I’m not sure that people will be happy with AI.

I’ve seen the stories in the news about layoffs in various industries as a result of AI. I’m sure it will affect everyone in some way. The hype says that AI will make our lives better. Hmm. That's possible. It could.

But whether or not that actually happens depends on who owns AI. If AI is implemented as a public utility, then there is a much better chance for us to be happy with AI.

I want to direct your focus now to the language I use about happiness. I want you to see, like I do, that no matter what gifts come to you in life, you must make a decision to be happy about them, if you want to be happy. We don’t get something in our laps and then that something makes us happy.

Every time a gift comes, we have to compare our new state of being with the state of being we had before we…

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