Researchers at the Georgia Technological Institution asked 30 volunteer students to perform a certain task in a medium size hall. Suddenly, the fire alarm went off and the hall was filled with smoke. The students had a choice of either leaving the hall by using the door through which they came in or to leave the hall through a small side door, toward which a robot pointed at, intentionally erroneously. It turned out that most of the volunteers, 26 out of 30 obeyed the robot and went toward the dead end.
On the one hand, this is progress since we are creating these advanced machines ourselves, but on the other hand, we obey our robots and become as foolish as they are. Could you explain this paradox?
Answer: I don’t understand the actual experiment. How can you not believe a sensor that shows you exactly where you should run to in time of an emergency? What can a person obey? His own instinct? Even if a person knew where the exit door was because he came in through it, perhaps there was a fire there and the robot indicated another exit and determined the safest way out. So why shouldn’t a person trust it? I would also obey the robot’s orders.
Comment: It seems that there were also other people who showed the students which way to go and yet they trusted the robot. Many times, when we use a navigation system, for example, we feel that it is the wrong way but still follow its instructions blindly.
Answer: This is natural, because we begin to respect these instruments in which our confused logic and doubts don’t exist. So I would also trust such instruments more. We launch satellites that orbit the earth, fly, and dive into deep waters, all thanks to such instruments. The human factor can play a very negative role here. This is the reason that I believe that we should trust instruments more than people.
Comment: We don’t totally trust people even in everyday life.
Answer: Why should we trust them? It is actually because of the human factor that there are explosions in nuclear power stations.
Comment: Many say that robots will become stronger than us.
Answer: Nonsense. Only primitive people who don’t understand how mechanical systems work can say that. A mechanical system can never be smarter or stronger than the person who created it, but in critical situations it is safer since it has no self-doubts.
Question: Will personal relations between people be able to exist in the presence of such technology?
Answer: We are advancing toward such technologies not in order to communicate with each other. Who needs mutual communication these days? Even when we hear one another on the computer, we don’t actually communicate with one another; we read or see something on the screen and that’s it.
Our developing ego pushes a person to be an individualist who is isolated from everyone. If we provide a person with the basic necessities and lock him in a room with a computer, he will not need anything else, absolutely nothing. Even if he is in jail in conditions that are comfortable for living alone, he will not need anyone else.
This trend will continue until people feel that despite this convenience it is as if they are dead. On the one hand, it is very comfortable for our ego, but on the other hand, it is death. We are such a state when we are separated from one another, we are comfortable. On the other hand, we draw away from one another and disconnect the ties between us and then we feel that we cannot live without one another. This is the paradox, like between two lovers who love and hate each other.
This paradox will continue in human society as long as people draw away from one another. This will lead us to a contradiction and oppositeness that we will not be able to solve in any way but only according to the Biblical rule “love will cover every transgression.”
In other words, when there are huge egoistic distances between us, we will be able to build a bridge of mutual love, mutual cooperation and connection, above them. Egoism and altruism will not operate on one level but on two levels. It is actually the combination between these two levels of love and hate that couples lack. We have to make sure that permanent love will overcome hatred.
The greater the distance between these two parallel levels, the greater the love will be than the hate and the stronger the connection. Love is actually built on mutuality when there is an opposition below and connection above.
Question: Will technology help us here?
Answer: Nothing will help us except the wisdom of Kabbalah. This is the only thing that will enable us to establish such a connection; this is the technology.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 3/1/16