We are the only species that creates weapons that can kill us all. We are the only species that can damage the food we grow to feed us. We are the only species that are now in danger of letting others do our thinking for us. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the most talked about topic at the moment, and yet few of us really understand what is happening or how it works.
Research is pointing to signs of diminishing intelligence in the young, because of what they are experiencing in cyberspace. We are all using AI more and more. Just a simple search on Google uses AI, social media sites use AI, booking a flight for our holiday also uses AI. It looks as though we are very quickly becoming dependent on AI – dependence on anything is not a great place to be. Each of us can check how much we are ‘obsessed’ with aspects of AI, how dependent we feel, especially if any of our devices stop working for a while.
AI is clever and is beginning to understand ever more sophisticated vocabulary, but it cannot understand ‘meaning’ or ‘feeling’. Those are the very parts of our intelligence that deals with our ‘being’. There may come a time when all the AI and technology will simply cease to function at all – and then we will have to rely on our own intelligence. We can take little steps to reduce our dependence, once we are aware of it. We can walk more, remember phone numbers, close off ‘Whatsapp’ earlier in the evening. We can use the technology for what we need, but we need to take care not to let the AI start ‘using’ us – to buy more, stay online more, throw away precious time more, just because we have been pulled in. What is really needed is spiritual intelligence. This is what gives us immense flexibility, to change when needed, to adapt, to understand, and deal with reality with a broader vision. With spiritual intelligence and vision, we can listen to others who hold different opinions, with patience and a real desire to understand. Our relationships can be transformed. Spiritual intelligence is what gives IQ real power. Spiritual intelligence brings wisdom, which is knowledge in a practical form. A spiritually intelligent person touches our hearts, not just our heads. We can all experience our own spiritual intelligence through prayer, or meditation. When we meditate and connect with the Supreme Intelligence, then we go beyond knowledge, beyond the simple awareness of our role in life, our age or gender, and experience something invisible, intangible. Meditating each day fills our conscious mind with power and when we then resume our roles, and continue to fulfil our responsibilities, then we see how smooth the path becomes. We will notice how much we have accumulated, by seeing how calm we remain in the face of difficulties, how happy we are with the simple, joyous things of life, how much love begins to expand in our hearts, for all of humanity.
All the time we spend stuck on our devices could never achieve even a nanosecond of this kind of energy. With spiritual intelligence we can contribute to making the world the place we all want to live. We will have no need to go to the ‘virtual worlds’ on our devices, because we will be living in the world that our spiritual intelligence has created.
Marcelo Bulk, a Brazilian coach and business consultant, is the National Coordinator of the Brahma Kumaris’ services in Colombia.