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Lofty Red Deer protester raises alarm about AI leading to dystopian future

AI protester Jordon Lindoff says he climbed to the top of a railway column last weekend to protest a future in which truth will have no meaning. On a more personal level, he also wanted to knock something off his bucket list.

AI opponent Jordon Lindoff says he climbed to the top of a railway column last weekend to protest a future in which truth has no meaning.

On a more personal level, he also wanted to knock something off his bucket list.

“I’ve always wanted to climb on there,” admits the former West Park resident, who used ropes and his considerable rock climbing skills to get to the top of a historic Central Alberta Railway column on the east side of Taylor Drive on June 1.

Lindoff also managed to also hoist a La-Z-Boy recliner up the sheer face of the 40-foot concrete pillar, as well as a coat rack and some books. He says he did this by himself “with great difficulty,” using ropes at about 5:30 a.m.

The 43-year-old stresses other people should not try repeating this stunt. He has over a decade of serious rock climbing experience. “I’ve been trained to get out of crevasses…”

The Red Deer College alum, who now works in the movie and TV industry in Calgary, says he got a lot of beeps of support from passing motorists last weekend as he read books atop the pillar bearing a sign stating “AI Harms the Soul.”

Lindoff wanted a creative way to get people’s attention about the harmful side of artificial intelligence. He feels it’s slowly creeping into our everyday lives, whether through fake photos popping up in our Facebook feeds or the auto-text prompts smartphones are now foisting on people as they are typing messages. “We are losing our humanity in a lot of ways…

“It frightens me,” says Lindoff.

As a visual artist working in the film industry (The Last of Us, Fraggle Rock), he has a personal stake in the protest against AI.

He sees a day when thousands of creative jobs are wiped out and artificial intelligence used to create film and TV scripts. Even set designers and artists could be replaced by auto-generated backgrounds. “Actors would just be working in front of green screens” as computerized backdrops are projected behind them.

Meanwhile, real artists will have their authentic works ripped off and slightly altered to be presented as an AI product.

While he finds this creative stealing very troubling, Lindoff feels the big-picture global view is even more alarming. While proponents of the technology say it will revolutionize various industries through robotics, speech-to-text technology and data analytics, Lindoff sees a growing dark side. 

There’s already “deep fake” technology that can take an example of your image and your voice to create a digital replica of you saying anything the creators want you to say, says Lindoff.

Imagine a future where film clips of real Holocaust survivors are re-engineered to tell audiences that the Holocaust was all faked and that six millions Jews weren’t actually systematically murdered during the Second World War.

Lindoff sees the line between fact and conspiracy being completely erased in the years ahead. And he fears a future where the truth and historical facts no longer have any meaning.

The development of AI can be seen as a kind of hubris; “different faiths have all warned us about having too much power and not being able to control it,” says Lindoff. “It’s like when Faust sells his soul to the devil who promises him everything but then he has to pay the consequences.”

Although he believes it’s already too late to turn back the technological tide, Lindoff at least wants people to be aware that AI is gradually “robbing us of our humanity…

“Everybody needs to take a step away from social media and start talking to somebody in person. I think we are all sacred beings and every person is unique and special,” and can’t be replaced. “We have to fight to keep the human touch.” 



Originally Appeared Here

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