They have asked three people to listen to a series of podcasts for several hours and have exposed them to a device to read minds that, for not calling it that, they have called it in another, more sophisticated way: semantic decoder. The same thing happens with inventions as with police operations, as with large trials: they need an expression that serves as both a name and a euphemism, as happens with artificial intelligence. It could be one of the macro-trials through which notable corrupts parade ―the famous artificial intelligence casethe press would say―, it could be a first division referee and even a 20-credit course, but for now it’s just that, artificial intelligence: the technology that operates on people or writes articles and papers, on the way to having its own feelings and to which a human being will go one day just by thinking about it, without even typing, so that the machine will explain what joy and sorrow are.
Its creators maintain that the semantic decoder can be used in the long run in people with speech problems, so that they can make themselves understood without resorting to words. They do not count the other uses that are intuited for the invention, because if they said it all we would not need euphemisms. And not that: this world without privacy still had to hide some things.
It happens that the names are late, that the regulations and the debates are late. Society is late while a few run without stopping, they run like Forrest Gump. It happens that they have just discovered a device that understands people who do not speak and translates their reasoning into texts, but we are involved in other things, both in public and administrative discussions, drowning in bureaucracies; And when a government or an organization or a single person considers how to face a transformation of this magnitude, it is already too late because there will be another transformation that will surpass it, another that we are incapable of imagining. That is the feature that distinguishes our time, more than uncertainty: speed. Uncertainty is changing it; speed no. At most, they increase it to go faster, in a kind of new capitalism that does not consist of growing, but of growing by running. What the internet changed in a decade, GPT Chat is altering in the blink of an eye.
To which you begin to understand a discovery, comes the news of another. To which you want to contrast a movement, one arises that annuls it. What, then, will become of morality? A morality without pause or time to assimilate can hardly be: there is no morality in a hurry. That may be why they want to read thoughts, because there will be no room left to articulate them. “Understanding required an enormous effort and staying true to one’s convictions required immense courage”, wrote Stefan Zweig. He wrote it, of course, in the world of yesterday.