One thing you have to give to the Germans. They produced philosophers and scientists in truckloads. So much so that Hegel, Neitzche and finally Heidegger are the 3 names which keep cropping around a certain philosophical concept of DaSein -german word - when you research existentialism of the early 20th century. The concept of existentialism itself I mean. Ofcourse you can not sidestep Kierkegaard if you speak of the topic who was a Dane.
Now what is this word "DaSein". As I understand, there is a related Da Sein in German which roughly translates to the concept of "existing". Maybe I shall refer the German language app I launched 7 years back and report back. But I shall take here the interpretation as afforded by Heidegger since we are interested in the "Heideggeeian AI" as postulated by Drufus. We are on a mission to "re-electrify" the world through AI you remember? And what is needed in our opinion is a cultural enhancement to have the inspiration to be able to aim for building that neuron highway which has the many components of Data Augmentation, ML Ops including model-tracking, model deployment, feedback and versioning. We shall continue to talk about how newron.ai is deploying some of these features to help the ML engineer run and deploy his or her models in their cloud of choice. Someday ofcourse, we would love to have a server offering of our own. But that is a little far in the timeline. For now, we have the first featureset of Model runs and tracking, versioning, deployment etc. We also can help you in data annotation and labeling if you are an enterprise looking for that service. But I digress from the main point of this post which is to identify the elements which shall create that culture and inspiration which sustains this massive mission the absence of which has stalled the AI movement. Mere building tech won't re-electrify our world I think. We need to one have a zeal which can be only achieved though a deep motivation sustained over a very long period of time to bring that change. That is, a philosophy as to why this thing needs to be done. And that is what I intend to connect for the AI practitioner though these ruminations. Ofcourse I also love the real components of the building of the highway as I am also an engineer and an analyst as a professional. Or was in an earlier life. But we at newron have devoted a lot of energy in understanding the tools and systems needed to galvanize teams to do seamless ML and make a business impact which catalyzed the while process. A McKinsey report suggests an 8 percent lift in performance and results in projects that utilize AI effectively.
So the concept of DaSein in the Heideggerian sense confronts us. What his interpretation was is a little subliminal. He meant the state of "existence" which makes you connect your inner self to your everyday being or consciousness. And that which is achieved in seclusion and solitude. This is that meditative state which we enjoy alone when we are immersed in our own being either through some work we love or just generally in contemplation. Even in watching that pilot episode of that favorite series. To each their own I guess.
But Heidegger's main nemesis presents itself here always. He called that phenomenon by a myriad names. But the essence was the anti-DaSein state. This is also the inauthentic DaSein. One where now the person is no more in that blissful state which is commonly understood in the more Eastern cultures as the state of sagehood or "Dhyana". Or being engulfed in the work as an artist. Maybe ask a Michaelangelo. Or a Tansen. So the AntiDasein is in one way the life of the chatter that Heidegger spoke of then. Or the being who is now engulfed with others in meaningless pursuits. That state doesn't nourish the soul and even poisons it of its vitality.
And he in a way related these ideas with the "technological thinking" and the loss of the poetic. You tend to not focus the receiving if "divinities as divinities" and the "sky as the sky" in these circumstances. And this is where AI can be an interesting plot. For it can have the power of enhancing both the DaSein and the anti DaSein. Enhance the DaSein in you or engulf you in the Inauthentic Dasein?
Take for instance, the personalization we see in all the tech platforms of today. We all watch Netflix, spend many hours on YouTube, our favorite e-commerce site or even a social network.
All this time, we are given recommendations. That is done through ML ofcourse. Netflix has had many case studies around the question as to how they have done a great job of that. Even a rudimentary Google search is so much enhanced by BERT algos and the new line of algos Google unleashed post BERT. MUM I think they are called. Last year. So my question to you folks is, as to whether these personalization are enhancing the Dasein in you or the AntiDasein. Are you feeling more fulfilled after consuming these personalization or less. And not just in the short run. That is, are they taking you to the right places in the long run. Does the recommendation impede your own thinking. Ofcourse, it is good to not keep searching all the time and be presented with the right series on your panel. That may be DaSein if your soul craves that kind of a show on that day. Like a particular movie you were upto on a day there. And definitely AI can achieve that.
As my good friend Sandeep remarked, "AI can consume you through chatter like TikTok recommendation leading to Anti-Dasein. At the same time an AI bot making your coffee automatically when you get up in morning can enhance Dasein. I feel the world needs more of Coffee makers and less of tik tok recommendations. The AI that liberates." I think he had a point.
The Governance & Security issues
Another very important and crucial piece of the puzzle or the defining pillar in the future discourse of AI is the issue around Governance & Security in AI. There are some bodies working to identify the challenges that would emerge when AI applications begin to get widespread application in future. The thing and defining feature about AI and ML applications and also the differentiating feature from traditional software is the "Decision Making" aspect. And hence, security and oversight become so much more important in this field. In future, AI sysyems would be customized for companies and government entities and touching all aspect of business and social life. And in that case, the different Dataset and model combinations will elicit different security, privacy, governance and ethical challenges. So much so, that the field would convert from a "micro" to a "macro" business. And the call for AI that enhances the DaSein for an individual and the society as a collective shall be the talking point.
But what we need to be asking ourselves constantly is as to whether this intensity of technology is good for us or we need a break from it sometime. According to Heidegger, it is kind of an eventuality. It is bound to happen I think he postulates. And if it is so, then we need to ensure we always try to mold it in a more DaSein fashion than AntiDasein. And that is the kind of responsible and Ethical AI we ought to deliver to the world.