In 2023 and beyond, we face the immediate opportunities and threats posed by the rapid rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI hasn’t risen by itself; there are many, many humans and some huge corporations behind it. Rather like the Industrial Revolution, it will bring benefits, or so it is being claimed. The AI news agenda is moving so fast, and, like a runaway juggernaut, it is hard to stop to give ourselves a chance to fully understand where it is heading. As a result, we think it’s time to raise a campaign to save the human!

It is claimed that AI will result in more efficient delivery of current products and services. There will be new products and services. And there will be much-needed environmental benefits. Yet, just like the Industrial Revolution, the change involved will be too big and too fast to be controlled by any single person, organisation, or country. The changes resulting from the rise of AI are probably already too widely developed to control or prevent. When you consider that an early report suggests that AI will eliminate 300 million jobs worldwide, that is profoundly worrying. Some people involved in creating the rise of AI already seem to be regretting what they have helped to start.

One of the worst consequences, though, in a world where loneliness is described as a pandemic, where mental health issues are increasing, and where we are struggling to connect as human beings is the loss of humanity and connection already underway. Soon it will be difficult, perhaps almost impossible, to distinguish AI from humans online. At concerts, more and more ‘live’ stage acts may be Abbatar-style holograms rather than living, breathing performers. Where does this leave humanity?

Don’t get us wrong; we believe there is a place for AI-driven technologies, particularly where it is integrated with other technologies to remove humans from harm, such as being developed for nuclear decommissioning and on battlefields. It also saves lives by quickly and accurately analysing patient data to reveal potential health risks and create personalised treatment plans. The speed and ability to analyse vast quantities of data and spot patterns can revolutionise business productivity and help to create new much needed services faster than humans could do for themselves. However, there are certain drawbacks to AI, not the least that ethics, morality, and emotion, some critical factors that differentiate humans from other animals (and each other), are troublesomely absent from AI. Can lines of code ever fully replicate the integrity we bring to our activities? And, how would you feel if you were to have a conversation online that left you feeling quite happy, only to discover the ‘person’ on the other end was actually AI? Would you feel somehow cheated? At the very least, you might feel a bit odd about it.

The time has come to fight back and Save The Human. What does this mean? For babelMonkey, it means two things. First, we want to start a conversation or to bring some conversations together. Others have worked out that humanity and the way we connect are threatened by AI. We want to be a constructive part of that debate and to help influence change that will make the impact of AI a positive one whilst preserving and enhancing genuine human connection. So, we are creating the Save The Human and UnAIded brands that will help identify when you are in the presence of a human or humans online and in other circumstances where AI might otherwise be imitating human interaction without your knowing it. We are transparent in the main technologies that we use and will never employ the new, true AI technologies in a way that removes the human from humanity. We hope others will follow our lead and work with us.

It is time to #SaveTheHuman.