In 2024, will we be able to increase our natural intelligence? This is the question I ask myself at the dawn of this new year. In December, during a company seminar dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI), I was surprised to discover that one of the world leaders in IT had increased its energy consumption by 32 % in one year.
At issue: the very powerful computers which run gigantic databases to produce – among other wonders – conversational robots like ChatGPT. Even more surprising: the speaker presenting this figure did not seem to consider it as a major problem, invoking the social progress hidden at the heart of these tools…
We were at the very end of a year that was the hottest in history, according to Copernicus, the European Earth observation program. COP28 had just demonstrated the extent to which we, as humans, need to be lucid, united and imaginative to curb the runaway temperature of the Earth. And now the attractions of an overpowering technology make us forget the primary requirement to frame its development within planetary limits. “It is not technology that enslaves us, but the sacred transferred to technology, which prevents us from having a critical function and from using it to serve human development,” wrote the great Protestant intellectual Jacques Ellul in 1973.
Faced with the dazzling developments in AI that await us in 2024, I wish us a lot of energy to make our natural intelligence work, as a priority.
To be found, alternating with Dominique Lang, every Saturday at 7:52 a.m. on RCF and in podcast on rcf.fr