Tyson’s Two Thoughts
Regarding AI and a Ticking Clock

This is a follow-up to my previous AI essay. While researching AI, I noticed an interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson, which partly dealt with the AI fear factor. The interviewer mentioned what Stephen Hawking said about AI. It was interesting to watch Tyson explain how he differs from Hawking. Two geniuses have divergent views about AI.

Tyson’s monologue about self-awareness, self-design, and self-learning fascinated me. It is hard to grasp the ability of an AI to upload all knowledge in the world in a matter of a few minutes. Nonetheless, excluding the differences in our IQ, I am intrigued by our mindsets that run parallel to each other. Much of the fretting about AI relates to linguistics along with fear.

I have always seen AI as merely hyper-mindsets of great minds. Galileo rattled the Catholic Church with his notion of a heliocentric universe. Protestants had difficulty dealing with evolution. Darwin didn’t want to have his theory published until after his death. He would have preferred not to listen to the creationists.

When we decide on the truth about science or any belief, that notion doesn’t budge for centuries or sometimes millennia. Many humans still believe that males are superior to females. Men decide on the reproductive rights of women. Name a country where equality of the sexes is believed and practiced.

The second similarity that Tyson and I share, and the most critical parallel, deals with the ticking clock at a global and personal level. Listen to Tyson’s response to the interviewer’s question about the ticking clock.

Tyson’s comment is an expression that was informed by dancing with death. Go to the Last Lecture. I have danced with death twice. I fully understood that I was lucky to be alive, but my knowledge base was intellectual. A friend sent me a link to Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture, which is an hour and sixteen minutes long. It didn’t take me long before I grasped the reality of death in my gut. Talk about transformative moments in one’s life.

Tyson’s response to the end of the world reflects a counterintuitive mindset. He is active due to looking at death. Neither of us sees life and prepares to die. I’m eighty years old, and my drive in my twilight years is to assist my family members in Myanmar. I met them a decade ago. I realize my clock is ticking. Talk about a drive.

On my last trip to visit my family, we went on a family tour to a couple of places I had visited on previous trips, but we went to places that hardly any American ever visited.

My Family

Set Set Yo is such a place that hardly sees any tourists. At the end of hundreds of photos, there are several videos. This video is of my discovering my great-granddaughter, who wasn’t yet a one-year-old child. Look at her eyes that are linked with mine. She is attempting to process what was happening. A one-year-old and her great-grandfather were attempting to grasp that moment.

My Great-granddaughter

I will do everything humanly possible to assist my family. However, Ti Ti, my oldest granddaughter, was turned down for a student visa several months ago on her third request at the US Embassy in Myanmar. I have tried writing to the chargé d’affaires several times, but the gatekeeper refuses to forward my email to that person. I have written and called the State Department. They said to contact the embassy. The interviewers never gave Ti Ti a reason for rejecting her. She told them that she wanted to go to college and return to make Myanmar a better place.

Interestingly, after writing about Ti Ti being rejected several months ago, someone hacked into my website. That was the only time someone deleted my webpage in over thirty years. That raised questions about whether it had anything to do with the essays I wrote regarding Ti Ti not getting a student visa at our embassy in Myanmar. Fortunately, much of my website has been restored, including all the photos of my trips to Myanmar and my family.

After the gatekeeper at the embassy refused to forward my email to the chargé d’affaires, I wrote emails to two well-known American prosecutors and an ambassador, who didn’t receive the emails because the gatekeeper or the lawyers and ambassador were too busy to respond.

That hasn’t stopped me. I am continuing to reach out for assistance. That drive is identical to what Tyson talked about when facing the destruction of the world. The only difference between Tyson’s determination and mine is that I am in my twilight years. That haunts me, which only intensifies my determination. I won’t be on my deathbed, having failed Ti Ti.

Ti Ti