Skip to content skip to sidebar Skip to footer

FIGAROVOX/ENCOUNTER – The growing role of artificial intelligence in our lives raises the question of the place of man in society over the course of..

FIGAROVOX/ENCOUNTER – The growing role of artificial intelligence in our lives raises the question of the place of man in society over the coming decades. Laurent Alexandre, surgeon and neurobiologist and Jean-Marie Le Méné, president of the Jérôme-Lejeune foundation, discuss it.

Will robots supplant humans? What was only a science fiction scenario yesterday could become a reality in just a few decades with the advent of artificial intelligence. This is the thesis defended by the surgeon and neurobiologist Laurent Alexandre in his latest book, The War of Intelligences (JC Lattes). For Jean-Marie Le Méné, author of The First Victims of Transhumanism (Pierre-Guillaume de Roux) and president of the Jérôme-Lejeune Foundation, the first funder of research on trisomy 21, no software will ever be able to imitate the complexity of the human soul. The real danger for the future of man is the commodification of life.

LE FIGARO – Laurent Alexandre, you present the triumph of artificial intelligence as inevitable and suggest that we adapt to it. Should we not, on the contrary, resist this development?

Laurent ALEXANDRE. – The Gafa Americans and Chinese Batx, these are the digital giants that develop AI: economic and technological powers that are 12.000 kilometers from us. The Chinese Tencent (the T of Batx) has become the fifth largest company in the world, with more than 500 billion dollars in market value. The strategy of the bio-conservatives is suicidal instead of thinking about technologies like those that Elon Musk is developing, they are exhausting themselves in rearguard fights such as marriage for all. There are enormous ethical issues to be dealt with on a priority basis. We must build a new morality. It's going to be complicated because AI is speeding up time, upsetting benchmarks, pushing for eugenics and neuro-technology. Elon Musk thinks that AI can compete with human intelligence and turn against humans in just ten years. This justifies, in his eyes, putting microprocessors in the brains of our children. AI brings us into a war of intelligences, which we do not control. I am a humanist, I am not one of those who think that technology is necessarily good. But man 1.0 is dead, the question now is which man 2.0 we want.

Jean-Marie LE MENÉ. – I do not dispute the reality of AI, but I do not share the idea that we must implant microprocessors in the brains of our children! I don't believe in the inevitability, in this kind of ancient fate to which no remedy could be found. Faced with discoveries and their technological exploitation, one must be able to say “go” or “no go”. This raises the question of freedom. If there is no more freedom, there is no point in arguing! "The death of death" is a transhumanist slogan, but the real debate must be about the extension of life and the progress of medicine, not about transhumanist ideology. Transhumanism is both an ideology and a reality. On the economic level, there are many things to say about the Gafa, which are far from having an irreproachable position. The Gafa practice tax optimization, while they generate immense private profits. Ideologically, they are giants with feet of clay. The Pacs against nature between scientism and the market is an ideology that will collapse, because it offers a pessimistic vision of the human being reduced to the rank of machine, which does not correspond to reality.

Can states impose limits on Gafa?

Laurent ALEXANDRE. – For Europe to have its say, there needs to be a technological, military and economic renewal. Today, faced with the technological-political tsunami of the San Francisco-Beijing axis, we have no logic of power, military or geopolitical. Therefore, the ideological slide is impossible to regulate! I consider with psychoanalysis that the refusal of limits is deleterious. The desire of some transhumanists to dismantle all forms of limitation, to kill death, will not lead men to happiness. But today, we have to ask ourselves how to steer and frame hubris. The difficulty is to define a red line between legal and illegal, between the vision of Elon Musk and the vision of the most conservative. We are heading towards a war of intelligences. If our children are retarded compared to the other children of the world who will have been increased, we will be obliged to follow.

Jean-Marie LE MENÉ. – I don't have a miracle solution, we can't go back on decades of philosophical nothingness, of intellectual deconstructivism. We have gone from theo-centrism, to anthropo-centrism, to bio-centrism, then today to techno-centrism: man is no longer anything and transhumanism thrives on this void. Lamartine's verse translates this ideology well: "Man is a fallen god who remembers the heavens." Transhumanists are nostalgic for man before the Fall, but draw aberrant conclusions from it: since man is reduced to his neuronal construction, we are going to repair him, it is a kind of secular “redemption”. But to say that man must be repaired to be "saved" is to consider that there is a technical solution to the madness of men. What is wrong.

Laurent Alexandre, you describe the school as obsolete and predict its disappearance...

"In a few decades, we will accept Elon Musk's intracerebral implants"

Laurent Alexandre

Laurent ALEXANDRE. – The school must train our children in what AI does wrong: transdisciplinarity, critical thinking, collective work, the humanities. One should not train narrow technicians. Philosophy, history can allow us to defend our children against AI. However, the school of biological brains gallops more slowly than the school of silicon brains. Between the position of the missionary and the doctorate of the little one, it takes thirty years, while to duplicate an AI, it only takes a thousandth of a second. We invest more in the formation of silicon brains than in the formation of biological brains. Silicon brain “educators” earn a hundred times more than the highest paid college professor in the world. If we do not balance the means between the two schools, the discrepancy will legitimize neuro-technology. In a few decades, we will accept Elon Musk's intracerebral implants.

How can artificial intelligence help with remorse, forgiveness?

Jean-Marie Le Mene

Jean-Marie LE MENÉ. – It is absolutely useless to oppose the disembodied intelligence of the AI ​​and the embodiment of the intelligence of human beings. This stems from contemporary reductionism. Jean-Pierre Changeux and his materialistic vision of the brain offers only a fragmented vision. Who can claim to hold the truth about the human mind? Changeux observes the wiring of the brain, his vision is biologizing, but alone, it is not enough. Reductionism would like to pass off science as the only mode of access to knowledge. To give a true definition of the human being, it is also necessary to call upon poetry, literature, history, philosophy, theology… We will never compete with Baudelaire. This is a dream, nightmare or fantasy of transhumanism. Changeux will be sooner forgotten than Racine! This reductionist vision which is essential is deleterious and stems from a confusion between qualitative and quantitative. The dice are loaded, a machine will always do more quantitatively than a man, as the calculator already did. The problem is not to increase the intelligence, the intelligence is not less powerful today than at the time of the Romans. What kills us today are the passions, in the sense that Descartes understood it, that of vices and virtues. We must diminish the vices and increase the virtues. The school is there to train the human being capable of reacting with his heart, his mind and his will. How can AI help with remorse, forgiveness? Human intelligence is free and undetermined.

The War of Intelligences. Artificial intelligence versus human intelligence, by Laurent Alexandre. JC Lattes, 340 pages, €20,90.
The War of Intelligences. Artificial intelligence versus human intelligence, by Laurent Alexandre. JC Lattes, 340 pages, €20,90. – Photo credits: ,

The upheavals linked to AI will first affect work…Laurent ALEXANDRE. – Schumpeter is not dead yet. If the 29.000 Parisian water carriers of 1793 had been told that running water was coming, and that the water industry was going to create more than 29.000 jobs, and that more than 1000 professions were going to emerge, they would not would not have believed. The novelty is that technology is now replacing the human brain. The acceleration of time and the competition of the silicon brain are more difficult to manage than the previous Schumpeterian revolutions (steam, oil). The arrival of AI will disadvantage people who are not suited to the world of data. In the short term, the less gifted people will be the most jostled, social tensions will become immense. In the USA, Tesla trucks, 95% autonomous, have just been inaugurated. What will we do tomorrow with the 5 million American truck drivers?

Jean-Marie LE MENÉ. – As in any very rapid technological and scientific revolution, there will be great upheavals. It's not the first time, and it's not shocking. Some diagnoses made by computer, the metro line 14 without driver, I am in favor of it. But the tree hides the forest. The real problem is the commodification of life. Life has become a mine to be exploited. The consequence? The man is in pieces. And transhumanism adds: it is in pieces, but its pieces are worth gold. Transhumanism is a modern form of slavery that sells humans, no longer on their feet, but in spare parts, which brings in more! This commodification of life claims victims. For lack of being able to produce augmented men, we are already suppressing diminished men. The incredible scientific discovery, which saw that the pregnant woman had traces of her child's genome in the blood, was used to detect trisomy 21. The market explains to mothers that it is not desirable to give birth “Mongolians” and bio-techs are making billions thanks to these new technologies, it is a rentier economy that is unworthy.

The First Victims of Transhumanism, by Jean-Marie Le Méné. Pierre Guillaume de Roux, 172 pages, €19,50.
The First Victims of Transhumanism, by Jean-Marie Le Méné. Pierre Guillaume de Roux, 172 pages, €19,50. – Photo credits: ,

Today, 95,5% of cases of positive diagnosis of trisomy 21 during the prenatal period lead to termination of pregnancy. Does transhumanism go hand in hand with eugenics?Laurent ALEXANDRE. – Transhumanism will be eugenics through selection and embryonic modification. Transhumanists want the creation of superbabies capable of resisting AI. They also want to cure trisomy 21. Yes, transhumanists are eugenics. The word transhumanist was coined in 1957 by Aldous Huxley's brother, to replace the term "eugenics", which had become pejorative after the war...

Jean-Marie LE MENÉ. – Transhumanism kills people with Down syndrome more than it cures them. Negative eugenics is already in place in PMA, which eliminates bad embryos, and we are going to go much further, since we are starting to create three-DNA embryos. ART is a non-medical response given by people in white coats to a social problem. I do not discredit the child born by PMA. But many transgressions pass under medical flag of convenience, it is an error of method.

Laurent ALEXANDRE. – Medicine will mutate, we must not prevent it from becoming transhumanist. Even among the most staunch Catholics, most people would like to live well past 125 years. The transhumanization of minds has won: to suffer less, age less and die less, most people will accept the most transgressive technologies. As a doctor, on the eve of dying, I have seen people capable of accepting heavy treatments to gain a few minutes. To gain fifty years, people will be ready to accept everything. Ethical regulation is going to be difficult.

Jean-Marie LE MENÉ. – When these ethical questions are addressed to legislators, we will have to ask ourselves what we are doing. The risk is to accept everything in the name of technical progress synonymous with moral progress.

Laurent ALEXANDRE. – The plane ticket will not increase. So, we'll take the plane to make babies on the Pacific coast and circumvent French law. Today, national laws make no sense. We have to ask ourselves what global regulation to put in place, otherwise we will witness transhumanist nomadism.

Jean-Marie LE MENÉ. – Equal access to eugenics, assisted reproduction, surrogacy, which puts the private vices of the rich within the reach of the poor, is dehumanization.

If people become immortal, it will necessarily stop having children. It would be the end of humanity.

Laurent ALEXANDRE. – Jeff Bezos said that to colonize our single galaxy it takes 1000 billion human beings. There is therefore work for more than 7 billion men! We are not in Green Sun and the dystopias of the 70s. There is no risk of overpopulation in sight, unless we think like in 1965…

Jean-Marie LE MENÉ. – You can tell us stories of colonization of the planet Mars, but Elon Musk will be in prison before, and his implants will eventually rust!

Source: © “Is man an endangered species?”


  • Gina Chemouny
    Posted December 7th 18h24 0Likes


Leave a comment

CJFAI © 2023. All Rights Reserved.