Polarization in the Age of AGI

If you are like Steven Soderbergh, you might have anticipated the pandemic to the nearest details way before 2019

You surely have heard several business leaders discussing the "new normal," proclaiming that all the changes happening, including remote work, are here to stay, replacing older ways.

When Elon conducted the poll "Is Twitter dying?", you might have expected that he would be in it for the long haul.

But what you can never anticipate, hear, or expect are the hidden agendas of world leaders, whether democratically elected or established through legacy or managed to continue through constitutional amendments. These hidden agendas have the potential to shatter all your opinions and expectations, forcing you to acknowledge that the "worst is yet to come."

Pernicious political polarization, spreading like a relentless plague, poses a grave threat to the unity and progress of nations. Polarization has been steadily increasing over the decades and spiked further after the Russian invasion

According to Pew Research, 72% of Republicans view Democrats as more immoral than other Americans, while 62% of Democrats say Republicans are more immoral than other Americans.

Status before the Russian Invasion

It's not something leaders would usually resort to, in closed autocracies where people don’t have a say by default. However, it's one of the favorite tricks up the sleeves of democratic leaders that can garner people’s support and eventually get them elected.

Polarization incentivizes the political parties/lawmakers, so why not
  • Gather the people's support on identity or socio-cultural factors

  • Easy to divert people’s attention from issues of concern

  • Demonize the opposing stances

  • Subtle formation of electoral autocracy

  • Peddling political rhetoric

On the other hand, polarization punishes societies:
  • Disinformation and polarization feed on each other

  • People develop cognitive inflexibility; stick to their opinions no matter what

  • It undermines the judiciary and legislative systems

  • It overshadows moderation as we are forced to pick sides

  • Policies become difficult to implement as they don't receive universal approval

In this already polarized world, AGI has made its way to deepen the age-old divisions

“The danger is that you can’t tell when it’s wrong unless you already know the answer”

Arvind Narayanan (Princeton comp science Prof)

When most people have already been grappling to identify fake information that a considerable number find ridiculous at first glance itself, the advent of AGI, which generates content multi-fold authentic than Nigerian prince emails, YouTube like & earn WhatsApp texts or feeling lonely SMS messages, going to create a breeding ground across the platforms concealing landmines of disinformation that may explode leaving chaos in their wake.

As per the Princeton University study, most of us unknowingly fall into epistemic bubbles (knowledge areas) by being too reactive on social media to a particular school of thought content, which will eventually become your echo chambers making you experience only what you believe.

The other reason is the political pendulum, where power switches between two parties. Shifts can be longer sometimes, but it makes the lawmakers stick to their ideology, doubling down on their existing positions

For instance, since world war II the US presidency has been switched between 7 democrats and 7 Republicans and out of that, 3 Republicans served two terms, and 2 Democrats served two terms; based on these numbers, it gives no reason for the Republicans to condemn gun violence ignoring the enticing offers of the NRA lobby.

Stop endangering our lives with gun bans, and stop trampling on the God-given rights of the American people every time tragedy happens

-Michael Pence

(Potential Republican Presidential Candidate for 2024)

Though there are several industries and business leaders who are capitalizing on the current polarized world, there are also leaders who express genuine concern about this situation.

The more the people engaged with their purpose, the less likely they fall victim to polarization. Finding the purpose through enlightenment happens to a special few, through passion belongs to the fortunate few but most people find the purpose through work where they are adequately paid and respected.

According to Mckinsey, 70 per cent of people find their purpose through work and millennials are likely to see their work as their life calling.

AGI hits the world with a double whammy as it increases the spreading of disinformation on one hand and forces the people to be purposeless on the other hand, pushing us into a territory difficult to navigate

This territory is smokey with bleak future pathways where you get pushed with false narratives and bombarded with disinformation, the only way out is to show yourself out

You can find yourself out, by following what NAM countries followed during the cold war era; non-alignment, to make the world better for yourselves and generations to come.

It has been considered indecisive but now you can see the development of new world order where countries which take decisions based on their interests are the ones sustaining world peace and security

Being non-aligned doesn't imply being non-reactive; it means selectively reacting based on validations. Since nobody has our best interests at heart except ourselves, the next time you come across any news, tweet, or post, refrain from immediately aligning with either of the groups, even if it seems as obvious as Modi's hugging, Biden's tripping, or Putin's single arm swinging. After all, the word POLITICS finds its roots in POLarIzaTIon tactiCS, and nothing is obvious in the world of AGI.

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