Beyond AI: Lex Coors’ Vision for Human-Machine Intelligence

Lex Coors is the author of 'We Are AI: Embracing Human-AI Synergy'
Lex Coors, Chief Data Centre Technology & Engineering Officer and EUDCA Policy Committee Chair on the Seventh Wave of AI – referred to as ‘We Are AI’

As advances in AI continue at an unprecedented pace, a new paradigm is taking shape – one that promises to reshape humans’ relationship with technology and redefine the boundaries of intelligence itself. 

At the forefront of this transformative wave is the concept of ‘We Are AI’ (WAI), a bold proposition – building upon the groundbreaking work of trailblazers like Hod Lipson and Jeff Lichtman – which calls for seamless synergy between human and artificial intelligence.

According to Lex Coors, who along with his role as a Chief Data Centre Technology and Engineering Officer is Chair of the EUDCA Policy Committee and a Visiting Professor at the University of East London, WAI envisions a future where the lines between human and machine intelligence blur, giving rise to a symbiotic union amplifying the strengths of both entities. In his soon-to-be-published book, We Are AI: Embracing Human-AI Synergy, he describes a “revolutionary leap forward,” challenging “the very foundation of how we perceive the relationship between humans and AI.”

The opportunities and responsibilities of We Are AI

As the data centre industry plays a pivotal role in powering and enabling the AI revolution, the embrace of WAI presents both opportunities and responsibilities. Data centres must not only provide the computational might and infrastructure to support these advanced AI systems but also prioritise security, privacy and ethical considerations in their design and operation.

As a pioneer in data centre design and management, Coors’ expertise centres around the designing of versatile, cost-effective and energy-efficient data centre infrastructures, power ratio efficiency, and the modular approach to data centre architecture.

We Are AI: Embracing Human-AI Synergy highlights how, at the core of WAI, lies a profound recognition of the risks inherent in the unchecked advancement of AI systems. As these systems grow more sophisticated, the potential for unintended consequences and misalignment with human values looms larger. By advocating for a strategic leap into the seventh wave, Coors highlights the need to mitigate these risks while harnessing the immense potential of AI to augment and elevate human capabilities.

The Hod Lipson Model: A roadmap for AI evolution

Hod Lipson's seminal work, which outlines six waves of AI evolution, serves as a blueprint for understanding the roadmap of AI development and the potential risks and opportunities  presented by each wave.

The first three waves – rule-based systems, knowledge-based systems and the current era of machine learning – have already been realised, laying the foundation for more advanced AI capabilities. The fourth wave, which envisions AI systems capable of explaining their decision-making processes, is currently on the horizon.

However, it is the fifth and sixth waves that pose the greatest challenges and risks. The fifth wave – which Lipson describes as ‘contextual normative AI’ – involves the development of AI systems that can adapt to changing environments and make decisions based on ethical principles and societal norms. 

The sixth wave, often referred to as artificial general intelligence (AGI), represents the ultimate goal of many AI researchers – the creation of AI systems that possess human-level cognition

Embracing the seventh wave

By advocating for a strategic leap into the seventh wave of AI development, WAI proponents aim to circumvent the potential pitfalls of the sixth wave while harnessing the immense benefits of human-AI collaboration. Rather than pursuing AGI as a separate, autonomous entity, the seventh wave envisions a seamless integration of human and artificial intelligence, where the strengths of each are amplified through synergy.

“As we delve deeper into this proposition, we confront profound questions about the nature of consciousness, autonomy and the human experience,” he writes. “By embracing the seventh wave, humanity embarks on a journey towards a future where AI serves not as a tool of domination, but as a catalyst for collective empowerment and societal progress.”

This synergy promises to revolutionise virtually every aspect of our lives, from healthcare and education to scientific research and decision-making processes. Imagine a world where AI-augmented human minds can tackle the most complex challenges, from decoding the intricacies of the human brain to unravelling the mysteries of the universe itself.

As with any paradigm shift, the path to WAI is not without its challenges. Ethical considerations, privacy concerns and the potential for misuse or unintended consequences must be carefully navigated. Proponents of WAI recognise the need for robust governance frameworks, transparency, and a steadfast commitment to aligning AI systems with human values and well-being.

“Through the lens of WAI, we glimpse a world where the boundaries between human and artificial intelligence blur, giving rise to a new era of possibility and potential,” Coors writes. “As we embark on this visionary leap, let us heed the call to shape a future where humanity and AI thrive in harmonious coexistence.”

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While the concept of We Are AI holds immense potential, many questions remain about its practical implementation and implications. How will this synergy between human and machine intelligence manifest? What ethical frameworks are needed to ensure responsible development? And what new frontiers await as we embrace this seventh wave?

To explore these questions and more, stay tuned for an exclusive in-depth interview with visionary Lex Coors in an upcoming issue of Data Centre Magazine.

As data centres power the AI revolution, this conversation promises invaluable perspectives on their role in facilitating human-AI synergy.

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