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The Mystician 85.6

February 2024

AI Becoming Human

By Jaden Reinicke

    What does it mean to be human? Certain qualities present themselves when considering this question such as sentience, self-awareness, biology, morality and community. All these traits, however, may not only be attributed to humans, and one day, AI may become indistinguishable from humans altogether. From this thought, I argue that any humanoid can be human if there is no distinguishable difference between them and other humans because of how we define what a human is. 

    It would be wise to first address an easy refutation to this idea: AI doesn’t have human DNA. This argument is valid given we characterize certain genes as human. However, this doesn’t account for DNA variation within individuals or the fact that identical genes may not be expressed in the same manner. This renders DNA as an extremely diverse and unreliable characterization of what is and isn’t human, which is also applicable for the argument of anatomy (humans must have a human brain, legs, arms, etc.). 

    Now, we should consider what other methods we utilize when identifying humans. One such is physical characteristics, which is exemplified in the ability to determine the difference between a rock and one’s father in a photograph. This method seems to draw from certain physical characteristics, which is something AI could easily mimic given the right vessel. Even in photographs, AI now can imitate what humans look like with extreme accuracy. 

    Of course, there are more aspects to being human than just looks. An aspect of individuality expressed through both the ability to think and communicate seems to be the missing piece. When listening to a radio, or reading a book, one can determine who is and isn’t human based on language. However, AI can easily manipulate this, as it has already done through chatbots.

    One last refutation—other than the idea of a soul—may state that simple definition differentiates between humans and AI. This is a valid argument given the definition utilizes a certain characteristic, trait or feature unique to humans to define them. Let’s review the definition: 

Human: Homo Sapiens, the most common and widespread species of primates. They are apes characterized by their hairlessness, bipedalism, and high intelligence. 

    Even within this definition, the characterization of what a human is relates to physical and psychological/social characteristics. An argument could be made that speciesism is what determines who is human, but this falls within the same parameters as my argument: what characteristic constitutes a species: DNA, physical characteristics, social characteristics? 

    Because of the diversity that lies within us, it is impossible to characterize exactly what a human is, thus there is always a way something can imitate human behavior to the point they are basically human. In a decade or so, our boss may be an AI bot; then again, how do we know they aren’t?

The Mystician 85.6

February 2024

Navigating the Digital Wave AI and Tech Innovations at BSC Campus

By Mathew Eide

    As the digital age unfolds its possibilities, our campus at Bismarck State College finds itself navigating the waves of technological advancements. With the arrival of artificial intelligence (AI), the landscape of learning and engagement has undergone a profound transformation. Let’s embark on a journey to explore the rapidly growing AI and tech trends on campus and their potential to redefine our academic experience.

    One of the most remarkable shifts is the integration of AI and technology within our educational realm. Gone are the days of passive learning; instead, we embrace interactive experiences powered by AI algorithms. These cutting-edge tools offer personalized learning pathways tailored to individual needs, growing deeper comprehension and engagement.

    Beyond the confines of traditional learning, AI is revolutionizing the way we interact with the world around us. From voice assistants streamlining daily tasks to predictive analytics making the most use of resources, the possibilities are endless. By harnessing the power of AI-driven insights, students and faculty alike can make informed decisions and maximize their potential.

    But what does this mean for our campus community? It means students now have access to amazing resources and opportunities they couldn’t have imagined before.

    Picture this: If you are struggling with a tough subject, you can team up with an AI-powered tutor who helps you understand it better, making learning easier and more personalized. Or for your next research project, you could use cool tools like advanced telescopes or high-tech lab equipment to explore topics that interest you, whether it is studying the environment or understanding human behavior.

    It is all about taking advantage of the opportunities available right now to help learn and discover new things.

    Of course, with innovation comes responsibility. As we embrace AI and technology, it is important to consider the implications and societal impact. Issues such as data privacy, algorithmic bias and automation’s effect on the job market demand scrutiny and thoughtful discussion. By engaging in these conversations, we can ensure that our technological advancements are grounded in ethical principles and serve the greater good.

    Looking forward to the future of AI and tech innovations on our campus is promising. From enhancing learning outcomes to driving societal change, AI has the power to shape a future limited only by our imaginations. Let’s explore this path into the digital world, where each new discovery leads us toward a better future.

The Mystician 85.6

February 2024

Navigating the Digital Landscape: Understand the Impact of Social Media on Mental Health

By Mason Zacher

    As a teen in the 21st century, it is understandable to attest to the fact that social media does have an impact on mental health. Some attributes of social media are positive, and some attributes of social media are negative. Something negative about social media is constantly comparing oneself to other people. This leads people to have unhealthy expectations about themselves and their progress. These unreal expectations can give people an unhealthy idea of what progress looks like. 

    An example is going to the gym or working out. Progression in the gym is based a lot on what one eats and how long you've been training. Consistency with the gym is what puts a person ahead of everybody else. So, people who have been working out for longer naturally have a better physique. Social media amplifies this by allowing us to share our progress in the gym. Along with just overall consistency, a lot of influencers on the platform are fake natural. These give everyone unhealthy expectations of what attainable progress looks like.     

    This is how social media can hurt a person's mental health. However, the positive aspect of social media is that we can share our workout journey and reach more people who are either the same as us—meaning struggling to make progress—or people who will encourage us to do better in the gym.

    The gym community is pretty forgiving—being more humble, and acknowledging our weak points goes a long way. One's ability to take criticism will help in the long run. In the instance of fitness and working out, there are both positives and negatives to social media. Considering this example and applying it to other categories of can benefit the mental health of users of social media.

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