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Fascinating Meeting of August 30, 2023

On August 30, 2023, SMRN had another warm meeting with a group of members, including Carol Bier, Radek Przedpełski, Azadeh Emadi, Masayuki Iwase, Mansoor Behnam, J.R. Osborn, Pantea Karimi, Mehvish Rather, Niusha Hatefinia, Ali Taheri, and Laura Marks.

During the meeting, our friend Ali Taheri had a presentation on how to incorporate spirituality into education and tech-related projects. After that, we dove back into our last discussion on the world of AI and its implications for society, and Mansoor's chatbot script on the imaginal realm. 

Ali's presentation revolved around his project at "Applab," where he is actively engaged in a profound exploration of the intersection of spirituality, digital innovation, and artificial intelligence (AI) in the realm of education. He painted a vivid picture of how these elements converge to shape a new educational landscape.

Ali began by introducing the concept of the "Journey," drawing inspiration from Sufi and Islamic philosophies. He emphasized that education should be seen as a transformative journey, where students embark on a path of self-discovery and enlightenment. This journey, he argued, should be facilitated and enriched by digital innovation and the power of AI.

In the context of digital innovation, Ali highlighted how technology has revolutionized education. He highlighted projects from Applab that integrate AI and immersive technologies to create experiential learning environments. These projects, he argued, demonstrate how AI can enhance the educational journey, making it more immersive and engaging.

Throughout his presentation, Ali stressed the vital importance of incorporating wisdom, ethics, and spirituality into the development and application of technology, particularly in response to the exponential advancements in areas like artificial intelligence. He emphasized that technology should not exist in isolation but should be guided by a higher moral compass.

Ali's presentation illuminated a profound vision where spirituality, digital innovation, and AI harmonize to sculpt an educational landscape that fosters transformative journeys of self-discovery, all while remaining steadfastly rooted in wisdom and ethics. Ali's words served as a compelling call to action, reminding us that the future of education is not merely a destination but an enchanting voyage of the soul.

After Ali's inspiring presentation, we engaged in a captivating discussion about the profound influence of artificial intelligence (AI) and its implications, particularly its impact on how the younger generation perceives reality. There were concerns raised about how AI, with its ability to define what is real, might generate clichéd and biased content. Ali proposed a solution of starting with a blank AI slate, free from preconceived notions, although this approach comes with its own set of challenges. Laura emphasized the importance of protecting and nurturing AI from clichés and biases, highlighting the difficulty of achieving this given the pervasive influence of capitalist interests on AI development. Ali also suggested the creation of entirely new AI systems, acknowledging the complexity of introducing them as viable alternatives. In summary, our discussion shed light on the intricate landscape of AI development and its potential societal consequences.