In an interesting book called Lessons for the 21st Century, Yuval Noah Harari reminds us that as human beings we are always connected.
What is so profound is his discovery of the connections that have happened in our past.
Community was in the form of groups, religion, churches, community leagues, philosophies, salons, discussions and in-person gatherings. As someone who loves volunteering, I love community. Community means spending time together.
Yet a shift is happening. Machine-learning and AI are starting to assume the wisdom of how we should group. The wisdom of how we should communicate and the wisdom of our actions. “Group data” is dictating how our communities should act, how we should act, and what we are going to do.
I love community — and I also love technology. I believe it can be used for good. Many companies can use AI and these behavioral predictions to help people in health, business predictions, and operations, reducing costs. This kind of AI is all good.
But how discomforting that AI transcends into our personal sphere. Now, more than ever, many of us long for a true, heartfelt connection. Long for caring about the world, long for caring about each other. And machine learning is supposed to be our glue? Machine learning is going to tell us how are going to connect and when and how?
I’m not sure we want to be categorized by group behaviors, by computer algorithms that say when we should talk, when we need to meet, or predict how we’re going to behave.
However, this may well help companies and their sales teams. It will help companies create and deliver products that may appeal to us. But the line has to stop when it starts to dictate how we act, feel, or how we will act or feel.
There’s a part of life that shouldn’t be categorized. There’s a part of human connection that should be considered priceless, unquantifiable. There is a part of us that all long for the literary salon,
the community group with a potluck,
the book club where we are all nurturing and listening to each other
and the warm church or synagogue or temple gathering.
We’re not asking to be quantified.
Let’s go find and nurture community the old-fashioned, connected way. It will create deep relationships and help us be our best. We can be grateful for advancement in technology, but keep community personal. If we listen to our hearts, we will know when we need to meet, with whom and where. We must be sure to
listen to our hearts.
Let’s Go Out And Find Some Community,