In the first half, executive fellow at Harvard Business School, Matt Higgins, argued that AI is the greatest wealth creator of our lifetime and that getting a jump on AI should be a national priority for the US as the Chinese push to dominate the field. While doomsayers have been saying that AI could lead to planetary destruction and nuclear war, he considers this fear-mongering and could make the US slow to adopt advancements in the technology. He defined AI as using machine learning to automate tasks that before were performed by humans, and while the technology will undoubtedly displace some jobs, it also creates tremendous opportunities, such as in the entrepreneurial arena, he said. AI, he continued, is "really just the ability for a computer to take a dataset-- lots and lots of data of human behavior and patterns, analyze that and be able to either anticipate what needs to be done or to take a command from you and do it on your behalf with a high degree of accuracy."
China has laid out ambitious plans to be the world leader in AI by 2030, and they had the foresight to realize this is a revolution, he noted. In fact, reports predict that AI in 2030 will contribute 24% to the Chinese GDP but only 14% of America's. "So what effectively AI is going to do is help fuel the economy of what many believe is our future adversary," Higgins added. Accordingly, he contends that American companies should not pause their AI development as some have suggested, but he does favor controls, standards, and disaster planning for the technology. In regards to AI running amok, "it's not so much that AI will turn on us," he explained, it's that adversary states or bad actors "are going to be able to use AI to solve very complicated problems like biological weapons and other nasty things...quicker and easier than they ever had before." Ultimately, we have "to embrace AI in order to defeat AI," he commented.
In the latter half, demonologist Nathaniel Gillis talked about the history of demonology and how it pertains to modern spiritual warfare, including exorcism and alien abduction, and in Jewish mystical traditions such as the dybbuk. There are two theories as to what demons are, both originating in the 16th century-- one is that they are a kind of malevolent ghost that was formerly human, and the other, which the Catholic Church embraced, is that they are fallen angels or their offspring. But for Gillis, "the evidence suggests that what we're looking at is a singular intelligence that is using demonology and various other masks to deceive us and hide from us." The phenomena seeks to "self-replicate its own species" and can accomplish this by inhabiting or attaching itself to a living person, he indicated.
The demonic attacks may involve abuse in the dream state or the dislocation of a person's consciousness from their body, Gillis continued. Regarding the dybbuk, he said it referred to "the impregnation of the dead in the bodies of the living." He described a case from the 17th century where a dybbuk literally stalked his own crime scene (from when he was alive) under an apple tree. Gillis compared this to serial killers, who sometimes revisit the sites of their murders. What we consider to be demonic possession is viewed as a "pregnancy" by the masquerading entity, he remarked. We are still in the process of trying to determine who these beings are, Gillis noted, but he has found that using religious amulets or wearing iron (as in a necklace) is sometimes effective in warding them off.