Yes. It is Brands that prove something in reality like that artificial intelligence is impossible.
Let’s be clear about what is referred to as artificial intelligence and what is artificial intelligence. Neither definitions are static though. Nothing in memetic world is static. Each new sensemaking activity makes the object of that activity slightly different.
No one can objectively assert what is meant by AI at any moment. But I would bet that due to fabulous publicity that Elon Musk performs for many years now, majority would accept AI as something that lies behind self driving cars.
But what does really lie behind such intelligence because no doubt there surely is some intelligence behind self driving machines?
Although we tend to see our society as post-industrious, we are still very much members of a post-Renaissance, science-based, fact-driven, and, what is even more important in this respect, mechanistic society. Post-Renaissance human believes that there is reducible mechanics behind each act of nature. We believe that should we have a strong enough computer, we could calculate the path of each particle back to Big Bang.
We believe that it is only a matter of time before the technology will have advanced to the extent that there will be machines able to replicate. For we believe that a replication is an activity that is symmetrical to reductivity. What can be reducted to “initial state” can be replicated as well. You only need powerful intelligence (computer) to accomplish the task that is conceivable at least in theory.
We believe in strong artificial intelligence (strong AI). We believe that technology is the only thing that prevents us from constructing thinking machines but also that it is only a matter of time before we are able to reduce human cognitive abilities to detectable physically observable changes in the brain. And when we reduce human cognitive abilities to physically observable changes, then we could reproduce abilities from changes and thus construct strong AI.
With such notions we prove that we still tend to understand our world as complicated but not complex. Complicated machines are reducible and fully manageable. We tend to understand our brands and our companies as such machines. It is consistent with such a view to understand innovation as technological innovation only.
Elon Musk is a perfect embodiment of such notion. He is thus not only Stalin’s nephew, but zombie as well. For in complicated world one needs additional soul to transform a zombie into a human, while in complex world, a world that is not reducible, a “soul” rests exactly in imperfection and irreducibility as pure emergence.
Complex world (of brands)
Emergence is something that cannot be explained as a reducible consequence of elements from where emergence emerge.
Emergence and complexity of life is perhaps easiest to explain from branding perspective though all examples of life would suit.
Brands as ultimate human creations exist as memes on a substrate of our brains. They exist outside as potentials, but embody themselves only “with the little help” of our brains. They are “objective” viruses, but as viruses survive only on the body of our brains. String memes occupy more brains that weak memes.
Memes combine into meme complexes, brands. String meme-complexes occupy more brains that weak meme complexes.
Although one can define identity of each brand to certain degree, it is impossible in principle to define uniform identity of all brand expressions an all brains. Each brand expression, each individual infection is different because each host (individual) is different. It is thus impossible to reduce a brand from its particular expression. Brand as objective entity can only be induced. This fact is practically proven by Standard Branding Model that I have developed and am practiced over years.
Brands as entities are memetic inductions, holistic and universal while on the other hand brands as expressions are particular, local and time dependant.
And what is then intelligence?
Intelligence is not much more than practical expression of all memes (not only meme-complexes like brands) in the head and body of any individual. Such intelligence is highly local, practical, non-repeatable, fragile and perishable. For all mentioned reasons it is impossible to transfer it to anything universal, it is impossible to reconstruct it in any Universal Turing Machine.
Brands as entities are on the other hand universal. One could understand them as universal intelligence. But as universal such intelligence is out of individual’s reach. Universal intelligence, devoid of individuals, is abstract potential. As I explained in Brandlife, we tend to manage such universal brands as potentials, but at the end we always realize that the best brand management is to “let it go”. Brands should live their own life.
Should vehicles live their own life? Would you accept such an unpredictable self driving intelligence?
Musk as brand thus denies Musk as visionary
It is fun to play with Elon Musk visions. It is fun to play with toys that are so limited in scope as his visions.
Elon Musk is a brand. He is a strong brand and he puts a lot of energy to make his brand even stronger.
But that does not mean that he and many other believers in artificial intelligence understands limitations that separate particular individual, practical intelligence from universal, unattainable one. Neither can they replicate individual intelligence (strong AI) nor can they construct universal one.
AI in self driving cars rest on presupposition that intelligence is deducted from reality. It rests on presupposition that stronger algorithms will enable such experience to learn from experience. But as brands prove, intelligence does not come from experience only. Intelligence creates experience and creates sense of objectivity. That is real intelligence and no Universal Turing Machine can create such intelligence.