The Human Artificial Reality

5 min readNov 18, 2023

Our brains do something extra, but we think it is natural.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

This is not an article about Artificial Intelligence, AI. Rather, the subject matter is Human Intelligence involved in an Artificial Reality, HIAR. Where AI is doing the thinking for you, HIAR is you doing the thinking according to an artificial line of thought.

As first reaction, most of us would probably think that we are not involved in artificial thinking. Yet a few examples will make it clear that artificial thinking is part and parcel of our ordinary lives.

Take money as the first example. Can you imagine a world without money? It would be very hard to organize such a world and achieve the same level of sophistication we have today. But money is not real; it is artificial.

We think monetary thoughts, organize society based on monetary demands and desires.

  • The underlying reality of money is the exchange of goods, and money facilitates that much better than, for instance, a system of bartering. Mankind embraced money fully beyond the bartering principle.

Human beings value money for the sake of money itself.

The first example to mention for showing that our artificial reality is fully integrated into our thinking should have been language. Since most people tend to think that money is the most valuable aspect in our overall lives, I had to get that out of the way first.

Language is equally artificial. These sounds we make are not really based on much that occurs in our reality. A word is just a word. Most of the time, however, we can understand what another person says; we trained ourselves into understanding another person’s words.

A nice linguistic example to show the artificial nature of words is the word word itself. In English, it just means word. In Dutch, the word word is still in use in a different manner. “Het word licht” means “It is becoming light.” In regular English, we’d say “It is dawning.” The etymology of the word word is said to be ‘turning’.

In another example, the word tree is in reality a word and it is not the actual thing coming out of the ground. For us, the thing received a name and this ‘turned’ the thing into a tree. We all get it…