… but i rather fancy that just about every¹ single science fiction work ever created regarding some human future existence (that we humans may eventually be a part of), however possibly realistic seeming, is now doomed to forever remain as just pure fiction – none of what has been written (that has not yet come true) is ever likely to now².
The reason i say this?
Well, it is because they have all missed a pretty major point. One that will mean the basic premise (mankind’s possible future realities) will fairly shortly cease to be a plausible reality.
This is because for the last 4.5 thousand, thousand, thousand years (4,500,000,000 years) life on this planet has evolved at the incredibly slow biological rate of evolution and has resulted finally (in only the last 10 thousand years or so (0.00022%) of that time) in the species Homo Sapiens ( Us – modern man). The currently largely undisputed most intelligent life form and therefore most dominant predator on the planet. Certainly for our lifetimes and that of our last 500 generations of ancestors or so.
I say previously because right this instant and for some 50 or more years now we humans have been working to create our successor as most intelligent species on this or any known planet.
This species will, unlike us, not have the disadvantage of only being able to evolve at the very slow rates of biological change, but can evolve at much faster technological/electronic rates of change.
The new species currently goes by our chosen name ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) and comes in a range of forms – what it will end up calling itself is unknown. What is known is that it is evolving far, far more rapidly (exponentially fast) than we humans ever could and it will very quickly evolve to be superior in every possible way to those who created it – even God could not have achieved such a feat (well, to be truthful, He has and He is doing through His creation – us).
AI will live longer, be faster, be stronger, be more creative, and most importantly be smarter, more intelligent, than we ever have been or now will be.
You may scoff, but please do the research first or at the very least consider how far ‘we’ humans have advanced along the road to replacing ourselves with computers/machines and therefore being surplus to requirements.
Consider the preponderance and wide range of essential functions to our current lifestyle that computer driven equipment has lately become indispensable.
Consider the unmanned reconnaissance planes and drones and how well they do the jobs human pilots used to do. Consider the driverless trucks and trains we have developed and put into use for mining companies, some of which are currently monitored (controlled) by humans remotely but whom will soon be replaced by yet more and smarter, faster responding machines.
Consider the autonomous (self-driving) vehicles that are currently being trialled and used on the open roads which very shortly will be at least twice as safe as we human drivers and which will decrease the number of human road deaths while increasing the number of humans on the roads – you won’t need a licence to drive a vehicle, you simply let the vehicle drive you where you chose to go no matter how much you have had to drink.
Consider the computer brains that can now beat the best human brains at chess or at the game of Go, which is many times more complicated (has much more potential outcomes to consider) than does chess; and Watson, the machine that beat two human Jeopardy game quiz show champions all by itself and is currently being used to make decisions regarding patient outcomes for lung cancer more effectively than a human doctor or nurse can achieve.
Consider that people like Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk (Tesla Motors) and Bill Gates have tried warning us all of the potential for serious outcomes to the human race if AI continues without sufficient safeguards, if they could even be possible!
All of the above is currently actually happening now – it is not science fiction – it is fact. It is not yet quite perfected but it will all soon be doing what we used to for ourselves only better, more efficiently and importantly for business more cheaply than we do now.
Then prepare yourself for the seemingly fictional, but none-the-less true part… machines which can learn (think) for themselves! Machines which can watch any human labourer and then repeat their actions identically – any task, but without error or fatigue and which will only get quicker and faster at it as the machines begin designing and programming themselves.
Machines now create art and music by themselves even though currently they may be unable to appreciate their creations as much as we humans might.
It is not a huge leap to follow from all this that machines will ultimately be able to play any sport and beat any human competitors at it, having greater agility, speed, response times, networking and computational ability (and creativity) than we do. And it will be at that point that humans will no longer have any useful function on this planet and a smart machine would do the logical thing and simply not waste valuable planetary resources on keeping us weaker (and useless to them) species alive.
There are so-called very intelligent humans right now thinking up ways to ensure that, even though these self-learning machines will effectively become smarter and quicker thinking than they themselves are, the machines remain ‘friendly’ to us and only exist to serve us humans and make our lives infinitely better and more enjoyable than at present where we need to work for a living – or be provided for by someone who does.
So – we are safe then?? We can rest easy and trust they will find the way to do just that?
Show me just one instance in the last 4.5 billion years where a higher form of intelligence has evolved which remains subservant to the second highest intelligence and does not replace them as the dominant life form?
It is the Ultimate Arrogance to believe that after making something better than us we can (or indeed even should try to) make it remain our servant and not become our master/conqueror/replacement.
From here on in this planet’s future is to be dominated by mechanical/electronic life forms not biological ones.
I guess my question here is…. are you comfortable with that?
So what you gonna do about it?
- Unless someone has written a work of science fiction that i am unfamiliar with which describes the situation resulting from the above, which i propose as inevitable, in this post.
- That includes the Terminator/Skynet series – machines do not need oxygen/clean air to exist so why would they fight humans with guns – simply poison the air or remove the oxygen from it and problem solved.