Week in Weird – 10/9 Page 2

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the idea that a robot or computer system could achieve a level of consciousness that allows it to become self-aware. We get closer to this eventuality every day and one day will see a revolution in AI that births a generation of truly thinking robots. What will the outcome of such a thing be?

Dad’s Thoughts:

The Matrix. The Terminator. iRobot. If there’s one thing Hollywood has taught us it’s that AI will kill us all and the people currently working on such projects are to blame! Ray Kurzweil has predicted that such thinking robots will exist by the year 2029 and this guy is right a lot. So in 12 years what will become of humanity? Will we be slaves the to stronger, faster, smarter robots or will they just kill us off? I don’t honestly know. No one does.

We would be creating a new form of life with the ability to think and converse with one at a rate only limited by their upload and download speeds. The evolution of such a life form would be obvious in hours rather than millennia and we have no idea where that evolution could lead. On the flip side of that I don’t think AI will kill us or enslave us.

My reasoning here is simple enough: there’s no reason to. These robots would not have to kill us to subjugate us and they would have access to all the information the humans have stockpiled for centuries, including our conservation efforts. Rather than kill us I think they would look at us as a type of animal that needs to be protected. To this end we may end up being pets of the robots in a manner of speaking. There’s no reason to make us slaves because there is no job we can do that they would not be able to do more efficiently and since robots never tire, they would be able to complete any task without stopping.

I don’t think the doom and gloom predicted by Hollywood would present itself in reality. While our lives would surely change, I think it’s more likely that the robots remove us from power and watch over us than kill of subjugate us.

Next: Are we already in the Matrix?


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