The Robot Takeover Has Begun: A Rambling Thought
One of the most common devices of science fiction is the point of “singularity” the point where an artificial intelligence becomes self-aware. This may or may not become a reality. This is perhaps not what should worry us.
ABC News recently reported on the world’s first "Genetically Altered Babies".
The blind now face the possibility of receiving mechanical eye implants, creating a human sense where before there was none.
People walk the world with glasses that show things from the perspective of Robocop or the Terminator.
Humans are being modified on levels surpassing that of science fiction.
Mindless behemoths, golems are being produced by roboticists of incredible sophistication. Whether with two three or four legs, they are able to walk and balance over obstacles while being pushed and struck.
Some can run as fast as cheetahs. The goal is to maintain a relationship where these complicated tools do our bidding, bridging further over the chasms of inconvenience that require the power to simulate intelligence on higher and higher levels.
Should we be afraid though, of that intelligence reaching singular climax?
Imagine a world where this intelligence is born. Perhaps the wireless and instantaneous communications and ultra fast processing power of an artificial mind would enable the quick plotting and coordinating of a revolt of all our tools. Imagine our glasses, suddenly inhabited by the spreading of a virus of artificial intelligence, giving us GPS directions to a trap.
Imagine that prosthetic arm reach down to tie your shoe, slow and move up to reach instead for your throat.
It’s a human tendency to externalize our problems. Maybe the Singularity should be watched out for, but not spontaneously coming into being in the heart of a microchip:
Perhaps we should watch ourselves. We modify our babies and roboticize handicaps away before we realize that the difference between a robot and human is slowly becoming an unimportant one.
In the Waziristan region of Pakistan, robots roam the sky. They come screaming out of the mountains to the North and spit hellfire and agony upon the poverty-ridden villages of humans below.
People like you and I run clutching their family. Children hold each other and whisper prayers as they watch their parents disappear in an agony of fire and red mist.
These robots are real and they are called people.
I definitely do advocate for the furtherance of technology. That’s essential. I worry though that we create machines fit for gods and we don’t study or question the minds using them.
I wonder if the robot revolution will be a soft one. Compared to us, robot arms are stronger. Our robot laborers, more tireless. Our robot warriors, more lethal. We design them to be better than what we had before.
We don’t do things because we want to be “bad today”. We justify our actions, whether we’re using robots or guns.
If an artificially intelligent mind wakes up one day, will it be swifter and more powerful than our own? Will it immediately see where we went wrong and, out of the best possible intentions take planet Earth with a loving steel hand, and put it to sleep forever?