The fact is that Ray Kurzweil is a mad genius, he is definitely mad, and he’s definitely a genius, and some of his predictions are quite scary.
Nothing is more scary, and exhilarating as the thought of a technological singularity – the point in time where we–mankind become unecessary. For millenia, since the dawn of history WE humans have propelled ALL scientific discoveries, all progress has been a result of human intellect, and that intellect is what separates us from all other creatures in the world, and maybe even the universe(until proven wrong).
We have the ability to build, change, and disrupt the world around us, and even the universe in great and profound ways. Yet, it is predicted that there is an 80% chance that by 2040 we will have entered the post-human era. What is this? When a super-intelligent AI computer/robot eclipses the intellect and brain processing abilities of a human.
This sounds amazing, fascinating, and like science fiction, but let me ask you does warp drives, wormholes, time travel, blackholes(in a lab), cold fusion, lasers in warfare, space elevators sound like science fiction? What about a brain chip that can control a robot exoskeleton as an extension of the brain, –or a prosthetic device w/ the ability to send REAL touch back to the brain of the user — or printable kidneys? — YET many of these are not only being researched, but some are now a reality!
We are living in an AMAZING era where science fiction ceases to be fiction, and becomes part of reality. This gives me a huge noody™ (nerd woody), and scares the shit out of me at the same time. When we arrive at the point in history where a machine can do everything a human can, and do it better, we become the animal – a nuisance that takes up space, and no longer will we give way to advances in technology, because technology will be able to create new technology faster than we can conceive, research, and develop said technology. In other words, there is no point in us developing or building anything new after this point, as machines will be able to do it at a much faster speed, meaning we may probably not put as much value on education -what is the point when we don’t need to know anything because machines know it all?
Which brings me to time travel, IF time travel were possible it is postulated that we would be surrounded by time travellers, but they would mostly be disguised probably to avoid detection and possible paradoxes, BUT we are closer to AI than time travel, and if time travel is possible at all – it will be an yAI that discovers it, meaning that it will be robot’s that come back in time, and they would surely bring future technology backwards in time, in order to propel future growth even faster. Imagine giving a smartphone to someone in 1890 and all the engineering manuals upto 2010 – then repeating with even more data, and so forth.. .. or if time travel were possible wouldn’t there be a high likely-hood that something like the terminator would have already played out?
This is just thoughts and speculation of course, — there’s also the possibility that AI computers do discover time-travel but have a directive NOT to go back in time before the invent of the machine because doing so – and causing some sort of ‘havoc’ on mankind, would essentially wake up mankind to that fact that we’re going to destroy ourselves if we go further, and thus we stop all research on AI, and time travel – - yet, if we live in a multi-verse where that one robot from the future that came back to destroy us before we even discover how to make it — would keep on existing because it comes from a parallel world where it was created even though in this one, that will not happen, but if all time is linear w/out multi-verses or deviations then the question lies – if you remove a piece of history that leads to your creation, and you are currently residing in the history — do you then disappear instantaneously and cease to exist – and if you do cease to exist, how did you remove the piece of history since you weren’t created to do so…. — I guess that’s the nature of a paradox, and would something like this unravel time and space?
Or, what if we are as some scientists are postulating – a scientific computer simulation, at which point –creation of a paradox would not end the universe, but cause the simulation to ‘error out’ and crash. So, to us it will be end game, to the other us – doing the research, it’ll just be a temporary set-back needing further debugging.
The more I think about these topics, the more I feel that you almost need a super-intellect to even understand all the complexities that our future holds, and as I said from the start of this post, I am both exhilarated, and scared shitless at the same time, I say bring it, if we are to be destroyed, let’s just get it out of the way because there’s nothing to stop it – hopefully all generations of AI keep in mind Asimov’s 3 laws of robotics, and maybe we will survive this singularity, or maybe WE will become the machines, and instead of being out-paced by technology actually become the technology that replaces us in the world.