I happened on a You Tube futurism video that I wish to share.
Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUeWvtZ7crw&feature=youtu.be
(I apologize in advance for any ads that pop up, which of course I have nothing to do with. )
I have for many years been somewhat of an amateur “futurist.” Having lived in a period to see the word “technology” actually come into everyday usage….although the word has been around for over a century….I am more amazed each year by what the word really “contains” in its meaning, and the connotations of the word. Its meaning evolves as we human beings evolve as creative beings. Perhaps “technology” is another word for “apple,” that which Eve tempted Adam with, figuratively opening the human condition to self-awareness, not unlike what today is being witnessed as humanoid robots “come to life.”
My post today is not just about technology, but questions some of the assumptions implied by artificial intelligence (AI) inventors, or creators. Also there is the huge question of ethics, and overall societal issues.
The You Tube video mentioned above covers a host of AI “coming attractions.” One such is that one day, and that day may come quite soon actually, humanoid robots will be so “real” that humans will “fall for a robot,” probably more so for reason of lust than love, but love will surely follow. Then marriage. No doubt robotic partners will be custom made also, to the buyer’s wildest imagination, male or female. Think the film, “Stepford Wives,” 1975. I haven’t heard how humans and robots will actually reproduce. That seems to not be on the table, but I assume it will be bases on merging of minds, in lieu of going through the trouble of biological re-creation. All this is seen to begin to happen on a recognizable scale by 2050, or sooner. It is interesting also, that Saudi Arabia just recently made a citizen of a “female” robot, Sophia (just Google “Sophia”). I have to wonder what the wealthy Saudi investors are up to, given the lack of freedoms for females. Makes one wonder.
There is no question the predictions indicated in the referenced video will come about, in some form or fashion. There remains always the ethicist question of “just because we can, should we?” But that has never stopped “us” from continuing to expand the possibilities of technology, always with the downside of wider and wackier weapons, mind you. What we dream of, we bring about. It is our human nature.
It is unfortunate that the larger backdrop issue of implications to society and how ethics will no doubt evolve, does not get the publicity that show and tell robot performances receive. So who will get all of this good stuff? I do not see it being offered to anyone but the most wealthy, as even today only the richest can buy tickets to take a commercial space flight. This brings to mind a movie, Elysium, set in 2054, where all the rich folk live on a space station and all the rest “of us” are worker bee’s on Earth, living in stark conditions. Or, will by then all humans be covered by a Single Payer Earthling medical policy that will get us all new humanoid bodies? I think not.
From a religious, or even spiritual perspective, come my own most profound questions. It is predicted that the human conscience will be uploaded into the brain of a humanoid, thereby giving the original human a indefinitely longer “life” span. (I suppose this act will put other life extension inventions on the trash heap.) However, as a “scientific Buddhist,” I have to wonder, how will that humanoid brain with its human conscience integrate with the great Mind, the Void that stores all Potential….ok, call it God if you prefer? I believe, as explained by some physicists today, that the workings of the brain are able to send/receive data vis-a-vis the fabric of what we call space. There are other more traditional “Eastern” ways of explaining all this, but my point is that we and every living creature on this Earth, and every bit of energy (matter = energy) in the Universe are connected. I suppose if they one day figure out how to not just upload our conscience to a robot’s brain, but also figure out how to plug into the great Mind, then we will have become…..from our little viewpoint in our puny solar system…..God.
One other question I have is, why can’t we put the same amount of money and research into advances that will help save our Earth Mother, rather than ways to allow the richest escape a dying Earth??
A lot to think about.