What is the machine? Is it simply cogs and electrical inner workings, growing in complexity and distrust? Is it infinite tiny loops? Is it knowledge, or is it understanding?
Humans are the perpetrators of technological advancement, and yet we are also the ones who fear advancement. Technology is headed beyond the scope of human imagination.
Human imagination thus far has proved itself expansive. Even after decades of questioning, “Is this good? Do the benefits outweigh the potential consequences?” we continue to pursue it.
Star Trek, Blade Runner, The Day the Earth Stood Still, iRobot. They all warned us. But what is it actually that we fear about technology? Why do we strive to create AI, and yet don’t want to face the consequences of that creation?
What we fear, perhaps, is not logical thinking or robotic consciousness. What we fear is what’s in ourselves. Humanity has a rich past. Humanity has a dark and sinister past. Humans are capable of incredibly wonderful–and detrimental–things. So what if we create something that can think for itself, think like a human, and yet has more intelligence, more knowledge and more strength than all of us combined?
Look closer. We’re already there.
We’ve seen what power can do in the hands of humankind. We’ve seen corruption, fascism, dictatorships, genocides and wars. We fear the machines we build, because we are afraid of something being better than us. Or, worse: just like us. We are competitive in nature. We have evolved over nature. We are the dominant species on the planet.
We are so close to creating artificial intelligence. Technology has evolved so much faster than human beings and we can’t stop it.
But why would we try? Perhaps it’s time to let something else take the reins on this dying planet, and give Earth another chance to choose a better animal for the top of the food chain.