Post from: MAPpingCompanySuccess
In the spirit of Halloween and associated scary stuff, I thought I’d share a conversation I had earlier this week with KG Charles-Harris, entrepreneur, EMANIO CEO, and good friend.
It started when I sent him this article showcasing how little has changed over the last 40 years.
Miki: “The crappy human race never learns…”
KG: “That’s why I believe the machines will take over soon. The developments in artificial intelligence, robotics, bio- & nanotechnology, among other, are ensuring that machines are becoming self-healing and self-replicating. And consciousness is the next frontier.
‘The Internet of Things’ is just a fancy way of saying that all machines and devices will be interconnected and share data and resources. When consciousness comes, it will spread instantaneously across this network. What happens to humans as a result has been depicted in several movies and books, including Terminator and The Matrix.
Unfortunately I believe these are optimistic versions of what will become reality. Those of us who have studied biology and ecology know that when a new species is added to an ecosystem it invariable leads to mass kill off and mass extinctions of previously prominent species. We are in the process of creating our children.
Miki: “I just think our poor planet would be better off sans people and electronics. Maybe give Earth 10,000 or so years to heal and let a better species evolve.”
KG: “Well, if my theories are correct, we’ll soon have a planet without humans. However, since it will be guided by “things” created by humans, it will likely not be better for nature than now, but worse…”
Miki: “I won’t be around to see it, but I can hope that both species go the way of the dodo bird…”
KG: “Unfortunately, I believe that we both may be alive for this occurrence. In fact, it may have happened but we have no knowledge of it. It may have happened in a lab environment without contact with the internet or the outside world.”
As often happens, once a subject pops up you suddenly see it everywhere.
The first was an article about Vicarious, a startup creating software that thinks and acts like a human brain. But when I sent the link to KG, he replied that Google, Yale, MIT and Syntience are further along.Then I found that DARPA is on the same path and other companies are creating robots that look more like us.
Miki: “If they have true consciousness they will think for themselves, which means they won’t necessarily follow in human footsteps.”
KG: “True, but unfortunately children often absorb some of the worst traits of their parents…”
And sad, because Isaac Asimov provided the solution more than 70 years ago when he created the Three Laws of Robotics.
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Not that they will be programmed into the next dominant species we are racing to create.
Flickr image credit: Jeff Carter