The Age of Cognition: An Interlude

Not long from now in a galaxy not far away, a species of clever animals was developing machines that mimicked their own cognitive processes.

It’s hard to say why, but let’s suggest three key reasons:

Eigenfaces —  Image by Carolina.valino; Wikimedia Commons

  • They were genetically wired to investigate and manipulate their environment to survive in a hostile universe. They called this adaptation strategy technology.
  • They had a complex resource allocation system based on  high degrees of competition among collectives, called businesses. They called the system capitalism.
  • They had a system of competition and cooperation among large communities, known as nations, that resided in various physical regions.  They called this system geopolitics when they were not in full conflict and called it war when they were.

So it was that organizations and nations rushed to gain competitive advantages over one another by creating thinking machines to help them analyze situations better and faster, even as they turned their technologies on themselves to better understand their own cognitive abilities. In this way, their society propelled them into a period of frenzied research and creation, a time when when artificial intelligence became an overriding priority.

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