The Singularity. Artificial Intelligence. Self-aware, self-actuating, and self-learning robots. What will our future be like when the machines become self-aware? Will it be the like the T-1000 from Terminator? Or more like Johnny 5 from Short Circuit? Or Andrew from Bicentennial Man? Here is a run-down of four different versions of our electronic and digital future.
A recent book by Martin Ford, Rise of Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, examines a world in the all too near future where human workers are replaced at all levels by sentient self-aware machines. The first two links below redirect to longer articles on LinkedIn, where he expands on his theory. In this distopian future, all humans will be replaced by machines and will be living on the margins of an economy which is entirely electronic, run by machines, for machines. Silicon based life will replace carbon based life.
In an older book The Singularity is Near (2005) by Ray Kurzweil, comes to an entirely different conclusion. Continuing where he left off in The Age of Spiritual Machines, Ray comes to the conclusion that we will be the machines, that eventually we will port our human identity into cybernetic machines and eventually will evolve into purely digital beings living on the Net.
And we have Elon Musk and several other Silicon Valley executives founding a new organization for studying artificial intelligence called Open AI. Their hope is that we can develop self-aware machines that will be a good experience for their slow-witted human creators.
The first story from Tech Republic looks at robotics as a process that will augment human capabilities, giving us abilities that we cannot achieve on our own, a bit more of a cyborg view of the outcome of AI.
The second story from Tech Republic takes a look at economic impacts of AI and automation on the middle class. Not a pretty picture.
Anyway, if this topic interests you, I have provided links to the longer source articles. Enjoy – or not!
- Martin Ford – The Rise of Robots
- Martin Ford – The Rise of Robots 2
- Ray Kurzweil – The Singularity is Near
- Elon Musk and AI
- Tech Republic – Humans 2.0
- Tech Republic – How AI and Robots Will Kill The Middle Class
- WyzGuys – Will Computers Keep Us As Pets?