Friday, 18 February 2011

April 2012: The End of the World or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Loved My Robot Overlords

Don't be fooled by the robotic puppy dog eyes of Wall-E, he means to kill you. Or conveniently dispose of your rubbish in a silent manner. Or kill you. Or make a castle out of blocks of rubbish much like Minecraft. Or kill you.

The whole hubbub surrounding the April 2012 'We are all going to die' scenario is the Mayan calender pretty much predicted most things that happened in an interstellar manner. Up until 2012. Which most people took a sign of "Well they saw everything till then and nothing more, therefore we will die". But much like the Y2K virus which "Would set off all the nukes, therefore we die" it won't. Or will it?

Some troubling news has befallen me, and anyone else with an Internet connection. They are becoming self aware. Recently a Robot named Watson competed on Jeopardy and tied with one of the human competitors who was a reigning champion. Watson learned from his answers and for the most part got them right. When wordplay came into it he got confused and answered incorrectly. Now this learning robot also reminds me of a TED talk about a robot comedian. What was special with the comedian robot was it gauged the audiences response from both applause, laughter and silence and catered its comedy routine based on that. Another learning robot.

Coupled with Big Dog, The Xos ExoskeletonSelf Assembling Furniture, This Lifelike Robot mimicking facial expressions and Realistic Animatronic Eyeball, we are getting a hell of a lot closer with Self Aware Artificial Intelligence. Well its pretty much there really. There is something called a Singularity which is defined as:

A predicted future event in human history caused by the ever-increasing ability of new technology to speed up the rate at which new technology is developed
 This can be described by Amplified Intelligence, modifying the brain with implants, sort of the same way that bloke shoved a camera in his head. Though it was not meant to be as his body rejected it. So kinda pointless.

It can also be described by Artificial Intelligence too. By that we mean computers that can think for themselves and either update themselves to be smarter than us and itself or create machine to work for it. Which would be a scary day.

So it falls back to the 2012 scenario and i put this to you. At some point in our future this 'Singularity' WILL happen and when it does, if it is to lead towards Artificial Intelligence, then some point after the Self Aware computer will start creating other computers and machines. And so on and so forth, may be years or decades but it will happen. Now some point after that people will become frightened of this technology and will either revolt or regress. Yes it plays out like a science fiction film, but that is only because within science fiction lays science fact.

So going through the decades, maybe even centuries something will happen where traveling at the speed of light will happen. And with that is the possibility of time travel.
Now if you were this advanced computer and you knew humanity would revolt and pose a threat you would try and stop this. And the only people that foresaw this happening where an advanced civilization known as the Mayans. So you go back and kill them all. Thus stopping them from communicating what will inevitably happen in the future.

Yeah i know sound far fetched and preposterous. Fun to think about though eh?

Either way this singularity will occur. It will lead to revolutionary discoveries in medicine, science and human understanding. It will lead to a serene time within all. We will be able to feed the hungry, cure the sick and stop wars.
It could also bring about a time of never ending war. More powerful machines and weapons. Nanotechnology could be used in weapons where they are dropped on cities and people/buildings are devoured from within.

I hope to be alive when this happens. It will be amazing, and to be fair the past 25 years i have been alive have shown just how fast technology can progress. Computers have gone from being the size of rooms to the size of a credit card. Phones now have the capabilities of computers.

Hell the Internet. I am lucky to appreciate all of this around me as i have seen it grown. Kids now have all of this technology from the get go. But they abuse it. They are not learning and progressing. There is a 'Tech-Stalemate' We are not progressing as fast as the past few decades, that too will herald the singularity.


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