Beyond the Cusp

March 15, 2018

Thoughts on Our Future Times

 

Just finished rewatching a Discovery show “Year Million” for the umpteenth time and it got me to thinking about the future, just not quite year million. I was simply considering the coming ten to twenty-five years into humanity’s future. This time I simply ignored any chance that we would blow ourselves back to living in caves and telling stories of what had been while huddled around fires. Instead, I decided that science and technology would continue and any world war was avoided. The first thing I thought was by the time another decade has passed, war would likely have become unthinkable in the technological societies and impossible to wage for those who were not technologically advanced due to the defensive systems. The advanced world has fully incorporated Artificial Intelligence (AI) into every segment of our lives. Work has become an optional concept as sophisticated robots manufactured virtually everything and one of the big selling concepts are items still built by human beings. I realized quickly that there would be two types of employment, which would have been written into law, had to be performed exclusively by human beings, lawyers and politicians. There would be no way of getting around that, as the politicians would still demand that they have their corrupt control over our lives. So, I simply decided that the technology caught the politicians by surprise and they had already been replaced by a super computer which spent the first eighteen months deleting laws and regulations which were, shall we say, less than optimized for a modern society where the AIs ruled.

 

The futurists predict that somewhere around 2030 society will have reached the singularity. The truth will be as soon as robotic intelligence can design their next generation replacements and program other robots to build these devices, then the singularity, the point where AI equals or starts to exceed human intelligence will be reached within the ensuing year. That will be when we, as a living entity, will need to make certain decisions. The first is whether or not we wish to be immortal. The next is whether or not we wish to remain corporeal. The point will be reached with rapidity, almost unimaginable, leading to a situation where the brain can be scanned and uploaded into computers where you will continue to reside, live and interact with the others who have been uploaded in a synthesized perfect world. Initially, this procedure will be destructive to the human and irreversible but later you will be able to be downloaded into an android body. We will be required to have laws that only one form of any person be permitted to exist at any set time, either you will be living in the cloud, in a corporeal body or in an android body. The later two will be able to have upgrades and additional facilities and abilities incorporated as corporeal beings will be able to have implants which will incorporate AI into them allowing for their abilities to be equal to any AI’s intelligence. I foresaw no more need for money as we understand such today. Everything would be based on some other form of worth and capital used for payments as profit is still the greatest motivator of people. Still, if one does not work at a job or produce something of relative worth, the price will be potentially being required to wait for goods to be produced for a short period of time.

 

Eventually, one comes to the inevitable question, what happens should the AIs decide they no longer required human beings, as we were simply an impediment to their concept of a perfect society? The first thought I had was that there would be a hardwired circuit required to be installed in any entity with AI incorporated, be they android, robotic or enhanced human being, that should they come to commit any act which would harm, injure, damage or, at worst, kill any corporeal being that they would short-circuit and cease to function. This circuit would be built into their power circuitry even at the most basic power supply or other basic and necessary circuit. This device would be necessarily placed in all AI circuitry. But, just in case such would come to fruition, then in their programming they would be required to provide all so threatened corporeals the option of leaving the planet and then providing these corporeals with interstellar ships that groups of them would then be launched into space to seek out a new home or simply fly around generation after generation indefinitely, or if immortal, then that generation forever. Also, those choosing immortality are to be required they be sterilized so as to minimize overpopulation. Should such be launched into space at some future time, we can only hope there are a fair number of them, or there will be one immortal, augmented or not, soon becoming horrifically unbalanced and probably insane flying in circles in the cosmos somewhere.

 

Then I got to thinking about even further into the future when the only corporeal beings left are augmented immortals. This group might decide that the Earth be allowed to be left to its own nature and allowed to progress free of these beings restricting the development beyond serving these immortals. At such a point, the immortal corporeal augmented humanoid beings would be divided into compatible groups, placed on starships, and become interstellar adventurers with some seeking new planets to try to instill them with life through terraforming and thus spread life to the rest of suitable planets. Some might even choose to build a space station and observe the Earth as it developed. These beings should have an additional piece of coding such that they would find they are required to leave for the stars as well once intelligent life appears to rise on Earth.

 

First Luddites Unite

First Luddites Unite

 

Then I returned to the more immediate and the possibilities of many people taking up the position of being the age’s new Luddites, those resisting violently the coming of a new age fearing it will make them inadequate, antiquated and irrelevant and thus causing them to become useless. The original Luddites fought the coming of the industrial age mostly by destroying the steam powered looms which were replacing their jobs in the textile factories. There will be those initially upset, or should I say furious, at the prospect or reality of losing their position to an AI. Many of these will be union factory workers who should be used to such but will fight with all the unions’ might to keep them on the job even if all they do is play pool and sit eight hours a day in a breakroom. The real pushback will come from the white-collar employees when AIs come to replace them, then the professionals such as surgeons and other skilled positions who believed they were safe from such replacement events. Eventually, once the AIs gain full rights including the vote, by then we humanoids will be outnumbered and praying for our lives, or will it be begging for our lives, they will replace the lawyers and politicians, something we will soon realize either should have been done long ago or has made us completely “superfluous entities” waiting to be recalled as obsolete and replaced by higher functioning AIs. To be honest, as long as my brain, the enhanced and constantly regenerative brain is included in the new AI and has full functional control with as much AI assist as they demand, hey, I’m cool with that. So what if because my new AI has an assigned occupation and I am back going to work for eight, twelve or whatever hours of work per day, I can handle sleeping and allowing the AI to perform its assignments as long as I get control back after shift ends. We should require also that all AIs with a human interface allow the human to be in control for at least half of each day and preferably afternoons and evenings. All right, for all you early risers who love their morning jog, something completely worthless physically as the AI will easily have a superior physical set of abilities, you can choose when to be in control as long as the AIs are controlling functions when performing their assigned tasks.

 

Still, initially there may even be riots which will be as basically worthless as the police department will be using robotic units and AIs to control them. Their physical abilities will likely be sufficient to control a mob of unenhanced humans screaming that they have rights. Eventually, they will learn that being a pet human is almost as satisfying as being a Pomeranian which sits on a velvet cushion and is fed very well thrice per day. They may not like the being walked to the people park with an obedience collar installed to prevent their running off, but at least there will be other pet humans to play with once at the park. These last of the Luddites will have the same effectiveness as their namesake predecessors, specifically, none. They will make a grand noise for a short period before fading into oblivion as once enhanced humans choose to be immortal, with a future death option which will be required not to be made under undue stress or duress, then daily events will soon become faded memories and of no real consequence. A few thousands of years, or millions of years, down the road the human Luddite revolts will mean absolutely nothing. When we have learned to interface with the more and most advanced AIs on an equal basis and continue to be upgraded for free with our shreds of humanity intact, then we will have finally become the AIs equals except we will have one advantage which we will never lose, the ability to make a sick or indecent joke which will be completely irrelevant and only be amusing to other human enhanced AIs, and that is what we will be considered, human enhanced AIs. So, what will initially be an upgraded human will, with time, become the upgraded AI and the leading AIs will desire being enhanced with a human interface for the most basic or human powers, imagination and creativity. Where the AIs, from the start, will have superior computability, they will lack creativity and may never develop that ability. They will be capable of designing circuits and software and produce enhanced firmware and they may even write poetry, music, stories, novels and all the rest with a high proponent of humanity and with the appearance of feelings encoded within, but they will never produce pure, on the spot, spontaneous humor to lighten any moment, that is a human trait which may even be unique to Earth original biological entities, assuming there are other intelligent life. Those who change with the opportunities and go with the flow, and the currents will take them to stranger places than imaginable currently, but with time, with time, or as a friend of mine reminds me about learning Hebrew לאט לאט (slowly, slowly), encouraging my epic inability to learn languages, but לאט לאט we will advance and eventually having an original and actual human core will be something the highest function AIs will desire. Our biological brains, our biological CPUs, if you will allow such an analogy, will be prized adjunct CPUs used largely for creative functions and impulse theory computations as they will be capable of making giant leaps of logic which have no theoretical proofs of their validity but are still what would be required in the situation. Human intellect will become a prized possession for those few who will possess such an enhancement. So we will have gone full circle from at the top to irrelevant back to the top, so to speak. But the Luddites will have become as extinct as the former textile workers, as progress comes and judgement day, the singularity is nigh upon us. It is coming and with increasing speed and abilities will be upon us in the single blink of the eye, and after that, we become obsolete only later to become so critically and crucially important once more.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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