The Spin Cycle

Future Beyond the Machine

Artificial Intelligence | August 20, 2008

Have found myself in deep thoughts about AI lately and the possibilities of the future. I've come to number of conclusions but am still trying to tie all factors together. Every time I look down the road ahead I realise what a dangerous path it is. In many ways its like a train wreck that's going to happen and little can be done. The truth is we've already started on the creation that will supersede us. It may take 30 years or 300 years. Either way, the writing is on the wall. The only thing that could halt this would be the human empire collapsing before it has a chance to reach it's conclusion.

If all humans some how vanished or were laid to waste, the machine would still be built. There is too much life on this earth to wipe it all out. As long as conditions are slightly favourable, another species or number of species will step up to the plate. The key to this cycle is the realisation of technology. Once an entity embraces technology - whether it's a sharp stone or an iphone, the technology becomes an extension of the self. The advantage of such versatility of extending the self to suit a situation has gotten us where we are today - sitting on a massive foundation of technology that no other species has even considered.

It's interesting to think which species would step up if it were just humans who disappeared. Monkey's would obviously top the list as dexterity is a major key. Other mammals could definitely take a step in the right direction. It could be a nebulous entity based on something like ant colonies or the ruler of them all could come as far a field as the bird kingdom. I have a feeling that crows have a cunning and tenacity, and given another 400,000 to 10 million years or so, would do us proud in taking our place.

A branch of the crow species would obviously have to become more earth bound and wings would need to be re-purposed. The chance of motor dexterity forming is fairly unlikely but who knows what pressures will exists that could allow something like this to happen.

I can certainly imagine a world where a crow kingdom where it's populations deal with schedules, stress and getting to work using segways. It's probably a fair while off but it is an alternative that could well be possible.

The key to the creation of the machine is embracing technology, manipulating the environment and extending the self. What is the machine for? I might talk about that another time.


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