Again another day has passed. What can a person say that has not already been said when they’ve done nothing different than usual? I could talk about my usual ideas, but that would not be a unique thing to write about. So what will I write today?
Do we predict the future as being a wonderful place, or as a terrible dystopian world? I’d like to think we are heading towards something fantastic. Some new idea will spring froth from the old, and many issues will be resolved. Of course new issues will arise, as that is par for the course.
Imagine a world where robots and computers do all the necessary daily labours. What of work needed to gain monetary gains? How might a person make a living? My initial response will be we’ll be able to rely on being creative, and yet even now a program has been writing articles. That is in a way creative, though based entirely on data collected elsewhere. What might the future hold for humanity in such a world? Will we be superfluous then?
I read something recently that made the statement that a beaver’s dam is a beaver. It is a construction that a beaver made. A hive is something a bee makes, and is therefore a bee. So AI and robots are human, because we made them. If I were to agree with this, anything that eventually we create and replaces us will still be human. These biological bodies that we reside in evolved from simpler life, and now we are fashioning the next evolution. We might upload ourselves into a computer and live on, but the body of a human is merely a stepping stone for the evolution of humanity.
We strive to continue the species, but fear for our own end. Even if our bodies cease something will continue. It may be the only way we can continue as well. If this is the final outcome of our intelligent design of thinking machines then any alien we meet who is more advanced now would likely be machine in nature. What a fascinating idea. Biology leading to inorganic life.
But then again we have to think about and define what it is to be human. Some would say it is the genetic make-up, and I agree, at least a little. However to me a human is also a person. Therefore they would have to have a form of intelligence for me to agree that they are human. So if I were to throw away genetics, then intelligence would make a person. So then is a person fashioned by humans a human?
I can be swayed by a good argument, and yet I still cling to the idea that a person is not necessarily a human even if made by one. Our tools are not us, they are merely an extension. A dam made by a beaver is not a beaver, it is a tool. Our tools may become people, but they’ll never be human, even if they have a form of our memories downloaded into them. They’ll be reflections of us, like all tools are, but they won’t be able to be called human. If they attain personhood they should still receive rights, as they would presumably attain autonomy. However no matter how intelligent a machine gets, if it has no autonomy, it will not be a person. It’ll just be a smart tool; a mere extension of humanity.
In the end we are the only people now, we humans. To make life easier, and more productive, we may fashion tools that become people, but eventually us as individuals will end. Even machine intelligences may end because of some accident. Everything ends, even the universe. However a machine intelligence has a greater chance of outliving any disaster. If we wish to have some form of our lives continue we should strive for AI. Of course we should continue to produce offspring, as without that we would end sooner, but our offspring does not have to be human.
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Link to my book on the Amazon store – http://www.amazon.com/Deathship-The-Outsider-Series-Volume/dp/1502544199/
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Update – 11 pages reviewed of the third book. I only got a little further than planned today, but still I am distracted by the story so much that I continue on without thinking.
“I have the shape of a human being and organs equivalent to those of a human being. My organs, in fact, are identical to some of those in a prosthetized human being. I have contributed artistically, literally, and scientifically to human culture as much as any human being now alive. What more can one ask?”
― Isaac Asimov
– Steven Oaks
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