Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Technology: a human tool but for how long?

The ongoing intense discussions on the threats of Artificial Intelligent robotics made me recently wonder the following question: is it even possible that technology will – once – no longer be a human tool? In such a situation, the human species might become the tool of Technology.

Human movies already “answered” my question. The 1984 film The Terminator features “Skynet [which] is a fictional artificial neural network-based conscious group mind and artificial general superintelligence system that serves as the antagonistic force of the Terminator franchise.”

In my blogs, I’ve argued that science fiction often predates (i) science and then (ii) technology. In the novels by Jules Verne (1828-1905), some of his tools (eg, airplane, submarine) were once considered science fiction. Some of those tools are still missing: Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864).

The Terminator films also describe that the human species will fight their own inventions. Other science-fiction films describe that the human species will fight any invasion by an extraterrestrial species, like Close Encounters (1977), Star Wars (1977), Alien (1979), and Arrival (2016).

Given the above, it makes sense that scientists claim that humans are (were) the apex predator on our planet, “a predator at the top of a food chain, without natural predators of its own”. Also see these related articles: PNAS-2014, LiveScience-2021, ScienceAlert-2022, and Science Times-2023.

Most articles claim that human were an apex predator. Our increasing distance (ie, outside our homes) from nature has made us increasingly vulnerable.

In my view, we will start using technology to change humans into humanoid sapiens and make “us” an apex predator for the entire universe. Basically, a humanoid sapiens is a robot with an uploaded human brain. Some films already describe this: CHAPPiE (2015) and Ex Machina (2014).

I’m not sure if the human species will ever be able to download a human brain and then upload it (eg, to a robot). The challenges of this technology are highlighted in the “American science fiction comedy-drama television series” Upload (2020 – onwards), and the 2019 film Alita: Battle Angel.

In my view, human intelligence is far superior to artificial intelligence as humans have four levels of consciousness: (i) known knowns or knowledge, (ii) unknown knowns or intuition, (iii) known unknowns or beliefs, and (iv) unknown unknowns or imagination. AI only has known knowns.

“But if future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than with sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as God really made it, not just as it looked when we got through with it.”

A 21 September 1965 quote by former President of the United States of America Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973)

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Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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