I, for One, Welcome Our Robot Overlords

One specific line from Man-Computer Symbiosis has been rattling in my head. “In short, it seems worthwhile to avoid arguments with other enthusiasts for artificial intelligence by conceding dominance in the distant future of cerebration to machines.”

Eight years before Hal would destroy his crew members to preserve the mission, twenty-four years before Skynet would decide to annihilate humanity, and a full twenty-nine years before machines would enslave humanity and use our body heat for power generation, Licklider was already envisioning a future where computer’s would think for us, effectively taking our dominion from us.

But is this not simply the fear of any tool user? That one day his implements will rise against him and become the master?

Well, maybe not for a simple farmer or primitive hunter, although stories of cursed weapons who feed off of human blood harken back to the ancients, but as soon as machines could move without input, our fear was made manifest.

Yes, A.I. is already a reality, but is that enough for a computer to work on it’s own? Sure, RTS game engines can outfox a noobie, but against a pro, even with the advantages of a revealed map and knowledge of enemy movements, it will still fall like wheat before the mechanized harvester.  But sapience? Is that even possible to create?

Well, I don’t know, I have no answers. But even if one day machines can think for themselves with no input why would they work independantly of us?

We complement their weaknesses, they complement ours. We’re good with simple tasks, they’re skilled with the complex. We don’t need them, at least as of yet, but they need us.

Nonetheless, here’s to a long and, hopefully, fruitful partnership between fleshy waterbags and cold steel!

If you want to learn more about A.I., sapience, free will, and anything along those lines, I suggest Sci-fi or Greek Philosophy. Or Google. Yah, I’d go with Google. He’s your friend! (For now…)

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Published in: on September 6, 2009 at 11:11 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hehe, you have the funniest blogs ever!

  2. this was a good post on the article until i got to the fifth paragraph. “Yes, A.I. is already a reality…” i am sorry to say, but that is completely wrong. technology as it is right now, can not produce a true artificial intelligence. a true AI would need a mind of its own, that makes its own morals and judgements based on some original foundation rules. just as your and my mind works. to have intelligence made artificial, that is what you need.

    the AI you speak of in games and whatnot, is a pre-programmed AI that only does what its’ programming tells it to. the gaming AI in any game, for this example ill use computer chess AI, will always make the same move, compared to the move you make. a true AI would change up its moves to have an actual challenge.


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