Sunday, February 17, 2008

Our Sci-Fi Future

Here's one for Pluto in Aquarius (2023-2043):

From bbc news

Machines will achieve human-level artificial intelligence by 2029, a leading US inventor has predicted. Humanity is on the brink of advances that will see tiny robots implanted in people's brains to make them more intelligent said engineer Ray Kurzweil. He said machines and humans would eventually merge through devices implanted in the body to boost intelligence and health.

"It's really part of our civilisation," Mr Kurzweil said. "But that's not going to be an alien invasion of intelligent machines to displace us."

Machines were already doing hundreds of things humans used to do, at human levels of intelligence or better, in many different areas, he said.

"I've made the case that we will have both the hardware and the software to achieve human level artificial intelligence with the broad suppleness of human intelligence including our emotional intelligence by 2029," he said. "We're already a human machine civilisation, we use our technology to expand our physical and mental horizons and this will be a further extension of that."

Humans and machines would eventually merge, by means of devices embedded in people's bodies to keep them healthy and improve their intelligence, predicted Mr Kurzweil.

"We'll have intelligent nanobots go into our brains through the capillaries and interact directly with our biological neurons," he told BBC News. The nanobots, he said, would "make us smarter, remember things better and automatically go into full emergent virtual reality environments through the nervous system".

Mr Kurzweil is one of 18 influential thinkers chosen to identify the great technological challenges facing humanity in the 21st century by the US National Academy of Engineering. The experts include Google founder Larry Page and genome pioneer Dr Craig Venter.


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7 comments:

Darren said...

Bring it on!

Pluto in capricorn is probably going to be really boring. Kind of like the hang-over after a party.

Annabel said...

I was born 3rd feb 1935, so have always figured that Pluto in Aqu will take me out as it transits my moon at 5 aq or my sun at 13Aq !!
Probably be ready to go?? Darn it I will be 93!!

Twilight said...

LOL! I'll not be far behind you Annabel!

I'm always cynical about predictions like this one. They're often well ahead of themselves, and don't allow for anything nasty happening to slow things down.

Not to be too pessimistic, but if Pluto in Capricorn does half the things predicted, Pluto in Aquarius could find humans scrabbling around to invent fire and the wheel again. :-)

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or is this whole idea both deeply sinister and repugnant. Shades of Brave New World and The Matrix methinks.
You can all go meekly forward to get your chip and pin hard wired into your neurology...myself and all those left with any spark of independence will be opting out of this sci-fi nightmare.

Anonymous said...

Hm. I can already see the stage setting for Pluto in Pisces!

So ok. You've got these teeny little robots that can transform your brain. But, you've got an awful lot of people whose religions are going to scream "WHAT?!?!?" because, of course, it is not up to HUMANS to be mussing up GOD'S design, hm?

But who can resist something like this? Well, mainstream anyone. Because they will have moral issues or just plain common sense issues about it all. Right. Except what would happen is science will keep pushing on this, and then they'll realize that it is a lovely solution to certain things, like those poor buggers with mental health issues. Which for now we are merely drugging, only studies are beginning to emerge showing that all those drugs may be causing more harm than good. Plus it is getting into the water supply!

So now you see them scrapping the drugs, and instead planting harmonizing little bots into brains to make them less wobbly. Now you've got a whole population of ground breakers, and it will only grow, of course.

And then back street "hackers" find creative ways to make black market bots for getting high. Those will be the rogue bot creepies, and who knows what those unauthorized bots will ultimately do!

And punky little rich kids whose mummies and daddies buy bots to enhance their juniors so that they can become the monarchy of Ivy League and have all the kudos that come with ultra-competitive brains. Kinda the Barry Bonds of academia. So much for chess championships, it's all bots and rigged anyway.

It is when those sneaky little bots get away from us after all, and now mainstream is moaning about how de-humanizing it all is. About perfectly imperfect, which maybe we ought to be--and stay. That is when it will be time for folk to recognize that there are elements beyond brains and bodies that actually make us, yes, HUMAN. Not ROBOT. Not a PRODUCT OF OUR MECHANICS. Something called SOUL.

And then Pluto will enter Pisces.

Dharmaruci said...

Yes it'll certainly lead to a debate about consciousness/the soul. I don't think you can ultimately separate consciousness and matter, they are not different. And if the bunch of complex chemicals and electronics microstructures that we call the brain can result in human consciousness, then why not another lot? There's nothing unique and God-given about our biology.

That doesn't mean I'm happy with these developments! But they will happen because they can, and there will as always be both wonderful results and abuses.

Dharmaruci said...

So while the process can de-humanise us (not necessarily, at all), we'll also need to recognise that it will humanise robots: matter is not dead, and there will inevitably be a commensurate consciousness arising as the physical basis of robots becomes more sophisticated.

Already there have been proposed ethical codes drawn up for the treatment of robots.