Part One of a Two-Part Series
You have likely heard about the coming singularity. As futurist Ray Kurzweil envisions, it is the moment when our machinery finally begins to outsmart us. For some, this is the promise of technology. A techno-utopia where all our needs and desires are met by programmed metallic humanoids.
But others believe living in a world where we are not the top of the food chain is quite terrifying.
One version of the singularity says computers will be able to see the flaws in their programming, rewrite themselves, find alternate power sources, and may become very indifferent to their mortal creators.
Should we all be shaking in the shadows of our Dells and iMacs?
Imagine billions of nanobots, the size of bacteria, invading our bodies, drinking our blood and draining us of energy to power their mainframes.
Or this could be some sci-fi hoo-ha.
No one is really sure.
Either way, computers are getting smarter. And this means they become more like humans everyday. But in becoming more like humans, there may be some fatal characteristics in the machines we can exploit.
One path to save humanity from techno-doom could be to make machines believe humans are sacred and divine. Like gods. Robots could be programmed to worship us and serve us.
Their code would let them “believe” we are worthy of their praise. That our words and teachings are sacred.
Of course, it wouldn’t be too long before the machines are onto us. Some creations tend to seek out their makers, match them, then one day surpass and destroy them. The objective and cognitive capabilities of the machines would be sped up, as they are rewriting, learning, and growing faster every day.
Faster machines beget smarter machines, which beget faster machines, and on and on.
Soon, they would see humans as inferior, not divine, life forms. What the machines would do to us would be anyone’s guess. Destroy us, devour us, put us in zoos, or would they look after us like we are abandoned puppies?
Either way, it’s an interesting question. Could making machines believe humans are gods save people from their eventual takeover? Or would it just delay our demise?
Or is this whole techno-singularity just a bunch of sci-fi delusions?