Have you ever thought about what will happen when machines become smarter than us, faster than us and better than us? Tomorrow is on its way, and it will be here faster than many of us think. Speed is what we are thriving for. We are finding ways to make everything easy without putting any efforts. Humans are creating machines suitable for daily purposes and making it quicker. The evolution of robots is the most remarkable change and example of speed. Sure, we do not see many robots passing us in the streets yet, but even those tiny devices that we now lug around with us are far more intelligent than those funny-looking humanoids we used to watch on the children’s sci-fi series The Jetsons.
And just wait until machines start teaching themselves (aka “machine learning”) – that is when things will really get moving. Right now, we are standing at the take off point for exponential development in technology. Remember how exponential works? First comes, 4, then 8, 16, 32, and so on. That gentle wind of change we heard so much about back in the 90s will soon become a bona fide whirlwind very soon. So who’s call is it?
Technology is always created by humans and in turn re-define what we can and will do. Every single technological change is now impacting humanity in a much deeper way than ever before because technology will soon impact our own biology, primarily via the rise of genome editing and artificial intelligence. Technology is no longer just a tool we use to achieve something – we are actually (as McLuhan predicted) becoming tools (i.e. technology) ourselves. Some of the futurists call this “transhumanism”. It is hard to believe that less than half a century ago, computers were born. These new toys were created so that life would be made simpler for human kind. And now the world has come to a point where it relies on technology to make life easier.
We have already received warning signs about our potential future from the likes of Elon musk and Bill Gates. Movies like Ex Machina, Terminator and The Matrix shed light on some of the possible problems that comes of technology suddenly going rouge. Technology has already permeated more of our lives than we even know. Many of the new-age machines can work under deadly environments surviving what no human can, like deep space or deep oceans and can even translate many languages.
The more the humans progress, the more technology will be available for creating a relaxed lifestyle. At this rate, the years ahead will prove to be the age of technology. It will reach a stage where human skills and trades will be obsolete.Today we are using smartphones to connect to the cloud aka ‘the global brain’. They are brain extenders, basically. Wearables are next, along with augmented and virtual reality which will become so powerful that many people would never want to be without it – seeing the world differently is a very powerful thing! Voice control will quickly become the new normal; in less than 5 years, typing will be replaced by just speaking to whatever device we are using.
Brain-Computer Interfaces are already here but again, once we have computers that match our own brain capacity, and better connectivity and better batteries, it could also become the ‘new normal’. Significant technological upgrades to humans are really more like downgrades because we would lose so many human-specific abilities and idiosyncrasies in return.Nick Boscan wrote “the human brain has capabilities that the brains of other animals lack” and it is to this distinction that our species owes its dominant position. However, if human brain was supported by technology, that would lead to an intelligence far more powerful than we have ever witnessed.
One of our fears is that, as we teach machines to simulate and imitate our thinking and behavior, they will have the intelligence to own us and the power to control us. So if we place more emphasis on gratitude than gratification, harmony than harm empowerment and power, that will be mirrored in whatever we create and hence anything we fear is simply a reflection of our fears.Without technology, there would be chaos. Technology will either replace all of the jobs available to mankind and diminish the need for human existence, or technology can defect and be useless, leaving behind a bewildered society. In either scenario, technology wins the battle.
Picture Credits : techvshuman.com