It’s what we’ve always wanted, the future that science fiction writers and futuristic thinkers have dreamed about: the rise of the machines.
“Think how free the human race will be!,” was the general theme, “robots doing everything – all routine tasks, dangerous ones, mundane ones. Mankind will at last be free to do what he wants! To express his inner being(s), his inner self – freed from the labor of earning his own bread.”
And so it goes – and has slowly been going – ever since that first ape cracked that first nut with a tool.
I can see it coming – the beginning of the zygote, the up coming mating of artificial intelligence (estimated to be ten to fifteen years in the future) – and the machine. Blame it on all the science fiction books I read (literally thousands). There’s a lot of ‘futures’ looming, but the trends . . .
No, don’t quite quit your day job yet. There’s still a need for human beings. But in the future? Where will we go without them, the machines we’ve made . . .
Indeed, we cannot get along without them – already.
I see a disappearance of the need for ‘labor’ in a lot of fields. With driverless cars no drivers will be needed – no taxis, no truckers, no delivery vans. Garbage trucks with their crews will go the same route as meter readers are going today . . . going, going, then gone. An archaism of modern times as we all give way . . .
to the Rise of the Machine.
Already we have robots, and while they can’t do what you can do, what they do is so much better – no regrets, no dozing at the wheel, no mistakes that can’t be permanently fixed by programming – and even then we’ve got machines hot on the trail of doing that: programming a better machine to do a better job, even if that job means programming a better ‘bot to program a better one . . .
Machines make sense in a lot of ways.
The question is: what will they do to society and life? I see the erosion of the middle class – where are those jobs going? A lot of them are going to the machines. Secretaries are no longer needed, dictation is done by machine (Dragonspeak, anyone?). Pilots are becoming redundant, as are human beings in a lot of places: railroad engineers (the guys who ‘drive’ a train), stock market brokers (who needs one when you’ve got internet – and a computer to predict the trends?) – everyone’s ‘job’ is going to be threatened, eventually, by the rise of machines – especially once artificial intelligence with it’s ability to identify problems before they become problems – things we haven’t even imagined.
Say what you want about about your gut, but statistics win the race. Do you obey the driving directions of your GPS? How about those stop lights up ahead (computer controlled, eventually).
So who is controlling who?
Look around. Witness the birth of the new Age. The Age of the Machines. Provided we don’t destroy ourselves (and perhaps them) on our way through it, it should be interesting to see what this era brings – both for us and our creations, who are getting wiser than us in some ways..
It’s coming in the way of intelligent computers – much more ‘intelligent’ than us, or at least capable of making faster, more accurate predictions. We already rely on them for everything from weather trends to stock market trends, and everything else. Already there are machines which can write novels and produce artwork which is indistinguishable from that other “artistic” thing: us, the human being.
Decisions will still have to be made – I don’t think we’ll give that much to them – but how much of that decision will come from the reports of a machine?
We have machines programming machines – have for a very long time. Better programmers can still out-program machines – but they (the machines) are getting better at it all the time.
In a way we are giving more of our brain function to the machines, freeing ourselves . . .
It was our dream that one day the human race would be free to do . . . anything they wanted –
or nothing at all.
What are we going to do when we get there?