Transhumanism (H+) and Strong Artificial Intelligence

Discussion in 'Science and Nature' started by Agalloch, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. Hello GrassCity. How do you feel about the future? A future where limbs can be replaced, eyes can be replaced, brains can be repaired, age is no longer a restraint of human growth, and your next door neighbors and coworkers consist of transient humans and sentient machines. Sound far fetched? We live in a time of great change and every new decade brings something new and incredible. These concepts are not far from reality, they are being applied even today in limited form, but how do they make you feel? What if someone you knew had their healthy arm replaced with a stronger, more flexible prosthetic arm? Does the thought of people willingly modifying their bodies bother you? If so, why?

    How about sentient machines? Would you feel comfortable working side by side with a machine that could reason and perform tasks as well or better as you could?

    Personally I welcome changes such as these. I've always been fascinated with artificial intelligence and the thought of improving the human condition with technology. To me, this is the next step. This will be what moves us forward as a species and sets us apart. I would love to hear thoughts on this. :smoking:
  2. Here are a couple videos to encourage discussion. :smoking:
    [ame=]transhumanism - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame=]Michio Kaku on Artificial Intelligence - YouTube[/ame]
  3. I wouldn't have any problem working alongside machines.

    I would have several concerns though - ones that are more centered around global issues than personal feelings:

    1.) Technology encourages its users to become reliant upon its availability/accessibility. I believe that once machines have the same rights/responsibilities as humans that we won't be "more than human", but just a less-able, more dependent version of ourselves.

    2.) Once robots start replacing the human workforce certain skills and trades will become part of our past (much as things now-a-days have already been taken over by machines - everything use to be hand-made.) It wouldn't necessarily matter that we would be under-qualified and unemployable, but it would matter if our intelligence was equivalent to the society depicted in "Idiocracy".

    3.) The possible military applications of strong AI could be used in a very positive light (replacing human soldiers with machines), could also be extremely dangerous.If the government is able to call upon stock-piles of walking weapons platforms then the public is essentially helpless to defend itself. Imagine police robots - initially they would be employed as an alternative to humans because they would be "by the book, not being overrun by human emotion or impulse, always acting upon training/programming" - people would see them as a humane choice. However, bulletproof machines that enforce justice with a vice-grip would absolutely terrifying, especially considering the fact that someday they may be indistinguishable from humans.

    I'm sure there are other things I can think of, but just not right now. I'll get back to it later.
  4. You bring up good points. I think many of your concerns would be alleviated with transhumanism. The modern man, AKA cyborg, would be able to compete with sentient machines due to our mastery of technology. Our intelligence could be theoretically enhanced, our vision, our strength, ect.
  5. I look forward to all of this. I read something by Dawkins that explained how once we reach a certain intelligence, evolution no longer exists. We now have the ability to tamper with the things that allowed us to evolve. I fully expect to live for a century if I don't die of unnatural causes.
  6. Post-humanists are just human apologists.
  7. I think that at the pace we are currently advancing in technology we are losing out ability to really sit down and think about the consequences of adapting our lifestyles. At an earlier point in human history, when technology advanced at a snail's pace compared to today, people had decades (if not centuries) to adjust to the technology and allow their lifestyle to follow suit. I feel like today we don't even allow some kind of grace period to pace before we jump onto the next thing.

    Transhumanism may very well be the answer to all of my concerns, but it could bring about its own concerns as well. Maybe it will impact us in a way that don't currently think is possible or even consider at all. All I know is once it does become part of our world/lives that we won't be able to return back.
  8. I think it would be amazing to be able to augment myself with mechanical arms or such, but I dont think id get rid of an arm for it or something. Maybe if it was like a sleeve i could put on that augmented strength or something. I think there will be alot of people against progress in this respect ( religious nuts who cant keep their opinions to their selves).

    Maybe some built in jet pack to get to work and shit..... fuck that would rock :bongin::cool:
  9. One thing that bothers me about this is that people's lifespans would likely be extended, along with more people being able to live instead of dying because of war, disease, etc. Most people would think thats a good idea, but the earth is overpopulated as is. Instead of increasing lifespans and such I think bringing everyone up to an acceptable standard of living is more important, and thats no easy task.

    I also think artificial intelligence is an amazing field, its something I hope to really dive into while in college and possibly working with the DoD or private contractors. I doubt we'd be reaching singularity anytime soon, and if we did I'd hope we limit ourselves from allowing technology to pass us.

    I'm fine with working beside a machine, but I think this could also lead to more people leading a sedentary lifestyle if we have our machines doing all/most of our work.
  10. Related article...they have a media area like TED Talks for issues related to ethics and, but thats what the whole site is about...some interesting issues coming down the pike

    When Will We Be Transhuman?
  11. Trans-human? Don't you really mean Borg?!? I won't even put up a cute clip, but think about it:

    1 The web gets faster and better to the point that you get connectivity implanted. (I will likely wait for implant 2.0 or later.) Isn't that the same as the Borg connectivity? An implanted cell phone would not be needed given that you would have "thoughts" over IP.

    2. A healthy (or blind, whats the diff??) eye is replaced by a combination laser range finder/full spectrum viewer/analyzer

    3. A knee goes bad, so we get a new one. Then a hip, then an ankle, then the other leg ...

    The term is Borg. Am i ready to be a Borg? Not yet.

  12. Yeah, you guys should pick up Ray Kurzweil "The Singularity is Near". He covers full immersion simulations in depth. 'Course, that brings up another futuristic idea. I see every day that people in the under 30 generation have a much easier time watching something and learning than they do reading.

    Contrary wise, i find it difficult or impossible to learn except by reading. How will their children be most comfortable learning? My guess, it will be by some sort of bulk download facilitated by a brain implant. Of course, at that point, i think they will be Borg, not human. It seems to me that a line must be drawn between the species at some point.
  13. Bottom line, i don't think that there will be any Homo Sapiens sapiens alive by 2050. Call them (us) Homo borg, Homo terminator, Homo gattaca, or some other.

    Maybe we will call them (us) simply extinct ...

    Either way, what a cool time.
  14. yeah right 2050 maybe try 2500. doubt there will be 0 humans within 49 years but who knows

  15. Yeah, problem is that a lot of people think that 50 - 11 is 49. :rolleyes: That's why we will become extinct -- and SOON.

    I kid. I kid because ... well, because i'm an asshole. Sorry. :eek:
  16. brain interface computers will come out before true AI. by the time anyhitng like terminator happens, humans will be far more advacned then we currently are. Machines will probly not a problem for us.

  17. Are you saying that humans will evolve faster than machines develop? If so, review your Moore's Law.

    The average human might be more intelligent after many thousands of years of evolution. But that assumes that there is space in the human skull for more brain and assuming that brains can get faster, which i've read is not possible.

    Meanwhile, machines double in capacity every 18 months.

    Good luck getting smarter that fast.
  18. the issue isn't how many transistors a computer has or how many calculations it can do. That doesn't make it smarter, it's the software it's using. As of right now computers are getting closer to our level because we put in the code and have enough transistors to basically brute force to an answer using lots of math. It's the reason why we have super computers today that can do calculations much faster than any human ever could but put it in a bathroom and it has no idea what to do.

    Moore's law only deals with how many switches a computer has, what's more important is what it can do with information. They can already just stack more and more processors to give you the computing power over a human but until the software catches up it's kind of moot. Just look how many things are really programed to use your dual core processor's today (it's not many at all).

  19. Good points all. However

    Watson won at Jepordy using 2,880 processor cores and 80 x 10^12 operations per second.

    The problem with your analysis is that when i quit writing code, the code generators (especially in C++ and java) were already getting very sophisticated. Soon, computers like watson will be writing their own code (with supervision at first) ...

    and then Katy bar the door.

    The human brain is an incredible kludge. I just finished a book on the thing, and the latest knowledge about the brain points to its simplicity and sloppiness of its design. Replacing it within 40 years will be trivial.

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