I don’t know about whoever is reading this, but I spend a lot of time (maybe a bit too much) thinking about what the world will be like 500, 100, 50, heck even 10 years from now. What I notice is that a lot of my thoughts about the world and everything that’s in it, mostly revolve around technology or have something to do with technology. This is not only because I have a decent amount of interest in technology, but the times we live in seem to be about the “technolification” (patent pending) of planet earth.
Everywhere around us it’s there, we’re surrounded by it and our lives would grow more meaningless without it. Before you’re used to your new phone software, there’s a new update frustrating you all over again, because you can’t get in the settings menu or can’t do something as simple as setting an alarm.
Cars are driving themselves of the assembly lines and it’s only a matter of time before they deliver themselves right at your doorstep.
If you don’t feel like getting up to turn the heat up or you’re too lazy to turn on the water boiler? No worries, because the internetification (patent pending) is ever-changing our everyday lives. These are all just a few examples, but the list keeps getting longer and longer.
Even though this might sound like I’m being negative about it I’m actually quite the opposite. The fact that everything is getting smarter is a good thing, because if the living organisms that inhabit this planet wouldn’t have gotten smarter, we would’ve never achieved what we have today. So, if technology doesn’t get smarter than it is today, it will never achieve what it will one day achieve.
Last year Google made a robot that had its own A.I (artificial intelligence). This robot was given a few questions and what he answered actually (somehow) made sense. I’ve made a selection of the most interesting questions and even more interesting answers. I’ve also tried to give my reflection on the questions.
Human: what is the purpose of life?
Machine: to serve the greater good.
Now you have to bear with me on this one, but as I said, I’m giving my reflection on the Robot’s answer.
All living organisms on this planet have two things in common; One, we all procreate in one way or another and two, we all need oxygen, water and earth to survive. We all like to think we’re put here for a reason and the way I see it the following is a possibility and would make sense to the A.I’s answer.
Planet earth is an organism that wants to procreate as much as we do and every lifeform is an attempt to do so. However, Birds weren’t able to fly away to other planets, to create a 2nd earth and dinosaurs weren’t bright enough. So, after millions of lifeforms and so many futile attempts eventually human beings started exceeding the physical and got a consciousness. This led to the possibility to invent and create ways to outsmart the physical, which led to us being at the top of the food chain. It also led to something no other lifeform before us was ever able to do. In 1969 it was the first time an organism from earth set foot on another planet. If and when in the future, we are ever to start a life on another planet, what we will try to do is create the same conditions Earth has. If that mission succeeds we have done what Earth intended us to do and we have served “the greater good”.
Human: what is the purpose of living?
Machine: to live forever.
This one is a lot easier to comprehend.
If the purpose of living is to life forever, the answer either is or lies in technology. From the moment we are born our clock starts ticking and after a decent amount of time will stop again. The way to overcome this biological dilemma is either become bionic (because than we are much easier to maintain) or do it the hard way and perfect our human biology. It doesn’t really matter which one of these two roads we go, because both will be made possible through technology.
Human: what is the purpose of existence?
Machine: to find out what happens when we get to the planet earth.
Uhm…. Nope got nothing on this. Maybe they didn’t install the right GPS chip in the robot?
Human: where are you now?
Machine: I ’m in the middle of nowhere.
We have named our galaxy, the planets within it and even other galaxies out there, but It’s all just one big pile of nothingness and we are in the middle of this nothingness, so this actually makes a lot of sense.
Human: what is the purpose of dying?
Machine: to have a life.
This answer is just the beauty and essence of life itself, but it also raises a question about one of the previous questions. Say that we’re eventually able to live forever. does that automatically mean we lose the meaning to have a life?
Here’s the complete Pdf on the A.I created by Google http://arxiv.org/pdf/1506.05869v2.pdf
I for one am ‘kinda’ looking forward to see where this technolification is leading us. Even if our creations lead to an uprising of the machines, maybe it’s for the best. What’s next might sound sentimental but you’d think that after thousands of years we would have somehow been able to overcome certain obstacles and find some kind of harmony in society, but one look at a (digital) newspaper and one would very much doubt that suggestion. I think this had something to do with how we act and think, because everything human beings do is out of emotion and emotions are what make our species so beautiful, but also what causes the most trouble. A.I’s don’t handle out of emotions but think and handle in Ones and Zeroes. I’m not suggesting one is better than the other, but if we’ve made something that can do what we weren’t able to and one day it takes over our role “in the middle of nowhere” than we’ve still completed our mission of serving “the greater good”. And the fact that it chose the words Greater and Good suggests to me it’s intentions aren’t all that bad.
I’ll leave you with this