This article is an attempt to shed some light into the future of mankind, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the possible coexistence between us and the machines. I said some light, meaning that this are my opinion and not some heavy stuff coming out of the Holy Bible, Quran, Ramayana or Kama Sutra!
I am not Nostradamus, being born in Transylvania I am more of a vampire than a seer so, my visions of the future are not very peachy, more on the pessimistic-Armageddon like scenarios.
History will tell us that we, the human beings never learn from our experience or our mistakes. We started wars with rocks and sticks, continued with arrows and swords, even better with guns, bombs, A-bombs, chemical weapons, WMDs, biological weapons, you name it and it is not over! It seems that violence and war are built-in functions into our brains, we always, endlessly talk and promote peace, but reality is a three-letter word: WAR!
Since the Golems and Frankenstein, we had/have a wired fascination with mechanical entities able to “think”. The Science-Fiction Universe is full of amazingly advanced robots, some of them friendly like 3CPO and R2D2, others evil like the Terminators. The question raised by many scientists, writers and philosophers is what will make the friendly robots to continue to be friendly after realizing that they are better than us in every domain? And yes, The Three Laws of Robotics created by Isaac Asimov are pure fiction and will not protect us! A wise man, Stephen Hawkins once said: “Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks.”
Nowadays, on top of the” conventional” wars, we are faced with the cyber-wars, hacking, stealing billions of dollars electronically, fake news, manipulating elections and the subtle and not directly visible war called social media platforms! All this is possible because of the amazing development of IT and AI and yes, there are human beings controlling all the computers behind the cybernetic wars for the time being, only that the tendency to automate and make more super-computers autonomous is very strong! One example is the quantum computer, apparently already built by several universities/governments and ready to be launched. Oh, those mighty qubits how much they will change our world!
The faith, religion and God will be the subject of another article. Considering the controversial state of mankind today I will quote from Kurt Vonnegut: “If God were alive today, he’d be an atheist!”
There are many predictions and visions about the future of mankind, made by serious scientists, Sci-Fi writers, gypsy fortune tellers and religious nuts but the four main scenarios are:
The Happy Mankind living in harmony with The Machines
The world of this scenario is run by super AI machines very friendly towards humans. Yes, something similar with Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics is preventing the machines from harming humans and from trying to take over the Earth.
The AI machines are taking care of everything, from producing food, manufacturing all the needed goods, administration, transportation, housing, health, science, environment and education. Developing non-polluting transportation means, eliminating the pollution from almost all the industries, the nature will be reborn.
Humans, well humans will be happy and very busy creating art, writing famous books, developing extraordinary scientific theories. Well, some of them anyhow. Guided by the geniuses of the mankind, the AI machines will develop cures for all the diseases so people will live happily for hundreds of years.
When the issue of overpopulation arrived, the intergalactic flights were invented and the Faster Than Light Speed (FTLS) ships were created. The FTLS intergalactic ships will deliver humans to Earth-like planets across the Galaxies, planets terraformed beforehand by the …AI machines!
Gradually, the Universe will be populated by humans or a new kind of human race evolved because of the harmonious interaction with the machines for thousands of years. Gradually, the body parts will be replaced by prosthetic bits, the internal organs as well, so the new humans will be cyborgs with huge brains and a robot-like body. After a while, unfortunately the organic brain will start do decay and eventually the humans will die, so at same stage the humans will decide to transfer their brain content to a cyber-brain. Now the mankind is quasi-immortal, but the fundamental question can be asked: Are this being part of mankind or not?
It is possible that the expansion of mankind across the Universe will contact other civilisations. The mankind will interact with some, will fight some and ignore some. It will not significantly change the mankind evolution simply because of the simple arithmetic, the billions and billions of humans across the Universe will not be matched by any other civilisation. In my humble opinion it will be a very boring Universe!
The Transformation of Mankind into vegetables/batteries for the AI Machines and beyond
It will be now virtual Matrix-like world. The planet will be covered with endless “farms” growing humans in a vegetative stage.
The bodies will be feed via tubes with a nutritional liquid, while an array of electrodes and sensors will collect the energy created and sent to battery farms.
Some of the bodies will have “Ghost in the Shell” like dreams or nightmares. Realizing that the “dreamers” produce more energy than the inert ones, the AI farms admins will start inducing dreams into the brains of their “batteries”.
In several hundred years all the bodies will “dream” similar fantasies developing a strange, supernatural kind of awareness. The AI supercomputer will have no knowledge about the new manifestation of “mankind”.
In several millennia, planet Earth will be the host of two mega-entities: the AI supercomputer and the elusive Dreamkind.
The AI supercomputer will continue to evolve, becoming more and more intelligent, solving every scientific puzzle on Earth but never developing a spaceship. Why? Because AI lacks the very essence of mankind, the Soul. Without a soul there is no desire and aspiration to reach the stars, to become a space explorer.
The Dreamkind entity will evolve also; in several thousand years the new manifestation of mankind will be able to get free from the bonds of the “vegetative” bodies, an entity of pure energy, self-sustaining and able to move through space and time.
The Dreamkind, although able and capable will not seek revenge against the AI machine because the Dreamkind inherited the collective soul of mankind and compassion and forgiveness are components of the super-soul. Instead the Dreamkind will decide to move forward, leave the Earth in the material sense and accept the invite to join the Universe Holy Spirit, also known in our time as God. If you ask me if I believe in God, I will paraphrase a famous philosopher who answered the question with: “Yes, sometimes during the night!”
- The ‘Ideocracy’ of Mankind
Do you know how many policemen are needed to screw a light bulb into the celling socket? Five: one to jump on a table and hold the bulb in the socket and the other four to rotate the table! It is just a joke; I have the utmost respect for the coppers and their intelligence.
Now, imagine planet Earth not in a very distant future, populated by billions of humans with an average IQ factor just above 20. It will be a world of morons and moroness! I know that the word moroness is made up but if we have a baron and a baroness why not a moron and a moroness! In medical terminology a moron has an IQ between 50 and 65 and it is labelled a person with mild intellectual disability, so with an IQ between 20 and 30 it will be a planet of super-morons!
How can humanity end up like this? Several factors contributed like increased pollution, climate change and a stagnation of technology and AI development. Everything starts to degrade, manufacturing, transportation, health system, governments. In several hundred years, the technology is dying, there are no specialists to fix it. Education is virtually inexistent, almost all the schools are closed. The only thriving industry is porn cinematography and the results are disastrous. People will watch endless porn movies and have sex and have lots and lots of children. The children will be more and more stupid with each generation. After a while, the social infrastructure will disappear and anarchy, chaos takes over. All the technology will stop working, everything reverted to Stone Age like conditions. With no rules and no rulers, the only law is the survival of the strongest.
In just several hundreds of years, the mankind will become a primitive community, languages reduced to about two hundred words, no technology, it will be some tools and fire but nothing else. Involution of mankind is complete. This is in a nutshell, the theory of gaussian distribution model of mankind evolution and involution.
Far from being my favourite scenario, this one is unfortunately the most probable. Look around us, the infant phase of idiocracy is already upon us, the porn industry is booming, the most visited sites on internet are the porn sites, less and less people are reading books, everybody is on some social media platform with some stupid photos of their body parts, singers and football players are paid millions of dollars while the Nobel prise winners are getting peanuts!
The beginning of the above scenario is very well illustrated in the movie IDIOCRACY.
- Pollution, the Killer of Mankind
The rapid increase in pollution (industrial and domestic) will irreversibility degrade the global ecosystem by 2060 determining the end of civilisation.
A 3 Celsius degree increase in the average temperature by 2060 will generate lethal heat waves which will last over three weeks affecting 35% of the planet surface and about 55% of the global population.
The most affected ecosystems will be the Amazonian rainforest, Great Barrier Reef and the Arctic zone which will disappear very quickly.
A catastrophic effect will be the disappearance of several insect species which will affect dramatically the food chain, the huge increase of the food products price will make the food prohibitive to most of the population.
A massive crisis of drinking water will again affect most of the Earth population. Obviously, the highest level of pollution will occur near industrial estates, power plants and highways, exactly the areas where the poor population is living, so they will die first.
The bad news for the rich people of the planet are that they will be next, surviving a few months or a few years longer than the poor people, but when their food, medicine and energy storage will be dry, they will face extinction as well.
If you will ask, where is AI in this scenario the answer is: Which AI? Technology, IT and AI will disappear together with the meltdown of the society.
So, in this scenario, mankind alone is guilty for its own destruction and nothing will be able to save us.
Planet Earth was passing nearby another planet and Earth said: I am a bit worried, I have humans! The other planet replied: It is OK, it will pass!
In conclusion, I am not an optimist, so my stories do not have a happy ending. So, like the great charlatan Nostradamus said: “In the city of God, there will be a great thunder. Two brothers torn apart by Chaos while the fortress endures. The great leader will succumb. The third big war will begin when the big city is burning.”