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Keith Griffiths > News > Technology > The singularity – when humans and machines merge

The singularity – when humans and machines merge

A.I. or ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is a subject I find fascinating. The possibility of humans merging with machines is not just a reflection of our imagination. Let’s ask the question of how advanced this is, and you’ll begin to see that we are not far off reaching our objective. Kurzweil predicts this date could be as soon as 2045, (that’s only 30 years away).

The next advancement in human development, or is it just Sci-Fi?

If you haven’t picked up on this yet, the media have already started to introduce the concept of humans merging with machines. When you look at movies such as Ex Machina, TV dramas like Humans (on C4), and people in high positions talking about humans merging with machines, this makes you take notice, well it makes me take notice!

Roman V. Yampolskiy who wrote ‘Artificial Superintelligence: A Futuristic Approach’, (opens your mind to A.I.) and Kurzweil who wrote ‘The Singularity Is Near’, which is an interesting read. For those who don’t know who Kurzweil is, he is the director of engineering at Google.

An interesting story in the LA times suggesting that Robots could take our Jobs, really… When it comes to business; it makes sense to use technology to enhance performance. Should we question the morality of technology? We should question everything in my opinion. The one thing that’s clear to me is that technology enhances business when the right technology is applied to a business and managed properly. We can clearly see how technology has taken over our lives in relation to education, ticket sales, self-checkouts, dependency on technology and so on… Read this statement from Ofcom, it’s a scary fact! Should we manage our time better?

Consumers are spending almost half (45 per cent) of their waking hours watching TV, using their mobiles and other communications devices, new Ofcom research revealed today. – ofcom

The future of jobs

We should look at this and question what’s going to happen. Are robots really taking over our lives? Let’s look at machines, computers, and mobile devices, they are there to enhance our lives by pushing through production at a faster rate, helps to create jobs for the creative sectors and financial institutions and helps to create jobs in other areas.

The more we develop technology for the benefit of our lives we’ll achieve the singularity state quicker than the predicted date. (I believe we could reach this state within the next 10 to 15 years, ‘if it’s not already integrated into society’).

In the future most generalized jobs will be replaced by technology, this should help us to re-focus on the types of jobs we should go for and what we should look at studying in our Universities and colleges.

Ok, so what’s the real interest in A.I.?

Let’s consider, for example; life extension technology, deep space exploration and advanced learning capabilities (to name a few). A.I. or ‘Artificial Intelligence’ will help us calculate large amounts of data very quickly and enable us to push technology further. The question remains, do we want to make a robot that’s capable of taking over humans? That’s a morality question or a ‘what if’ question… A.I. will enable us to further advance and enrich our lives. So where does this leave humans? Apart from our conscious or soul, in comparison with a machine, we are simply limited by intellect, illness, and aging. Don’t worry, I haven’t ruled the human race yet!

Let me know your thoughts on A.I.

7 Comments Published

By Rinalds Mar 8, 2016 Reply

Already made some comments on AI. So here I would add more about jobs. Many people are out of jobs, big companies cut back, make others work more. AI robots or better built machines will not improve out life in this case. Mostly it will make more people out of work.

It could happen with many people. One day you could be out of job and robot in your place.

Of course there are things that AI will improve.. that we will benefit and we will learn to live with all changes.

Important things to remember – before actual AI robot invasion we need to prepare ourselves for changes.

By Kelly Mar 7, 2016 Reply

AI definitely opens up a lot of doors, especially for the elderly, the sick or the disabled, but at the same time, it does worry me. The potential power that AI can give someone, can definitely be abused, if used by the wrong person. Not only that, but the more we rely on AI and technology, the lazier we become. There is good and bad to both, but I’m a bit of a ‘romantic’ in the sense that I don’t like how everyone is becoming so focused on technology. It’s taking over people’s lives. So, I am a little bias against AI – but, don’t get me wrong, I do see the potential benefits of it as well.

By Jen Mar 2, 2016 Reply

That quote from ofcom represents my concerns more than any robot takeover of jobs…I just don’t like how addicted and obsessed everyone is with their screens. I’m all for technology, but I feel like we just don’t use it responsibly. Everyone is addicted to having immediate answers and instant gratification. It’s a bit unnerving. But AI is pretty cool:P

By Bill Slawski Jun 7, 2015 Reply

There are so many things that robots and Artificially intelligent could do that involve things other than taking away our jobs. The DARPA Robotics challenge recently took place, and it involve testing robots to see how well they might handle the challenge of something like a melt-down at a nuclear reactor. There are things like that which AI could help solve. Maybe we need to be careful in how we program Artificial Intelligences. I grew up a fan of Isaac Asimov, the author responsible for the story behind the movie “I, Robot”. He’s well known for something he called “The Three Rules of Robotics”, which discuss how a robot might treat life with respect. Interestingly, Google does have a patent now, which is similar in a number of ways to those 3 rules of robotics.

By Rinalds Mar 8, 2016 Reply

You have some very good points. AI robots could be used on many dangerous situation where it would be better to send AI robot instead of human.

By Peter Glover Jun 7, 2015 Reply

I agree with the use of advanced technology – but what I think is merged into this well written piece is Capitalism – remaining the driving force behind the technology push – without looking at the social impacts.

If all these things happen and it takes us (the humans) 1/10 of the time to do our jobs then we should have 90% extra free time to spend on the most important things – love, family, free time….

If you address the improvements in life to be more efficiency – yet all that efficiency saving does is make you produce more – have the same stress, have as little time off work as possible…. what is the real benefit?

I agree – can I imagine a world without a mobile phone? Well yes, I started working before mobile phones and my parents never had a mobile phone. So when a working class person finished their job at 5 – or at the weekend – that was it – OFF Work! You couldn’t be contacted – only by the people who cared about you.

It’s a balance I believe – but the real benefactors of such integration is what I suggest you need to consider – and what in life is really important? I’m not going all Marxist – But part of what you have written could be that if you look closely at the outcomes.

Good piece Mr Griffiths – But what should we do with all this tech that would actually improve lifestyle – stuff that matters. Why are we hung up on the fact that in the main we are programmed to work to benefit others – if you go far far back – was it meant to be this way!


By Ann May 28, 2015 Reply

The possibility of this scares me to no end….and seeing what the Asians come up with, using robotics and such, scary. I am one of those that fear that it will happen, like in “I, Robot”…..I do believe for some stuff, it’d be great, but then it’ll slowly start taking over every aspect of our lives……it’ll be made affordable for all, eventually, and our humanity will be at risk. I know, I know….I’m probably one of the few that think that way, but it scares me for future generations…..my kids and grand kids. I’m already hearing how because of technology, that peoples’ cars can be taken over, planes have been temporarily taken control of……this is just the beginning…..what happens when technology actually does all of this without a human at the controller?

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