by Nicholas West
September 22, 2013
- the moment when computer intelligence surpasses that of humans to
such an extent that humans become practically redundant - has been
gaining steam across the social spectrum.
In 2006, Ray Kurzweil
pointed to 2045 (The
Singularity Is Near - When Humans Transcend Biology) as
the date of this tipping point, after which anyone unprepared for
merging with machines would likely face a very unproductive future:
I set the date for the Singularity -
representing a profound and disruptive transformation in human
capability - as 2045. The nonbiological intelligence created in
that year will be one billion times more powerful than all human
Singularity Is Near - When Humans Transcend Biology
With the exponential rise of automation, and the announcement that
Moore's Law could lapse within 10 years,
the tipping point might already be upon us, with the Singularity
as soon as 2029.
goals of transhumanists and
futurists so close to full realization, the world's leading
scientists are beginning to voice their concern that general
humanity might not comprehend the full weight of their discoveries.
Scientists like Stephen Hawking
have formed a group of "scientific superheroes" who supposedly aim
to ensure that humanity does not choose the lethal side of the
double-edged sword of technology. Let's see what they are planning
to do to save humanity from itself at the dawn of The Singularity.
Our current position as we head toward The Singularity is being
called The Hybrid Age by futurists, as discussed in the candid video
below. It is an increasingly synthetic age of bio-computing,
enhanced artificial intelligence and the merging of man and machine
Also stated below is the increasing
indication that humanity is not the only biology susceptible to The
Singularity; nature, too - the climate, for example - will be
increasingly manageable and augmented.
The power available is a God-like
one, giving us the divergent paths of Heaven or Hell.
One slide from the presentation issues
this stark assessment about the potential outcomes:
Re-make the planet
Create new life (and new
Re-engineer humanity (values and
Abundance and plenty for all
(mastery over energy and material transformation)
Super-longevity (death as a
disease to be cured, immortality)
Better than well
"The cosmos wakes up" (as a new
humanity moves off planet)
Destroy the planet
Plagues and pestilence (arising
from genetic engineering)
Enfeeble and divide humanity (as
new technological divisions arise)
Worse than the Dark Ages
Nuclear holocaust (enabled by
(artificial intelligence decides that humanity itself is the
With these concerns as the backdrop, we need to assess what we see
taking place already that might indicate which path we are currently
We have seen some of the negative consequences of robotics, at least
in the economic area.
There is the possibility that humans
will eventually be
fully outsourced to robots through
the period of The Singularity. Even if this does not come to full
fruition, a recent study points to
dramatic technological unemployment
over the next 20 years.
We have seen major advancements in
direct mind control, which also
point toward a decidedly negative direction being implemented in an
area that also potentially can help enhance the human brain.
A paper published by Cambridge highlighted an extreme example of
existential threat when they presented their case that "Terminators"
should be listed as
one of the greatest threats to humanity.
And, yet, technologies like autonomous
drones continue to be developed with an increasing miniaturization
right down to the
Coupled with advanced artificial
intelligence, the military is seeking ways for these systems to make
decisions on their own, as well as communicate and replicate at
their own discretion.
The technological ability to track, trace and database everyone and
everything is already being used as a system of control and
pre-crime evaluation that is ushering in a
Minority Report-style world.
Control over the climate continues to remain a shadowy and hotly
debated topic. One thing we can be certain of is the desire of the
military to control the weather for use as a weapon.
They issued a document called
Weather as a Force Multiplier - Owning The
Weather in 2025 - curiously coinciding with the arrival
of The Singularity.
We also can be sure that elites from
societies like the UK's
Royal Society have openly discussed
playing God with the climate. Who will this
God-like power be given
to? Well, themselves of course.
The continued genetic engineering of the food supply is also having
negative consequences for humanity's health as well as the
health of the environment.
Nevertheless, the increasingly open-source nature of access to
technologies which are dropping rapidly in cost offers a potential
push-back to would-be controllers. This is often presented as a
danger in the case of
3D printed weapons, but 3D printing
a wealth of solutions for restoring
power to the people and creating new means of solving mankind's most
critical issues in the areas of health and the economy.
free energy are also beginning to
move beyond the halls of traditional science and elite control. It
is even being speculated that DARPA's efforts to produce a
low-cost, portable brain recorder
could spark a
DIY brain scanning movement.
However, we would be quite
gullible not to be aware that science has traditionally been joined
at the hip with the military-industrial complex. Whether it is the
atomic bomb, drones, or nanotech; the halls of science have not been
perfectly available for the general public to walk among.
dangers inherent in the new science as we race toward The
Singularity are most likely the same dangers that humanity always
Who's in Charge?
There is no question that new
technologies can and will benefit select people in select ways, but
when it comes to the issue of extinction, who has brought us closest
time and time again?
ironic, then, to hear
27 self-appointed superheroes of science
assume the role of vanguard for the rest of us.
From crippling cyber-attacks by
terrorists using the internet to cause havoc, to the release of
engineered diseases and killer computers, they warn the future
is far from rosy.
Other scenarios being considered by
the 27-strong group, which also involves academics from Oxford,
Imperial, Harvard and Berkeley, include extreme weather events,
fast spreading pandemics, and war or sabotage resulting in a
shortage of food and resources.
The group's manifesto is clear:
'Many scientists are concerned that developments in human
technology may soon pose new, extinction-level risks to our
species as a whole.'
This is a puzzling manifesto coming from
a group that largely represents the anti-human ends of transhumanism,
where humanity is "upgraded"
to become a nearly unrecognizable version of its former self.
Hawking himself has echoed Kurzweil when
he states that 'in
the future brains could be separated from the body'.
The cosmologist, 71, said the brain
operates in a similar way to a computer program, meaning it
could in theory be kept running without a body to power it.
The worldview of these "superheroes" is
at its heart an Orwellian one: humanity must be eliminated in order
to save it.
This is the exact machine-like mindset
that runs the world at every level ... and we see their terrific
results so far.
Who invented the Internet
Who creates those "crippling
Who engineers diseases?
Who uses food shortages as a
Who created the dangerous
algorithms behind the world's economy?
And who wages war in the name of
These are the saviors of humanity? We're
in big trouble.
If we are to survive and thrive as a species, we must codify what
type of research will or will not be explored, and which will be
discarded due to irreversible negative consequences.
Until we realize that the only safeguard
against the improper use of technology is humanity,
our current path toward a robotized, synthetic world of mindless
automatons is virtually guaranteed.