Not more than a few decades ago, science fiction concepts featuring intelligent humanoid “robots” (Battlestar Galactica and Terminator to name a few) seemed simply to be speculative fiction with little grounding in reality. After all, our technology was miles away from anything the authors and scriptwriters thought up at the time.
In the past few decades we have advanced our computer and robotics technology incredibly quickly. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak stated this past June that we are making ourselves increasingly redundant as computers are becoming increasingly intelligent and aware. Not only that but we have made our lives completely dependent on technology. In the future, Wozniak believes we will be little more than pets to robots. The likelihood is that our technology will surpass us in intelligence and function and likely in the near future.
Despite what you may think about the many sci-fi theories and stories which tell of autonomous robots taking over humankind, the facts are piling up to show that in fact autonomous highly intelligent robots are likely to rival humans soon. This will very likely happen. The result of our computers and robots becoming self aware is still to be seen, but it is happening. There’s no point in denying it anymore.
Here’s why geeks and sci-fi writers soon get to say “I told you so”…
1) Computers are learning to read and interpret human thoughts. There are benefits to this, including a computerized suit controlled by the mind which can let people with disabilities regain movement and mobility. Unfortunately this technology is quickly being taken for use in military scenarios. How long will it be before computers can not only read our thoughts but manipulate them?
2) Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly humanoid and intelligent. Scientists are even teaching computers to work together, cooperate and communicate with each other like humans. The processes are already in place.
3) Autonomous self driving cars already exist. These self driving cars can see the road in front of them and anticipate traffic exist. They are allegedly entering the mass production in the near future. In the US state of Nevada, a bill has recently been passed which will allow autonomous self-driving vehicles to occupy the roads.
4) Computers are outsmarting humans. A recent study released in Stanford demonstrated a computer that had higher emotional intelligence and sensitivity than its human counterparts. It was better able to detect flirting than a human. This is basic at the moment but does suggest potential for computers to surpass us in intelligence rather more quickly than expected.
The processes are already under way. Daily our technology and robotic advancements are steaming forward toward a future with self aware, highly intelligent machines living alongside us. This is not science fiction any longer. The only question is, when they are self aware… will they have a plan?