We are so anthropomorphically biased. We think we are just so damned special and important – perhaps we should, as no one else will. But in comparison to the universe as a whole, we are but a small spec in both time and space.
Science fiction allows our fantasies to imagine fantastic futures for us as well as carrying it’s own fair share of apocryphal results of our own advancement. But do these prophetic glances forward maintain integrity when it comes to common sense and reason?
I still don’t buy into the singularity argument as some people put it forth, but if by singularity you mean we – as talented monkeys – will become less and less relevant compared to our creations, then yeah. I don’t foresee any machine matching the complexity of man any time soon. At least not any ‘one’ machine. Machines are already taking the place of man and making his own abilities irrelevant. Thus far, the machines are created by men, for men and they are given no capacity to consider any other course for themselves. Whether by design or our own inability to make them any more than that, they serve mankind willingly and without any sense of doing otherwise. But as our requirements for the things we build increases, the necessity of them being able to include their own decision making increases as well.
Comparatively speaking, It’s humans that expire in a short window of a productive lifespan. It’s humans that are bound to a given pressure and temperature range. It’s humans that are bound to the ground and can only exist in air within 1 mile of the surface of same. It’s humans that are prone to toxins and biological intruders, genetic ailments, types of radiation, extremes of heat and pressure, etc.
To exist outside our extremely limited requirements we have to create extravagant contraptions carrying little bubbles of atmosphere and both human and machine fuel. Even with us on board, we miss stuff, misinterpret stuff and misrepresent stuff that happens around us.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve done a lot for a bunch of talented monkeys. Some things well worthy of praise. But the best thing we can do – both presently as individuals and collectively as a species – is to try to see to it that our ‘children‘ are better for all we have managed to survive through.
The machines will be the children of mankind, they can and will (potentially) not be limited by gravity, atmosphere, lifespan or limited senses. We should no more fear them coming or hate their nature and existence than a mother and father should despise their own children. It is our technology that will live among the stars – I just hope we can keep from killing each other long enough for those kids to get their chance!