Artificial Intelligence extinction Human evolution Intelligent Design

Lovelock (now 100 years old): Cyborgs will replace us and treat us like houseplants

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Or something. Anyway, we are doomed, cyborg-style, says a centenarian James Lovelock, originator of the Gaia hypothesis:

For tens of thousands of years, humans have reigned as our planet’s only intelligent, self-aware species. But the rise of intelligent machines means that could change soon, perhaps in our own lifetimes. Not long after that, Homo sapiens could vanish from Earth entirely. …

Rather, Lovelock views the rise of technology through an evolutionary lens, in keeping with his decades of research and thinking about ecological and biological systems. He also brings the unique perspective of a scientist who just marked his 100th birthday, with a deep awareness of changing scientific fashions and with nothing left to prove. It’s an outlook that pushes him to conclusions at once optimistic and deeply disturbing. …


Corey S. Powell, “Cyborgs will replace humans and remake the world, James Lovelock says” at NBC News

Like Darwin’s Ascent of Man, Lovelock’s Ascent of the Cyborgs has no ladder and he doesn’t sense the need for one.

What would cyborgs look like? Lovelock is intentionally vague because he expects that they’ll rethink the basic rules of design in ways that we puny humans cannot imagine. “Cyborgs would start again; like Alpha Zero they would start from a blank slate,” he writes in his book. He speculates that they might look like spheres, though when pressed he says, “It’s entirely possible they would have no form at all,” existing mostly as virtual forms inside computers. Corey S. Powell, “Cyborgs will replace humans and remake the world, James Lovelock says” at NBC New

Like the space aliens, the can be comprehensible or otherwise, as needed.

Hat tip: Ken Francis, co-author with Theodore Dalrymple of The Terror of Existence: From Ecclesiastes to Theatre of the Absurd

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More on the cyborg and other dooms:

Our AI overlords will sayve Earth, says prominent scientist

Noted astronomer envisions cyborg on Mars

and

Will space aliens become a new majority religion?

2 Replies to “Lovelock (now 100 years old): Cyborgs will replace us and treat us like houseplants

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    The rise of intelligent machines, that always bothers me because were the ones building them they are rising we’re building but all well

  2. 2
    vmahuna says:

    Peace & joy. We can’t reach understanding by throwing bricks.
    In “Brave New World”, machines have taken over most all of the blue collar jobs, and so there is much discussion amongst the Administrator Class (the Betas) over what to do with the useless Gammas (who had been paid to do the blue collar jobs). The long term answer of course is to simply kill them off, but the Betas (and the genius Alphas) can’t quite bring themselves to do that just yet. So the Gammas are supplied with cheap apartments and access to cheap booze and drugs. This keeps the Gammas from staging CONSTANT riots.
    I saw an article a couple years back that Nigeria, which is a profitable petroleum exporting country, admits that as much as 85% of the population is “excess to current needs”. That is, if the 85% of the population that are subsistence farmers were, um, eaten by space monsters tomorrow, Nigeria would be a happier and healthier place. There really isn’t ANY use for Gammas…
    Many other countries (Brazil, Venezuela, Haiti, etc.) are in similar positions. The short term answer is to ship Gammas to the US and Western Europe by the truckload. But the US and Western Europe have already entered the stage where welfare for our worthless Gammas is eating a large part of the taxes generated by the Betas and the automated factories (Alphas of course understand how to avoid taxes). And since it’s now clear that the Gammas are a PERMANENT underclass, the Gammas are MUCH more trouble than they’re worth.
    So, the AI automated machines and self-mobile warehouse robots are more accurate and less expensive (over 20 years of operation) than fleshy-guy Gammas. And any cost-benefit analysis would conclude “throw out the Gammas”.
    Even for full time killing, fully independent drones and self-driving tanks are, or will shortly be, more cost effective than Gammas. And burned out tanks don’t get flag-draped coffins.
    There is an ethnic joke (pick a group you don’t like) from back in the ’60s about a formal complaint from the Gammas that only Alphas were being sent into Outer Space as astronauts. So the bureaucrats agreed to add 10 Gammas to the next astronaut class, and the highest rated Gamma (whose scores were SUBSTANTIALLY below the worst Betas) was made an astronaut and sent down to Cape Canaveral. Well, the day comes to launch the mission and Gamma Guy suits up and goes out to capsule only to find the technicians have already strapped a CHIMP in the other seat. The technicians just smile and say, “Don’t worry. We’ll send you your instructions once the capsule’s in orbit.”
    So NASA shoots the capsule into outer space, and as soon they’re safely in orbit, the chimp starts pushing buttons and pulling levers and yelling, “OOK-OOK! EEK-EEK!” into his mike.
    Finally, after 20 or 30 orbits, Mission Control calls the Gamma and says, “OK, locate storage container X-22 and open it.” So Gamma locates a bag labelled X-22, opens it, and only sees a bunch of bananas. “Houston, all that’s in the bag are bananas.” “Roger, Gamma, extract 1 banana.” “OK, I got 1 banana.” “Feed the monkey…”

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