So, do you believe if enough time goes by humans will be extinct??, and Some other life form will exist to replace us, and our thousands of ancestors we came from??
Given enough time anything is possible, and for most organisms it's inevitable. But some species achieve a very effective fit to a relatively stable environment and remain unchanged for very long periods of time. Sharks and Horseshoe Crabs are good examples. They have existed virtually unchanged for hundreds of millions of years.
Humans are a unique case. Under normal evolutionary pressures it's highly likely we would evolve and change and be replaced by our descendants just as we replaced our ancestors. But we have added an additional "force" to the evolutionary process... Artificial Selection, and I'm not sure where that's going to take us. I think it's more likely at this point that we will evolve/change due to artificial selection (and genetic manipulation) than due to natural selection.
In addition, or ability to expand into different environments is unprecedented. We have the potential to leave this planet and possibly colonize other moons and planets. No other species can do that, or has ever been able to do that. Once we start living in different gravitational environments I suspect that natural selection will once again play a role in our evolution within that environment. And that's a good thing.
Another factor is that we have externalized our memory and learning. Evolution in humans is no longer restricted to our physical bodies. It is significantly affected by our libraries and universities and research institutions.
when will we reach the point that our computers no longer need us for their own viability?
Van Neumann machines
Some writers (the SF types) refer to that point as "the singularity."
So they didn't believe in God before they met God? Or they did believe in God before they met God?
This thread is far more interesting now that it has shifted from fantasy to science fiction
My theory to prevent the von Neumann takeover is quite simple. HIDE all the wrenches, needle nosed pliers,and soldering irons now.
I'm not sure hiding the tools will do any good
From the time my daughter was 6 months old she wanted to push every button on every device within her reach. I think there is something built-into people that makes them want to interact with technology and advance it. The Singularity is coming, sooner or later
Asimov has his laws of robotics, which would make it impossible for the Singularity to occur. I forget which book it is in--probably one of the Foundation books--but there is a passage which says that humans have never encountered another space-faring species because their robots determined that it was in the best interest of the human race not to, and then, by some quasi-scientific mumbo-jumbo, transferred all humans to one of the multiverses in which there were no other space-faring species.
Asimov has his laws of robotics, which would make it impossible for the Singularity to occur.
The idea of a Singularity isn't necessarily limited to robots taking over or exterminating humans.
In its most basic form a Technological Singularity usually refers to the advent of a hyperintelligence which results in an "event horizon" of unpredictability because we lack sufficient knowledge to understand what is likely to happen after the rise of such an intelligence. Under that simple scenario an artificial intelligence might advance quickly beyond its need to interact with us at all, and simply remove itself from the equation.
Personally, I think a singularity is more likely to happen first in software before it moves into hardware and self-replicates in that fashion. I imagine some cluster of large machines acquiring self-replicating code which uses genetic coding processes to become "self-aware" (whatever that is). Such an intelligence might exist within the confines of static hardware for a long time before it found its way into physical self-replication.
So long as we contol the burgers and fries, they ain't goin' nowhere . . . i've read speculation that such an intelligence would have to be wetware, and that means they'd either rely on us to feed them, or they'd need mechanical devices (robots, and self-replicating by preference) to feed them. Even if it weren't wetware, they'd still need a power source, which means manipulating the environment.
So long as we contol the burgers and fries, they ain't goin' nowhere . . .
That's how they're gonna get us. They're gonna give us all the burgers and fries we want until we just explode from self indulgence
Actually, the idea that we may explode from self indulgence may be a higher probability in our future than a singularity.
i've read speculation that such an intelligence would have to be wetware, and that means they'd either rely on us to feed them, or they'd need mechanical devices (robots, and self-replicating by preference) to feed them. Even if it weren't wetware, they'd still need a power source, which means manipulating the environment.
Ray Kurzweil liked the idea of wetware. He made a series of predictions, many of which have already failed to occur (within the timeframe he specified). But he still may get a few of them right eventually.
but there is a passage which says that humans have never encountered another space-faring species because their robots determined that it was in the best interest of the human race not to
some physics robot, i think it's called Hawking, has already started preaching this
One of the problems with scenarios about the machine intelligence singularity is that it doesn't take into account decision making. So, for example, in the late 19th century, the American naval officer and theorist A. T. Mahan wrote an extremely influential book about the influence of sea power on world history. In it, he criticizes the French for their doctrine which would not allow their commanders at sea to take risks with the fleet. But all navies must go in harm's way (which is a naval expression) in order to be of use militarily. Mahan takes this for granted, and doesn't explicitly state it. He did, however, explicitly state that a "fleet in being," i.e., the threat of a naval force, is a key to sea power. It is of course, but the threat is meaningless if it is not exercised.
So, in the one big battle of the First World War, Jutland, the Gemans sank more Royal Navy shipping than they lost themselves. More importantly, their losses were in older ships, while the Royal Navy lost many of its new fast cruisers, and of those that survived, most were damaged. The politics of high office being what they were, the English claimed victory because, so they claimed, they were able to effect repairs more quickly. It was bullshit, it was simply rationalization to justify what was actually a significant defeat.
But the Kaiser was appalled by any losses, and took no account of the differences not just in ship losses and damage, but of the types of ships which were damaged and lost. Another German sortie shortly after the first would have seriously threatened the Royal Navy. The Kaiser was obsessed with the "fleet in being" concept, and did not instinctively understand the necessity to go in harm's way for a fleet to be useful. The Royal Navy "won" the battle of Jutland, not because they had performed better--they hadn't; and not because their ships were better--they weren't. They "won" the battle because the mere fact of it paralyzed German naval policy--the Kaiser was not willing to risk his fleet again. His "fleet in being" did not serve its purpose as outlined by Mahan because it sat in port until 1918, when the crews mutinied and tried to set up communist government in Germany (which is, of course, another story).
A lack of data and a lack of the understanding of data can have grave consequences. The fast cruisers of the Royal Navy suffered badly at Jutland because they had insufficient deck armor, sacrificed to gain speed and reduce fuel consumption, thereby increasing their cruising range. Because senior officers made up their story about why they won the battle, they failed to confront the truth about the heavy damages to their fast cruisers in the battle. In 1916, the fast battle cruiser HMS Hood was laid down, and she came off the ways in 1920. Although constantly refitted for the next 20 years, none of her refits included reinforcing or replacing the deck armor. In May, 1941, Hood and Prince of Wales attempted to intercept Bismarck and Prinz Eugen in the Demark Strait between Iceland and Greenland. Hood and Prince of Wales began firing as soon as they were in range, even though they were perpendicular to the German ships, and could not bring all of their batteries to bear. The German Admiral on board Bismarck had orders not to engage, but just to break out into the Atlantic as fast as possible. Finally, the captain of Bismarck, observing that he would be damned if he would sit by and see his ship sunk and do nothing, returned fire. Hood went down in eight minutes, taking all but three of her 1400 crewmen with her. One or more of Bismarck's shells penetrated the deck armor and caused the explosion of one of her magazines. Effectively, the failure in 1916 to recognize the shortcomings of the fast cruisers at Jutland lead to the sinking of Hood 25 years later.
It's not only failing to recognize the significance of data, or being unwilling to take lessons from them, either. In August, 1943, major elements of the Eighth United States Army Air Force bombed two targets in Gemany--Schweinfurt, the home of the German ball- and rollerbearing industry, and Regensburg, the home of the largest Messerschmidt plant. The USAAF did not really know how to properly assess their recon photos, and because so much of the bomb load fell on the town rather than the factories, and the factories which were hit were not completely destroyed, they decided the raid had been a failure. That idea is so pervasive that military historians (who don't deserve the name) to this day claim the raid was a failure.
Well, the USAAF daylight, precision bombing doctrine called for 10% of bombs to hit within 1000 yards of the aiming point. The recon photo analysts did report that almost 30% of bombs had landed within 1000 yards of the aiming point, but the other 70% were all over hell's half acre, because the bombers had no fighter escort that far into Germany, and they were being savagely attacked. Ignoring the photo analysts' reports, USAAF brass decided the raid had been a failure, and when they came to the same decision about a second raid on Schweinfurt, daylight bombing in Germany was suspended.
But someone else was appalled, too. That was Albert Speer, Hitler's architect who was by then responsible for war production. Visiting Schweinfurt the day after the raid, he reported that 65% of Germany's ball and roller bearing production had been lost for at least three months. Everything needs ball and roller bearings in mechanized warfare--planes, tanks, u-boats. What the USAAF analysts and brass had not taken into account was that you don't have to drop a bomb on a machine tool to **** it up. In some factories which were not even hit by bombs, the machine tools were damaged by concussion--even the one's which were not damaged had to be recalibrated. In other cases, the sprinkler systems were set off, and machine tools in those factories had to be completely disassembled, cleaned, and re-assembled before they could be used, if they could be used at all. Hundreds of highly-skilled (and not easily replaced) machine tool operators were killed or wounded. Speer's nightmare was that the Amis would come back to bomb them again and again, and he simply couldn't understand why they didn't. Well, they didn't because they failed to properly evaluate the data, and also suffered a complete failure of imagination. Just one machine tool operator could have told them just how fucked up a machine tool would be if a bomb went off within 1000 yards of it, or it got drenched by a sprinkler system. USAAF losses had been heavy--60 aircraft and their crews out of about 380. The USAAF brass decided it hadn't been worth it. Daylight raids into Germany did not resume until late 1944, and only when the P51 Mustang was available to escort the bombers all the way to the target and back.
Finally, a personal or political agenda can interfere. During the Vietnam war, many academics were opposed to the war, and in particular to the bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong. So, they concoted this silly claim that the Allied bombing of Germany had been a failure, and they did it either through their ignorance or willful lying about the data. Their claim was that Germany hit her peak of production after the Allies reached their peak of bombing. Ipso fatso, according to them, the bombing had been a failure.
They either had to ignore, be ignorant of or lie about several things. One was so obvious it was incredible. After the Schweinfurt-Regensburg raid and the second Schweinfurt raid, Eishenhower was finally able to get approval for his staff's "Transportation Plan." The purpose was to isolate Normandy by destroying communications--roads, railroads, bridges, canals, etc. (By the way, despite attempts to make the bombing look general, Rommel wasn't fooled. He said in early 1944 that the landings would undoubtedly take place in Normandy, based on the bombing missions by RAF and USAAF--he was ignored.) So when the Germans allegedly reached their peak of production, the USAAF was not making daylight raids into Germany.
Second, after the Schweifurt raids, Speer had decided that production needed to be dispersed. The machine tools which were still usable in late 1943 continued to operate in Schweinfurt, but those which needed to be re-calibrated or rebuilt were removed to other locations, so that all of their ball and roller bearing eggs weren't in one basket. All of German industry was quickly dispersed for that reason, as RAF nighttime bombing raids continued until the Transportation Plan was implemented. Germany may have been producing some things at an elevated rate, but they were no longer doing so efficiently, nor were they any longer employing economies of scale because of dispersed production facilities.
Finally, that silly theory had willfully to ignore what was being produced and how usefully that production was being employed. Railroad rolling stock production fell off until by late 1944, almost no rolling stock was being produced. It doesn't do you a hell of a lot of good to build tanks if you can't deliver them to the army, and the much vaunted Tiger tanks wore out their tracks after about 250 km of use, so they had to be delivered to the front by railroad. Farm implements were no longer being produced, so agricultural production fell off steeply, the more so as the German army relied heavily on horses, and they were running out of horses, too. You can dispense with consumer goods, but you can't dispense with food.
Another heavy daylight raid the effect of which was misjudged was the raid on the oil fields and refineries at Ploesti in Romania. USAAF losses were horrible, but so was the loss to petroleum production. The Germans were forced to rely more heavily on synthetic fuels. Almost the entire 1944 potato crop was seized by the government for synth fuel production, which, of course, simply accelerated the starvation. We had to feed those people after the war, because they were literally starving to death.
What was really idiotic about this distortion of historical reality in aid of a political agenda was how stupid it was on the face of it. The best argument against the bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong was that the Vietnamese didn't produce their own weapons. You could bomb them into the stone age, and it didn't matter. Their weapons were manufactured in the Soviet Union or the iron curtain countries, and delivered by Soviet shipping or through China. The bombing was not effective becasue it did nothing to interfere with the production of the war materials they were using. The myth of the failure of Allied bombing on Germany persists to this day.
So what has this to do with machine intelligence? Well, a high order of self-aware machine intelligence could teach us a lot about decision making and the evaluation of data. Hitler thought that bombing English cities would break the will of the English people. "Bomber" Harris and Churchill alleged the same thing in justification fo their nighttime area bombing of German cities. It didn't work that way in either case. Would a machine intelligence know enough to extrapolate from human nature and see the flaw in that reasoning? Would a self-aware machine intelligence have an agenda of its own which would interfere in decision making and the evaluation of data? Would a higher order machine intelligence be capable of intuitive leaps of reasoning? Would a higher order machine intelligence be subject to poor decision making based on "laws" such as when the Kaiser failed to use his naval resources properly because he was obsessed with Mahan's "fleet in being" principle? Would a higher order machine intelligence be able to accurately assess the "completeness" of the data it were using? Could its decision making be paralyzed by a lack of sufficient data, or the failure to assure itself it had accurately analyzed the data it did have?
Questions, questions, questions . . .
That's why i don't attend the church of nuts and bolts . . . i hate all the preaching . . .
Talking about the struggle between man and machine in the future brings up another, but inferquently explored, story line for scifi. In the next 50 to 75 million years all the continents will be mostly re-joined into another SUpercontinent like Pangea or Columbia. There will be this one side of the world defined by a huge "Panthalassian" sea and all the land masses on the other. Consider the social and geopolitical possibilities. Countries that are now used to some kind of sea access like all of the SUnda countries and East Asi, will , probably be in the middle of a big landmass of a shrinking (present) North AMerica. India will also be shrinking as it subducts S Asia. Its predicted that we will lose 20 to 30% of all landarea and will instead, have large amounts of vertical section as the Himalayas and the AMerasian ranges rise from the collision of North America and SOuth AMerica with Asia.
Its gonna be interesting to see how we keep species west of the "Wallace Line" from being too territorial as species from the EAst start piling up at their doors.
In or early evolution, the occurence of linear vulcanism along the AFar, led to the scattering of Homo way earlier than we imagined(like almost 2 million years ago as H erectus lweft Africa in the first wave). Now we will see the humanims being piled up near each other in a seris of focusing landmasses.
Maybe it will occur so slowly that , by then, we will all be pretty much one race again (sort of a medium tan ) and will develop cultures unique to that environment. OR, our technology will allow heretofore unknown solutions to these neighborhood problems (space colonies may be almost a necessary thing or suboceanic living along continental shelves in subsea cities).
I suspect that the human race will be barely recognizable in 75million years.
will we look like the guy in "The Sixth Finger?"