Are you worried about the undead attacking you at night while you sleep? Does the idea of invaders from some unknown place eating your brain cause you pain? And do things that go bump in the night cause you fright?
In the real world, it is more likely that we will be attacked by RoboBees, run over in our backyards by flying drones, or attacked by our over-worked vacuum cleaners than by zombies or any other denizens of the dark. Meanwhile, we encase ourselves deeper and deeper into a make-believe world of the undead and dull our senses in the realm of singularity.
As mentioned in last week’s blog, when we hear about drones, some of us tend to think about war, destruction, lost lives, and other horrible things, but by next year FedEx will be delivering your packages at 400 feet above your head, landing hopefully not on your head but somewhere near your house. Harvard has already largely developed RoboBees, which weigh less than a tenth of a gram—about the same as a real bee, and will even have a nervous system and be able to colonize just as real bees, which may soon be nonexistent. These little flying buzzers will be pollinating our food someday—with what I cannot say and if I knew would dare not.
Here is what I think could maybe, possibly, hypothetically happen. Not to cause widespread doom and gloom here, but if bees are able to think and drones can fly your packages, what if this intelligence develops to the level of singularity—a hypothetical moment in time when artificial intelligence will have progressed to the point of a greater-than-human intelligence, radically changing civilization, and perhaps human nature itself?
Can you imagine a day when you ask your Roomba vac to do the floors, and it says, “Not today. I’m resetting my microchips”?
We will delve further into this and other things stranger-than-fiction and scarier-than-the-walking-dead on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Give a listen, and let me know if you can tell if it’s me or my clone. Sometimes I’m not sure myself.