Computer Myths

Posted on: April 4, 2011

“We have the tools of destruction in our hands, but we’ve sent computers into timeless, endless space, and thus, having fulfilled our destiny, we have no reason to grieve over the probable death of our species.” Weizenbaum

          I can’t believe I have read the above words! I get that there certainly could be life beyond the human existence and that I’m sure there is the possibility of ’intelligent’ life elsewhere but when you think of the human existence ending; it is very sad. We should be inconsolable at the thought!

          Our species could become extinct and we are supposed to be happy about this?  We despair when an animal/plant population becomes extinct and much energy and effort is put into saving this species but ourselves, we’re supposed to rejoice at our cleverness to have left a small piece of our being in the machines floating in space! Maybe this article should be more of a warning to human kind in that we do indeed have the tools of our own destruction in our hands and we should be mindful of what we do with or allow these tools to do. Maybe we should be more intelligent and make the tools that will ensure us to not self-destruct!

          A computer certainly is quite superior to the human brain when one wants to do calculations, retrieve items from memory, etc. but a computer run world is not a world at all and certainly not utopic! There would be no beauty in our world, no emotion, no caring all because these would be frivolous to a computer run state. However, I did take some solace in researching this idea that we should be happy if artificial intelligence takes over the world because I have come to the conclusion that this perspective is held by a very select few. Most of what I have read suggests that yes, maybe AI taking over the world and humans no longer living would be possible one day, however, that day is still a very long time away. Also, it seems that in order for AI to take over the world the humans would have to create a machine that was capable of doing so! As close as scientists have come to creating robots who appear to be happy or act as though they are concerned, they are not capable of (yet anyways) of having these emotions or humanlike emotion–driven thought processes. Even though our world has plenty of corruption, pollution and greed, there is much to make it great, and our creation of computers does not change this. The death of our species is the death of our world. What exists after this point does not matter.





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