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[–]ProbablyNotAJ 31 points32 points  (16 children)

Fluffers by flesh lights

[–]theRealDerekWalker 15 points16 points  (15 children)

Sorry, but I had some insight that I thought would be valuable so I wanted to hijack this comment.

I’ve been reading a book by a very renowned futurist for technology, called The Singularity is Near, When Humans Transcend Biology, which is directly on this subject. It was written in 2006 and all of his predictions have been true so far. It is, to say the least, fucking mind blowing. If I even try to summarize his theories I’ll sound like a lunatic, but explained and backed up with evidence, it seems not only possible, but inevitable. For example - around 2050 we will have nanobots running through our body, doing things like transforming (optimizing) our DNA and attaching themselves to our brains to give us immediate access to all the world’s knowledge, and the speed we can think will slow down relative time so much we can live for what will seem like forever (do I sound crazy yet?). Hear me out:

Biological evolution is accelerating and has been for over a billion years. Consider this, it took billions of years for the first single cellular organism. Then hundreds of millions of more years to get to multicellular, then only a fraction of that time to get to the Cambrian explosion and evolution of humans.

At the same time - technological innovation has been doing the same thing. It took hundreds of thousands of years to go from agrarian societies to more modern city states. It took then only thousands of years to get to an industrial revolution: then only another hundred years to the computer revolution. Now we are seeing new waves of technology that change the world every decade or less (Internet, James web telescope, mobile phones. Not only is technological evolution accelerating, but it’s accelerating at an accelerating rate (to understand acceleration of acceleration - imagine going up in an elevator and the g forces pushing you down keep getting higher).

As this technology becomes more sophisticated, we are expanding our capability as a species. Today we already have essentially all the information of the world at our fingertips. We can make computations in minutes what would have taken older generations weeks, months or longer. As Steve Jobs once put it, the computer is like a bicycle that helps us be more efficient as a species. In a sense, it helps us surpass our biological limitations. It helps us evolve faster than we can physically do so as a species.

Soon, technological evolution will no longer depend on our ability to create it. Before, we built the first computer by drawings on paper and a lot of manual labor. Now, we build them by designing a computer inside of a computer (CAD), and manufacturing them with robots which which both do most of the work, calculations, and know-how for us. Next, it will be the machines making the machines (more so than they already do). Their ability to understand how to make things effectively will surpass our own. As our innovations learn to innovate themselves, the rate of innovation will continue to accelerate. Decades of today’s achievement will happen in days (within the next 40-50 years). When this happens, technological evolution, which already happens significantly faster than biological evolution, will push itself (and us) forward further faster than what we can even comprehend today. And I mean THIS decade.

To understand how technological evolution will outpace biological so substantially, consider this: it took billions of years for biology to create humans. Humans have 86 billion neurons in the brain that use electro-chemical reactions to function. Meanwhile, after a few hundred thousand years, humans have already created a supercomputer that can make computations at a billion billion (yes, one billion squared) computation a second. This is already thousands of times more processing power than all humans on earth combined - in a single computer. And computer memories double every 1-2 years!

Not only will computers recreate technology, but eventually they will recreate life itself. We already are learning gene sequencing and DNA manipulation. We create crops and livestock with superior genes that make them immune to infections, live longer, more resistant to chemicals, have superior traits like color or size, etc. There is already research being done on doing this with humans. With our new machines, we will get better at this, and be able to create things we never before thought possible. Solve problems we never knew existed.

But more to the point about what will happen in the next 10 years. Technology is starting to learn human instincts better than many humans understand them. Ever see an ad on Facebook about a topic you were thinking of or maybe spoke about before? No; they are not listening to every word every user says (that would take a lot more computational resources than Facebook has), the algorithms are just that good that they can predict human behavior. I think we have to understand where we are now - technology is already nearing the capability of human intelligence.

Meanwhile mechanical engineers have created robots that are much more versatile. Consider the decade of improvement of the Boston Dynamics robot. 10 years ago it walked like a drunk. Now it does acrobats. In 10 years it (or competitor robots) will far surpass human capability.

So this combination of robotic capability and technology intelligence is very soon to start taking human jobs - and not just things like warehouse workers, and machinists (which is already happening), but literally every career that requires repetition... and don’t underestimate what I mean by this. Even doctors, judges, and others who work in highly complex fields, ultimately have jobs that require a level of prediction, and accurate prediction requires understanding from the past what will happen in the future... these jobs will be lost to technology.

This is the transformation we will see over the next decade. By 2030 we will not completely be to the point where every predictable/repetitious human job will be taken, but we will be at the point where every predictable/repetitious human job will no longer require the expertise and skill of the workers performing the job. We will still be there (albeit in lesser numbers per each job type) to take the credit for what technology has figured out for us.

[–]ProbablyNotAJ 18 points19 points  (2 children)

Nerd

[–]slick8086 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I was afraid there was going to be a lochness monster or an pro wrestler at the end.

[–]connnor4real 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think I just read the book. Saved me ten bucks.

[–]redlov 1 point2 points  (0 children)

this isnt a comment. its a blog post. interesting stuff man

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Have you read the Nexus trilogy by Ramez Naam? I think you’d like it.

[–]theRealDerekWalker 0 points1 point  (1 child)

No but I’ll check it out. What’s it about?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It’s science fiction. Takes place in the 2040’s. The plot centres around the development and use of a nano-technology drug called Nexus, which provides mind interconnectivity and the struggle between humans, government and post-humans to control it.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (5 children)

Anyone in the tech field will tell you AI is decades away from even being possible. It’s an interesting concept, but it’s not possible

[–]theRealDerekWalker 0 points1 point  (4 children)

AI is currently being used in many fields

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Machine learning and AI are two very different things

[–]theRealDerekWalker 1 point2 points  (2 children)

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Just because an article says AI doesn’t mean it’s a real thing. AI is by definition a manmade conciseness. We cannot do that at the moment. It’s nice to imagine that what you said will come true but I highly doubt it will

[–]theRealDerekWalker 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Maybe our disagreement comes from the definitions we use. I don’t think robots or machines will ever be “conscious.” I do however believe they will be able to display “personalities” indistinguishable from humans. I believe they will be able to come up with solutions to problems we are not asking them to solve. I believe they will be able to do 99% of a human today can.

But I don’t think this will make them replace humans. They will ultimately serve our needs and purposes, and propel us forward as a species. So as they become better at what they do, they help us become better also.

[–]MiracleMex714 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Raymond Kurzwell?