A while back I wrote an article on why I prep. In that article I briefly mentioned the trans-humanist movement. I have been watching this for a few years but an article about a technological breakthrough prompted me to write this article. It is my personal belief that this movement presents the largest single threat to humanity. The trans-humanist seeks to fundamentally change not only humanity but the human species. In the extreme form it calls for uploading the human psyche into an electronic form (see article).
By Dave H, a contributing author
Sci-Fi or Threat?
Now you may believe that this is all science fiction and a pile of crap. I hate to burst your bubble but what you think does not matter. There are scientists around the globe funded by billions of dollars, who are working on the next evolution of humanity. They believe that they can have immortality (click here to read how Ray Kurzweil wants to live forever). Stephen Hawking, a famous English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, also believes this threat is real. In this recent article (click here) he talks about AI being a real threat “The development of full artificial intelligence (AI) could spell the end of the human race,” Hawking told the BBC. Hawking is not alone, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, recently said “We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.”
In the near term the trans-humanists see creating super humans by the use of genetic engineering, nanotechnology and a merging of machine with humans. In the long term they see replacing the human species with machines. Pay attention to Ray Kurzweil from Google and see where he is going. He is one of the leaders of this movement and in my opinion one of the most dangerous individuals on the planet. Let’s say that Ray and company can upload their human experiences into an electronic form, what about your soul? If you believe like I do, that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, then how do you upload your spirit? Let’s assume for a moment that you cannot, what do you get when you create soulless machines? What types of monsters will come from this movement? What controls need to be in place to protect society from the trans-humanists?
Being the skeptic that you are, you are probably saying that this is all science fiction and it will never happen. What is the state of the technology? How rapidly is it changing? There is a relatively new technology called Neural Net Computing that use multiple layers of individual processors, they also do not need to be pre-programmed like conventional computers. Here is an excerpt from the above link.
“How Do Neural Networks Differ From Conventional Computing? To better understand artificial neural computing it is important to know first how a conventional ‘serial’ computer and it’s software process information. A serial computer has a central processor that can address an array of memory locations where data and instructions are stored. Computations are made by the processor reading an instruction as well as any data the instruction requires from memory addresses, the instruction is then executed and the results are saved in a specified memory location as required. In a serial system (and a standard parallel one as well) the computational steps are deterministic, sequential and logical, and the state of a given variable can be tracked from one operation to another.
In comparison, ANNs are not sequential or necessarily deterministic. There are no complex central processors, rather there are many simple ones which generally do nothing more than take the weighted sum of their inputs from other processors. ANNs do not execute programed instructions; they respond in parallel (either simulated or actual) to the pattern of inputs presented to it. There are also no separate memory addresses for storing data. Instead, information is contained in the overall activation ‘state’ of the network. ‘Knowledge’ is thus represented by the network itself, which is quite literally more than the sum of its individual components.”
Think about what was written above ‘they do not execute programed instructions’. These are self-learning machines. Have you paid attention to the latest smart phone apps? How about asking Google a question or ordering a pizza from Dominos? This was done with Neural Net Computing and the computer taught itself how to speak. It did this in a way very similar to the way a child learns. The big difference is every human must be taught to speak and must learn over a period of years. Machine knowledge is simply replicated. Therefore, you can expect the rate of growth in this area to be logarithmic not linear. Neural Net technology has had a problem; it could not process large amounts of data like traditional serial processors. Therefore its learning was limited to small subsets of information. That has changed! Google announced a breakthrough where one of their companies bridged the gap between neural net and serial processing with its Brain Machine.
Now we have self-programming, self-learning machines that can process large amounts of data. Is this the breakthrough that makes trans-humanists dream a reality? Who will direct these machines? Who will teach them right from wrong? What happens if this technology gets in the hands of the military? Will these machines wake up and become self-aware? Is Steven Hawking’s right about artificial intelligence being a threat to humanity?
Think about yourself and your dependence upon technology. Would you have water without a computer? If you live in a metro area you don’t. Can your human waste be processed without a computer? Unless you use an outhouse or a septic system you can’t. Do you have food without a computer? Not unless you grow your own. Do you have clothes without a computer? Not unless you are Amish and then you are probably not reading this article. The point is our lives and livelihood is now almost completely dependent upon technology. The laws and morality surrounding technology are lagging so far behind that there are no safeguards and the threat of removing technology as well as having technology turn against us is real. Even if we contact our legislators to enact laws that protect us from technology there is nothing preventing another country from developing the technology to attack us from within.