Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

March 14, 2005

Technogenesis is an awesome book

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 4:17 AM

Read an awesome book called ‘Technogenesis’ by Syne Mitchell today. In this book humans are connected to the net 24/7 and everything takes place on the web. So if you are not connected you don’t exist. The main character of the book is a dataminer whose equipment breaks down and while she is taking it to the repair shop she notices that her senses are a lot more acute and her thinking is more alert. Slowly she becoms aware of the strange corrdinated behaviour of the people who are connected. Then she finds out that the couple of million connected human brains have start acting as a nervous system giving birth to a thinking machine or a meta-intelligence. Can’t tell you more about with book without spoiling the fun so go check it out.

While reading this book I was thinking how much the book made sense and how this could happpen a couple of years from now. Think about it, humans have also evolved from a bunch of randomly connected neurons which slowly evolved to create a thinking mind. Why can’t the same thing happen to a computer network where each computer connected acts as a neuron and once a certain critical mass is reached self-awareness can be achieved. The problem is finding this critical threshhold. It gets easier when you use the human brain as a processor ’cause we are already wired for awareness and our sub-councious can act as a building block for the new intelligence.

A lot of people are scared about this and will try to prevent this from happening(I guess a lot of people watched the terminator movies…). I mean a being whose mind covers the entire world and controls the entire human infrastructure sounds pretty scary. And whats to stop this ‘mind’ from deciding that it doesn’t need humans anymore and proceed to get rid of the inferior race.

The only thing that can prevent this from happening is teaching. We need to teach the AI human values and morals. I am not saying it will be easy, I mean how can a person teach someone who can scan an entire book in the time it takes us to say ‘book’? If something like this were to happen we would have only a couple of hours maybe less to react ’cause after that it will be out of our hands.

I personally think that the probability of something like this happening is pretty high and that we should be prepared for it. ’cause if we don’t we will never know what hit us when it happens.

What do you think?

– Suramya

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