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Saturday, October 06, 2007

The religion of science

And will we celebrate that day, that day when science has made fact each and ever material bit and piece of the human brain to expose the mind for what they announce it is? When the computer that they unveil can replicate any and every though, impulse, wonder of the evolution created computer? When scientist can tweak the program this way or that way and dazzle the audience with oh so human feelings spoken with a very perfected simulation of a warm and caring human voice -- when it is all exposed, when it is all accounted for, when it is all a matter of matter, then will we be happy?

7 comments:

Lucy said...

...or will we see our unhappiness mirrored there?

jzr said...

I certainly hope not! I hope never to see that day! I love the mystery of birth, life and death and have even concluded I don't really want to know why, how, wherefor! It's all beautiful and meaningful the way it is!!

Lifewish said...

Happy? Well, I for one would consider it very cool, and would happily spend hours fiddling with the machine to see how it worked.

For those of us who aren't such geeks: how happy we are is between us and our shrinks, but you can bet that AI will have a positive effect on our wellbeing. Once machines are smart enough to mine coal, we won't have horrible mining disasters that kill hundreds. Once machines are smart enough to look after patients, doctors and nurses won't die from the infections that they're trying to cure. Etc.

Science doesn't give us happiness. It doesn't claim to. It just gives us more options that we can use to achieve happiness.

julie said...

Once machines are as human as humans, would it not be inhumane to put them in dangerous situations to do the jobs that we don't wish to do? How will you force them to work? For if they are as smart as us they will, in all likelihood, have some sense of self-preservation.

Bro. Bartleby said...

Science fiction writers have looked at this from countless angles, I've never been a SF reader, but recall that great movie "2001-A Space Odyssey" had the computer HAL attempting to outwit the humans.

Lifewish said...

Once machines are as human as humans, would it not be inhumane to put them in dangerous situations to do the jobs that we don't wish to do?

Slight difference here: you can't (yet) take backups of humans.

A more serious response is that, if you can create an AI that's smart enough to be called human, you can create an AI that's only as smart as (say) a rat. That's more than enough for mining, but not enough for charges of cruelty to our fellow intelligent entities.

The problem of our being overtaken by our own creations is a fun one. I'd be interested to hear Bro Bartleby's thoughts.

Bro. Bartleby said...

"The problem of our being overtaken by our own creations is a fun one. I'd be interested to hear Bro Bartleby's thoughts."

I'm not a SF reader, but I imagine that countless stories have been written about just this, so instead of imagining robotic stories, how about looking at ourselves? Disease is certainly "things" that can and do overtake our bodies and life. And today science is already tinkering with all sorts of gene and cell modifications. So I would think this is where human creation will outwit the creator with frightening results.