The Robots Will Kill Us All…

I just finished reading Confessions Of An Alien Hunter by Seth Shostak, the head of the SETI institute in Mountain View, CA.

If you don’t know, SETI stands for Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.  Fantastic book…

At one point in the book he describes how we might determine what aliens will look like by extrapolating what earthlings will look like a few centuries from now.

Basically, here’s what he brings it down to.  According to Moore’s Law, computer processing power doubles every 18 months.  Conversely the quality of the information on the internet halves every 18 months.  In 40 years with billions of gigs full of nothing but pictures of cats with lightsabers and videos of dudes being whacked in the nuts.

As Moore’s law comes into effect, the artificial intelligence community figures that our computers and robots will be smarter than us in the next 40-60 years.  And robots have an unlimited potential for improving themselves, which we don’t.  Because we’re biological and they’re software.

So there’s a good chance that within the next century humans will be second class citizens to the robot class.

Now here’s the thing… The word “robot” is Czechoslovakian for “laborer”.  But when they’re smarter than us, we won’t be able to call them that anymore.  We’ll have to call the “Mechanical Americans”.

Sure, they’ll be able to call each other “robot”.  Like “What’s up my robot?”

But if we use the word, they’ll beat us up.

And I’m sure we’ll have to deal with the subject of Human/Robot marriages.

Won’t be much change for guys.  Being with someone infinitely smarter than you and who’s willing to kill you for the slightest infraction.  Kind of normal.

The moral of the story is, do what you love.  The robots will kill you anyway.

Phil Johnson

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