When we think of computers, we often think of the multitude of advantages—wide dissemination of knowledge with an access to virtually anything and everything, easier communication that makes even a difference of thousands a miles a difference of nanoseconds, a new array of entertainment that takes us away from the stresses of everyday life. Undeniably, computers have become the epitome of science and progress.
However, is it quite possible to say science progresses possibly faster than even the speed of light—so much that we lose our own sense of human identity? Can we say that computers are exceeding their rightful place as they encroach upon human boundaries? A recent article in Time Magazine, “2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal,” actually considers this very eerie prospect in the idea of the Singularity, in which technological advances, superhuman artificial intelligence included, are dizzyingly fast, creating an unpredictable and unrecognizable future.
Of course, I agree with scientific progress. Certainly, it has offered us medical treatments and technological luxuries. The world of science that I’ve always dreamt of, however, was a realm in which needs and even pure curiosities were satisfied without violating the natural orders of the universe. If in addition, to mass information, computers were to be able to cultivate emotional capacities and abilities to resolve ethical dilemmas, could we properly classify them as a more perfect existence of ourselves? Would the world be genuinely better this way? Hardly. We still face the very unpredictability that predictability defines the Singularity. Artificial intelligence is still manmade. Computers are auxiliary to human functions—they cannot—rather should not—be made to become an equal part of or replace uniquely human qualities. The moral limits of scientific progress are still shrouded in fog and debate. Progress has yielded us longer lives, but it has also yielded bloodier wars as painful side effects. Thus, to even think we can surpass the molds of nature without any negative consequences is reckless.
To learn more, read: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2048138,00.html.