Friday, 1 January 2016

Machines

In haste between social engagements, no time to find quotes, but:

in The Infinite Voyage, Poul Anderson argues that human beings must explore space because machines cannot cope with the unforeseen;

however, in Genesis, written much later, he describes self-conscious AI's exploring space;

now I read that AI will soon be incorporated into military technology so that self-directing weapons systems will decide who and what to attack;

seemingly every country buys the latest high tech weaponry.

Is it too much to ask that even one government might give an international moral lead by announcing, "We will stop buying new weapons and will instead invest only in life-enhancing technology?"

Think what humanity could achieve with existing technology if none of it were to be used destructively. Will there be a change inside human beings, as in HG Wells' In The Days Of The Comet or in Anderson's Brain Wave? I do not expect it. So will there instead be a change in power relationships such that public priorities significantly shift away from continued prosecution of current conflicts?

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