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Why The Future Doesn't Need Us

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posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 02:57 AM
I dont know that many things I have read have truly scared me. Horror novels have not been much more than entertaining, but this, this article... I still have cold chills from it. This article portrays the scariest view into our future, and it is already begining to take place.

Why The Future Doesn't Need Us

The author of this article is Bill Joy, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist at Sun Microsystems. He has created many programs that are used today, including Vi (if you are into Linux or Unix, you'll know what this is).

I will try to summarize some parts of the article if you do not want to take the time to read it in full, but I highly suggest that you do. You'll be thinking about this for a long time after you read it.

He describes how serious the situation is that we are approaching. He mentions the Weapons of Mass Destruction of the 20th century were Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical and brings it to our attention that they are minor compared to what we will be facing in this coming century. Genetics, Nanotechnology, and Robotics will have the potential to be far more devasting as they can affect everyone and can be created by anyone. One must not possess rare materials and such to create these WMDs, but one must only possess knowledge... Can you imagine terrorism as this century progresses into these new technologies??

"This is the first moment in the history of our planet when any species, by its own voluntary actions, has become a danger to itself - as well as to vast numbers of others. "

He says another major difference between the WMDs of the previous century, and those of the next are that they can self-replicate. A bomb is blown up only once, but one bot can become many and potentially create a situation unlike any we have ever comprehended

Nanotechnology, for those who are unfamiliar, is "The science and technology of building electronic circuits and devices from single atoms and molecules." according to the American Heritage Dictionary. In nonotech, there will be atomic devices called replicating assemblers, which as its name suggests, are made to self-replicate and assemble or do whatever they were designed to do. Jokingly Mr. Joy says for an assignment, "Use nanotechnology to create a vampire; for extra credit create an antidote." Which he claims to be more than possible with nanotech.

"Nanotechnology has clear military and terrorist uses, and you need not be suicidal to release a massively destructive nanotechnological device - such devices can be built to be selectively destructive, affecting, for example, only a certain geographical area or a group of people who are genetically distinct."

His vision of the future of robotics, as they progress to being nearly self-conscious, is also very scary. And once an intelligent robot exists, it is only a small step to a robot species... to an intelligent robot that can make evolved copies of itself.

"First let us postulate that the computer scientists succeed in developing intelligent machines that can do all things better than human beings can do them. In that case presumably all work will be done by vast, highly organized systems of machines and no human effort will be necessary. Either of two cases might occur. The machines might be permitted to make all of their own decisions without human oversight, or else human control over the machines might be retained. "

There is only a limited amount of resources on Earth. If these intellignet robots, even if control is retained by humans, begin to be threatened, especially as resources begin to deplete on Earth, they may be able to decide not to allow us the control. Some of this may sound far-fetched, but let the possibilities sink in for a minute.... It is more than possible at the rate we are increasing in technology today.

Bill Joy, being in the field of technology, sees all of this being common place within 30 years. This is very scary as that is well within my lifetime. He says:

"But now, with the prospect of human-level computing power in about 30 years, a new idea suggests itself: that I may be working to create tools which will enable the construction of the technology that may replace our species."

That really makes ya think about a lot of things... I highly suggest reading the article, it is well worth the read.

posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 03:02 AM
I would be damned if this isnt taken out of context or something..
You're looking at a computer scientist... The degree of specialisation at this level that we're talking about is to such an extent that he would have no clue at all about the in-depths of another topic unless he spent his whole time studying it..
Admittedly, the points he raises are interesting from laymen terms, but would you turn to, for example, a shoe clerk for your tax issues? Or a vet if you have cancer? I think not.
This is not his field of expertise, he's just using his celebrity status to raise awareness of something he has no clue about

posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 03:10 AM
Well, if you read the article he cites his sources. He has some very knowledgable friends in some pretty high positions... I'm not disagreeing with you necessarily, but he never claims to be an expert on any subject, he merely put together the information and his thoughts on the subjects in a very respectable way.

posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 01:38 PM
I do not feel that he is claiming to be an expert on any subject, from reading the article. He is only seeming to mass resourced info backed by others knowledge, to make an opinion, but i think this guy should stop wasting his time and become a conspiracy theorist it would be more

posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 02:12 PM
Isaac Asimov was no scientist but he was able to make extraordinary insights into future tachnology with a very high degree of accuracy. Whether the author of this article is an expert in the fireld or not matters none to me. I have been in the field of Engineering Technology and Computer Science for about 15 years and I can tell you that he has a genuine right to be fearful of these eventualities.

Self-replicating nanotechnology is the same as a virus created in bioweapons facility. If it escapes, it will replicate and do exactly as it was programmed to do without conscience or recourse.

30 years ago people would have never envisioned today's advanced robotics, with many even laughing it off. Well, check this out:

Technology is advancing exponentially without checks and or balances. Often the consequences of these advancements are not known or understood until long after the technology has been introduced to the world. Does nuclear fission ring any bells?

posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 03:44 PM

Originally posted by kozmo

Self-replicating nanotechnology is the same as a virus created in bioweapons facility. If it escapes, it will replicate and do exactly as it was programmed to do without conscience or recourse.

One does not have to be an expert in any field to read the newspaper or to read a science book. This stuff is happening regardless of what field one chooses to study. Any one of us could have written this article and it should have still had the same impact.

These technologies are being developed, like it or not. Self-replicating Nanobots are being researched and will soon be a reality, whether you want to believe it, or you don't. Terrorist will want to get their hands on this new technology, as they will have the resources to replicate these potential weapons because the only resource needed is knowledge.

I wouldn't have to be a Nuclear Physicist to write about the dangers of nuclear energy, and i wouldnt have had to have been even semi-educated before the first two nuclear weapons were used, if I forsaw the danger of such technology.

We all want to live in a Utopian society where nothing ever goes wrong and nothing ever will. Everybody could just ignore everything that is happening around us, but we will run the risk isolating ourselves from reality and won't realize it untill it is sitting at our doorstep trying to get in.

posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 05:09 PM
Isn't this evolution? If we are destroyed and replaced by either a nanotech virus or AI why is that bad?

It would be the first time earth has seen a new kind of evolution...created evolution.

I have no problem being replaced by technology if that is the course it takes. But I also think this is only one possible path.

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