posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 08:15 PM
Here I will try to explain the future of humanity, the possibility of immortality, and the relation of these things to persistence. To cut to the
chase, I will first go into the tool used for analysis.
Natural selection needn't be limited in application to organisms. In applying natural selection more broadly in what I call a persistence pattern, I
modify Darwin's statement of, "But, if variations useful to any organic being do occur, assuredly individuals thus characterized will have the best
chance of being preserved in the struggle for life", to, "But, if variations useful to any system do occur, assuredly systems thus characterized
will have the best chance of persisting". And, you can apply this pattern of persistence towards atoms forming compounds or market driven efficiency
or many other things.
Technology is a natural product of this persistence pattern. In a sense, this persistence pattern is a matter of optimization. Where, before, you
had phone operators manually connecting callers, now systems do this automatically in a much faster, an optimized, fashion. And, this pattern of
optimization will continue so long as there are further optimized states which are reachable from current states.
The non-reachability of more optimized states, or prevention of optimization, can take the form of resource unavailability or super systems preventing
sub system optimization. To put the latter case in more grounded terms, cultural or societal paradigms can prevent optimization. Similarly, power
monopolies can prevent optimization. A power monopoly can be likened to a solitary creature on an island; it doesn't matter whether the creature is
maladapted to its environment, it will not be replaced through natural selection because it is the only creature on the island.
Assuming that the persistence pattern continues to lead to further optimization, there are various things we can extrapolate.
If the only effect of this persistence pattern on humanity were to optimize unpleasurable tasks and to favor pleasurable tasks, we would be seeing a
much different world. Instead, what we have is a scenario where many non-human drivers drive the creative minds that fuel progress, and consequential
progress is implemented in ignorance of, for the most part, how the progress will affect the pleasure and pain of the humans who encounter it.
Non-human drivers of progress are largely derivatives of human desires. For example, a company, in an effort to make more money for the human owners
sets out to optimize, drive progress, its internal systems. And, the internal systems of this company could be just about anything - like extracting
oil, harvesting crops, surveying citizenry, providing news.
As a result of non-human drivers, one can not negate the emergence of AI or bio-mechanical integrated systems just because such things don't benefit
humans. Instead, regardless of whether AI systems or human augmentation improve the qualiy of life of humans, these things will emerge by the fact
they are reachable optimized states.
And, now, getting into immortality, the issue is how AI or human augmentation will influence the long life and potential immortality of the
There are many overlapping ways to categorize augmentation, and I initially wrote this part going into a few of them, but instead, I will explain a
simple dynamic. The degree that an augmentation is integrated with the human brain is a reflection of humanity's understanding of the human brain,
and when the human brain is understood conceptually, in can be reproduced programmatically. And, when the human brain can be reproduced, AI can be
formed. And so, even assuming augmentation will move forward quicker than AI, at some level of brain integrated augmentation, there will be AI, and
then the question will be a matter of optimization.
The matter of optimization when it comes to AI has a number of parts to it. The human brain is a very complex and efficient bio-computer, and
reproducing it with a non-bio-computer has a large potential expense; however, there are a couple downsides the human brain has when compared to a
1. The human brain is isolated with a small bandwidth for interfacing with other systems. This bandwidth takes the form of language and body
2. The human brain may not be able to scale upwards. IE, it's architecture is fixed and would not support expansion without extensive
3. The human brain has limited linear computational ability; and, as computers advance, the human brain will also be seen to have limited non-linear
computational ability (non linear being multi process entity relation computations).
Technological advancements have resulted in an increased complexity in systems. The growth of this complexity in consideration of human operators has
led to two things:
1. interfaces with more complex back ends and relatively simple front ends.
2. humans with more aptitude for semi-technical matters.
The nature of the increased complexity in the back end of the system is represented by the increased number of actions per each user action. An
action by a user in a user interface represents some desire for action by the system. A simplified example of this:
User types in 11 buttons to call a friend on phone (phone number + call button)
User types 2 buttons to call a friend on phone (recent calls, call button)
The increased complexity of the back end is simplified on the front end by anticipating user actions and grouping low-level actions on concepts the
user can select from. This forward movement of technology with increasingly complex systems while having a relatively simple user interface for the
human operator has a limit. The limit comes in two forms. The first form is when the number of distinct concepts necessary to operate the system
becomes to large for many human operators to conceive of in a reasonable amount of time or to enter into the system in a reasonable amount of time.
Consumer electronics do not have this problem, as they are designed specifically to be used by humans. However, As governments and corporations
implement increasingly complex systems, they will find human operators of those systems less and less capable of operating the systems, and they will
rely more and more on algorithmic system behavior. This algorithmic system behavior eventually equates to AI system control.
The nature of any open system attempting to gain absolute control of a thing is to expand into other systems to gain control over formerly outside
variables that influence the system's control over the thing. In terms of companies, this can be seen as vertical expansion. In addition to this,
integration of systems with other systems often represents an optimized state. When a governmental center for disease control is integrated into a
system like google that has the ability to anticipate the emergence and spread of contagions based on user actions, there is a greater ability for the
center for disease control to control a contagion. Or, when traffic systems (currently represented by traffic control lights) are integrated with
automobiles, there is a greater ability to optimize the flow of traffic.