Friday, November 7, 2014

A Higher Intelligence

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As our world gets more automated and connected, there is an increase in the number of future forecasts on how technology will play a role in our lives.  One of the key topics that I have noticed come up recently, has to do with Automated Hypothesis.  It is being hailed as the next vital tool that will provide marketers with a newer way of thinking and testing products and services with various consumers groups. This new phenomenon of consumer analytics is estimated to provide further impetus to innovation, especially for personal technology companies around the world.  However, while reading about this, I couldn’t help but think about the advanced computer systems in several fictional stories and movies that include The Terminator, The Matrix, X-Men and The Avengers (Ultron).  One of the commonalities that runs across each of them, is where intelligent machines that monitor and study human behaviour, eventually decide that in order to save the world they must eradicate humans completely, for only then can perfect order be restored. 

In each of those stories, in varying degrees, the prime outcome is that human civilization as we know it nearly comes to an end, where machines rule the planet and human cities lie in ruins.  This apocalyptic theory, which is also prophesized by many religious groups, point to a time in the not so distant future, perhaps in the next 300 to 500 years, where machines are far more advanced and are completely wired into every part of our habitats, transport and maybe to an extent even ourselves. 

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From one angle, I do find this theory plausible, where future machines may grow smarter and eventually turn against their human creators.  However, on the other hand, I cannot help but feel that this notion that people will lose control or that machines will rise up against them will come to pass.  Primarily because these doomsday prophecies fail to take into account the gradual spiritual shift that is being seen across the world.  While there are still global conflicts that continue rage, I would say that a deep stir is occurring, where many nations and leaders are genuinely looking at more diplomatic solutions to problems with the use of words rather than missiles.  Further, being more connected in today’s world, has allowed more people to become informed, thereby, allowing them to make more rational and concrete decisions towards communal disputes, national problems and environmental issues.  More importantly, the victories that they achieve are amplified around the world to other communities, which serve as a catalyst to motivate them in to action. Plus, within the emerging nations themselves over recent years, the voter turnout has risen, the reach of NGO’s has increased and citizens groups are pushing their governments to have more engagements with neighbouring nations to quickly resolve conflicts that have been burning for decades. At the same time, there are a growing number of religious leaders, the world over, who are espousing that their followers reach out towards other groups, in order to build bridges of trust and understanding with them.

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Humanity no doubt has a long way to go, but the wheels are set in motion and the consciousness of people in many countries is changing at a rate that has hitherto, never been seen before.  In all of this it is crucial to realize the positive role that technology has played so far. Hence, looking into the future, my guess is that intelligent computers and robots will understand this aspect and instead of extermination, look at how they can add greater value towards enhancing human civilization.  Further, newer and untold inventions are yet to come to life. More so, when they do, will they provide people with the necessary means to craft a new era of higher intelligence and higher living for all of humanity. Next Take please! 

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