Posted by: zyxo | March 29, 2008

Natural Selection : posthuman evolution

Source: WikipediaNatural selection has given rise to an highly intelligent species : humans. In all this natural selection thing, intelligence, or the ability to, has been stored somehow into our genes and are passed on to the next generations.

Now we are heading for a time where chips will be implanted in our (or our childrens) brains. This means our intellectual capacity will no longer be dependent of the information stored in our genes, but in stead on our mindset. Genes will lose the battle to AI implants. AI implants with built-in memes to enhance the spreading, buying, choosing themselves (or their brand) for our children will win this battle. Likewise their ability to convince other decision takers to use them to build in non-biological intelligent systems.

If genes are no longer the important units/information carriers for natural selection to work on, why would men be the carrier of intelligence ? Why not chips, inplanted in men, bonobos, chimpansees, or robots ?

In any case : it will be the end of not only human supremacy, but also human values, ethics etc …

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  1. I’ve always been skeptical of statements about the destruction of human society, culture, values, etc. that will result from advent of the technological singularity (or the advent of strong AI). The arguments for this seem to isolate the creation of a superior intelligence from all other factors. Somehow, simply because the strong AI exists, humans will be rendered obsolete. Do you really think that the people developing the technology will let it get out of hand like that?

    I imagine that the rapid advancement of technology will have no impact on the human desire to use technology for our own benefit. If we create an AI, we’re not going to ask it “how can you improve your own capacity?” We’re going to ask it to help us improve our own capacity!

    Yes, genetics will be rendered obsolete eventually. But I don’t see that this will necessarily be the end of human supremacy, or even human values or ethics. (Unless you consider the form of human intelligence that transcends the physical form to be non-human, but in that case you have implied that humans will be replaced, rather than evolved into a more advanced form, and with that I disagree.)

  2. Chthenos,
    About your question “do you really think that the people …will let it get out of hand like that ? My answer is : YES.
    Look wat happens not only in tobacco industry but also in the pharmaceutical market : statines to lower cholesterol levels, prozac … Only for a fraction of people taking them, it is proved that they really help. What about the rest : they provide the profits for the shareholders, that’s all, and that I call ‘out of hand’.
    In the AI future this wil be the same for nanobots (just a new sort of pills), brain implants etc. You may be sure that if it will be possible to make thise things self-promoting (hardwired concealed advertising), it will happen. And beware of brain-spyware !
    And the end of human supremacy : it all depends on the definition of humans. When will we speak of a human, a cyborg, a robot : based on percentage of brain capacity that is originally human ?
    I meant : the end of human supremacy as we know humans now. (But with evolution of cause you have always something that ends being what it was to evolve into something else).
    Anyway, on the one hand I am really curious what it is all going to be, on the other hand it kind of scares me.

  3. You have a good point. But I think most people who are working on AI have very good understanding of the implications of it. They are going to realize that it’s a terrible idea to allow people to create an AI which is in any way self-propagating unless they are VERY careful about it. Personally I would be in favor of legislation which banned any self-propagating AI until our understanding of the technology advanced sufficiently that we could do that safely.

    I am also very curious about what will happen. But for me, the fact that it could all go quite badly isn’t reason for fear. Instead it is reason to get as deeply involved as possible!

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