Technology is advancing at an exponential rate.
The first mobile phone was made around 45 years ago and in just a short space of time, it has become an everyday necessity in people’s lives. It’s evolved: it’s not just our phone or smart wearable anymore, it’s our camera, internet browser, calendar, alarm and organizer, to name a few. People have developed addictions to their phone and in some ways, it has become a part of themselves.
Now, if we apply this rapid growth and the effect it has had on our population to human robotics, the effects could be catastrophic. It has been speculated that we are fast approaching a technological singularity. A technological singularity is where the rate of advancement becomes so great that it overtakes humanity and will cause unpredictable changes to our society. The main consensus when it comes to this theory is that it will be triggered when we have a robotic intelligence focusing on either self-improvement or creating more advanced versions of itself.
Other possible theories
There are alternate theories on where this rapid growth in technology will take us. Some technologists and futurists believe that instead of creating advanced humanoid robotics, the advancements in technology might be used to augment our own bodies to become smarter, faster and stronger. This essentially removes the threat of AI overtaking us as we will merge with technology to become part humanoid, and part synthetic.
Ray Kurzweil, an American inventor and futurist, is a firm believer in the theory that we ourselves will become AI. He believes we will achieve this by becoming downloadable, uploading our consciousness into a data frame and essentially becoming immortal. He also believes that artificial intelligence will be the answer to a lot of problems we currently face in our society.
The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence is an immense gamble. Scientists and futurists alike can’t seem to agree on just how close we’ll be from this technological breakthrough, but they all agree that it’s coming soon (if not already with the emergence of self-driving & semi-autonomous cars). Whether AI will make every aspect of our lives easier and better, or choose to rise above us as a superior species, remains to be seen.