Discussion of the “Singularity” — the moment when computer intelligence surpasses that of humans to such an extent that humans become practically redundant — has been gaining steam across the social spectrum. In 2006, Ray Kurzweil pointed to 2045 as the date of this tipping point, after which anyone unprepared for merging with machines would likely face a very unproductive future.
With the goals of transhumanists and futurists so close to full realization, the world’s leading scientists are beginning to voice their concern that general humanity might not comprehend the full weight of their discoveries. Scientists like Stephen Hawking have formed a group of “scientific superheroes” who supposedly aim to ensure that humanity does not choose the lethal side of the double-edged sword of technology. Let’s see what they are planning to do to save humanity from itself at the dawn of The Singularity.
Our current position as we head toward The Singularity is being called The Hybrid Age by futurists, as discussed in the candid video below. It is an increasingly synthetic age of bio-computing, enhanced artificial intelligence and the merging of man and machine through augmented reality. Also stated below is the increasing indication that humanity is not the only biology susceptible to The Singularity; nature, too — the climate, for example — will be increasingly manageable and augmented.
The power available is a God-like one, giving us the divergent paths of Heaven or Hell. One slide from the presentation issues this stark assessment about the potential outcomes.
- Re-make the planet (geo-engineering)
- Create new life (and new lifeforms)
- Re-engineer humanity (values and essence)
- Abundance and plenty for all (mastery over energy and material transformation)
- Super-intelligence (omniscience)
- Super-longevity (death as a disease to be cured, immortality)
- Better than well
- Transcendental experiences
- “The cosmos wakes up” (as a new humanity moves off planet)
- Destroy the planet
- Plagues and pestilence (arising from genetic engineering)
- Enfeeble and divide humanity (as new technological divisions arise)
- Environmental catastrophe
- Ubiquitous surveillance
- Worse than the Dark Ages
- Nuclear holocaust (enabled by new weaponry)
- “Terminator enslavement” (artificial intelligence decides that humanity itself is the risk)
With these concerns as the backdrop, we need to assess what we see taking place already that might indicate which path we are currently on.
Toward Heaven or Hell?
We have seen some of the negative consequences of robotics, at least in the economic area. There is the possibility that humans will eventually be fully outsourced to robots through the period of The Singularity. Even if this does not come to full fruition, a recent study points to dramatic technological unemployment over the next 20 years.
We have seen major advancements in direct mind control, which also point toward a decidedly negative direction being implemented in an area that also potentially can help enhance the human brain.
A paper published by Cambridge highlighted an extreme example of existential threat when they presented their case that “Terminators” should be listed as one of the greatest threats to humanity. And, yet, technologies like autonomous drones continue to be developed with an increasing miniaturization right down to the insect and nano level. Coupled with advanced artificial intelligence, the military is seeking ways for these systems to make decisions on their own, as well as communicate and replicate at their own discretion.
The technological ability to track, trace and database everyone and everything is already being used as a system of control and pre-crime evaluation that is ushering in a Minority Report-style world.
Control over the climate continues to remain a shadowy and hotly debated topic. One thing we can be certain of is the desire of the military to control the weather for use as a weapon. They issued a document called Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning The Weather in 2025 – curiously coinciding with the arrival of The Singularity. We also can be sure that elites from societies like the UK’s Royal Society have openly discussed playing God with the climate. Who will this God-like power be given to? Well, themselves of course.
The continued genetic engineering of the food supply is also having negative consequences for humanity’s health as well as the health of the environment.
Nevertheless, the increasingly open-source nature of access to technologies which are dropping rapidly in cost offers a potential push-back to would-be controllers. This is often presented as a danger in the case of 3D printed weapons, but 3D printing also offers a wealth of solutions for restoring power to the people and creating new means of solving mankind’s most critical issues in the areas of health and the economy. Developments in free energy are also beginning to move beyond the halls of traditional science and elite control. It is even being speculated that DARPA’s efforts to produce a low-cost, portable brain recorder could spark a DIY brain scanning movement.
However, we would be quite gullible not to be aware that science has traditionally been joined at the hip with the military-industrial complex. Whether it is the atomic bomb, drones, or nanotech; the halls of science have not been perfectly available for the general public to walk among. The dangers inherent in the new science as we race toward The Singularity are most likely the same dangers that humanity always have faced: Will technology be used to free humanity or enslave us? And who will ultimately be in charge?
Who’s in Charge?
There is no question that new technologies can and will benefit select people in select ways, but when it comes to the issue of extinction, who has brought us closest time and time again? It is ironic, then, to hear 27 self-appointed superheroes of science assume the role of vanguard for the rest of us.
Other scenarios being considered by the 27-strong group, which also involves academics from Oxford, Imperial, Harvard and Berkeley, include extreme weather events, fast spreading pandemics, and war or sabotage resulting in a shortage of food and resources.
The group’s manifesto is clear: ‘Many scientists are concerned that developments in human technology may soon pose new, extinction-level risks to our species as a whole.’
This is a puzzling manifesto coming from a group that largely represents the anti-human ends of transhumanism, where humanity is “upgraded” to become a nearly unrecognizable version of its former self. Hawking himself has echoed Kurzweil when he states that ‘in the future brains could be separated from the body’.
The cosmologist, 71, said the brain operates in a similar way to a computer programme, meaning it could in theory be kept running without a body to power it.
The worldview of these “superheroes” is at its heart an Orwellian one: humanity must be eliminated in order to save it. This is the exact machine-like mindset that runs the world at every level … and we see their terrific results so far. Who invented the Internet surveillance apparatus? Who creates those “crippling cyber attacks”? Who engineers diseases? Who uses food shortages as a weapon? Who created the dangerous algorithms behind the world’s economy? And who wages war in the name of peace?
These are the saviors of humanity? We’re in big trouble.
If we are to survive and thrive as a species, we must codify what type of research will or will not be explored, and which will be discarded due to irreversible negative consequences. Until we realize that the only safeguard against the improper use of technology is humanity, our current path toward a robotized, synthetic world of mindless automatons is virtually guaranteed.
* For a quick refutation of the arguments made by technocrats, please see Jon Rappoport’s article:
One-page proof that attributing consciousness to the brain is absurd