“Sightings from the future” will be a series of post in which I will share my thoughts and reflections about where our society is headed and how I think life will be in the future.
Imagine a world in which extremely advanced AIs coexist with us human beings.
The first impact on our society is already there to see. Technology innovations substitute labour for wealth and it has been happening since machines were introduced in our production chains.
The internet has given us great satisfactions but also great disenchantments. For example we have taxi drivers bothered for the increasing popularity of Uber, we have hotel people mad because of Airbnb, the same happen with those who made a living by revealing photographs, because now we take photos with our smartphones.
A lot of the jobs we have right now would be difficult to explain to someone from the 1800s, and it that same way, a lot of the jobs that will exists in the 2200s or even the 2150 would be difficult for us to understand if someone tried to explain them to us.
It’s a fact new technology is constantly changing our society rapidly and also changing us. This generates an increasing comfort for us as users of this technology (blockchain and steemit are great examples), but unfortunately not everyone are able to enjoy this.
I am not sure of sharing that idyllic image that some people want to draw about a prosperous future, in which intelligent machines do the work and the benefits have an impact on all of us, offering us a fantastic and opulent life. Although that would be great, I think the transition from where we are today, to a fully automated world “ruled” by robots and AIs will have its dosis of painful friction.
This is not a problem attributable to automation, but to the way in which wealth is distributed. We have created an economic system in which wealth is distributed exclusively as a reward for work. If in the future that awaits us we live with intelligent robots that do all the work, there will be no work for anyone and, consequently, no wealth, except for a few, or perhaps only robots will hold wealth in the future. The society that awaits us will necessarily require a drastic change in the economic system and a new model of wealth distribution.
And we can not wait long to make this change, because the future is just around the corner, just look around you, see the technology around you and compare it with technology 10 years in the past. It’s advancing exponentially and we need to be aware some people will be left behind. Should we forget about them? Or should we help them join the constant technological revolutions that are shaping our future? Blockchain of course being one with the most potential.
But what about the machines?
If we were able to create a conscious machine, with free will and with feelings, how would it differ from a human being? Should not it also be entitled to rights and be protected to the same extent by the laws?
Suppose that a super intelligent vehicle of my property (a Tesla car in 2050), endowed with conscience and free will, causes an accident. Whose responsibility would it be? the vehicle itself? should it legally respond and have insurance on its behalf? In such a case, if the robot is subject to the obligation to pay compensation, why not also accept the right to earn money?
Could wealth fall into the hands of non-human entities? Actually, this circumstance should not scandalize us. Currently, wealth is already managed by non-human entities that we have named companies, so imagine a company with a conscience on its own. Will the next generation of billionaires be literally “bloodless” beings?
Taking things to the extreme, if the machines were entitled to the same rights as the human being, they could also vote, freely express their ideas or defend their life, launch a new business and obtain a huge amount of wealth
In a world like this, in which the human being was surrounded by machines with intelligence and superior abilities, and the same constitutional rights, we would automatically cease to be competitive and would inevitably become their slave, without there being any kind of rebellion.
When the time comes to live with super intelligent robots we must be prepared to take the risk of losing control of our own creation, and adapt ourselves to live in a society very different from the one we are currently able to imagine. Maybe we will not be the ones in control anymore.
Unless, and only unless, if we eventually chose to join them, become one with them and start a new era of humanity full of digital and synthetic beings, a society of futurists Gods.