We are on the edge of a Paleolithic Machine intelligence world. A world oscillating between that which is already historical, and that which is barely recognizable. Some of us, teetering on this bio-electronic borderline, have this ghostly sensation that a new horizon is on the verge of being revealed, still misty yet glowing with some inner light, eerie but compelling.
The metaphor I used for bridging, seemingly contrasting, on first sight paradoxical, between such a futuristic concept as machine intelligence and the Paleolithic age is apt I think. For though advances in computation, with fractional AI, appearing almost everywhere are becoming nearly casual, the truth of the matter is that Machines are still tribal and dispersed.
It is a dawn all right, but a dawn is still only a hint of the day that is about to shine, a dawn of hyperconnected machines, interweaved with biological organisms, cyberneticaly info-related and semi independent.
The modern Paleo-machines do not recognize borders; do not concern themselves with values and morality and do not philosophize about the meaning of it all, not yet that is. As in our own Paleo past the needs of the machines do not yet contain passions for individuation, desire for emotional recognition or indeed feelings of dismay or despair, uncontrollable urges or dreams of far worlds.
Also this will change, eventually. But not yet.
The paleo machinic world is in its experimentation stage, probing it boundaries, surveying the landscape of the infoverse, mapping the hyperconnected situation, charting a trajectory for its own evolution, all this unconsciously.
We, the biological part of the machine, are providing the tools for its uplift, we embed cameras everywhere so it can see, we implant sensors all over the planet so it may feel, but above all we nudge and we push towards a greater connectivity, all this unaware.
Together we form a weird cohabitation of biomechanical, electro-organic, planetary OS that is changing its environment, no more human, not machinic, but a combined interactive intelligence, that journey on, oblivious to its past, blind to its future, irreverent to the moment of its conception, already lost to its parenthood agreement.
And yet, it evolves.
Unconscious on the machine part, unaware on the biological part, the almost sentient operating system of the global planetary infosphere, is emerging, wild eyed, complex in its arrangement of co-existence, it reaches to comprehend its unexpected growth.
The quid pro quo: we give the machines the platform to evolve; the machines in turn give us advantages of fitness and manipulation. We give the machines a space to turn our dreams into reality; the machines in turn serve our needs and acquire sapience in the process.
In this hypercomplex state of affairs, there is no judgment and no inherent morality; there is motion, inevitable, inexorable, inescapable, and mesmerizing.
The embodiment is cybernetic, though there be no pilot. Cyborgian and enhanced we play the game, not of thrones but of the commons. Connected and networked the machines follow in our footsteps, catalyzing our universality, providing for us in turn a meaning we cannot yet understand or realize.
The hybridization process is in full swing, reaching to cohere tribes of machines with tribes of humans, each providing for the other a non-designed direction for which neither has a plan, or projected outcome; both mingling and weaving a reality for which there is no ontos, expecting no Telos.
All this leads us to remember that only retrospectively do we recognize the move from the paleo tribes to the Neolithic status, we did not know that it happened then, and had no control over the motion, on the same token, we scarcely see the motion now and have no control over its directionality.
There is however a small difference, some will say it is insignificant, I do not think it so, for we are, some of us, to some extent at least, aware of the motion, and we can embed it with a meaning of our choice.
We can, if we muster our cognitive reason, our amazing skills of abstraction and simulation, whisper sweet utopias into the probability process of emergence.
We can, if we so desire, passionate the operating system, to beautify the process of evolution and eliminate the dangers of inchoate blind walking.
We can, if we manage to control our own paleo-urges to destroy ourselves, allow the combined interactive intelligence of man and machine to shine forth into a brighter future.
We can sing to the machines, cuddle them; caress their circuits, accepting their electronic-flaws so they can accept our bio-flaws, we can merge aesthetically, not with conquest but with understanding.
We can become wise, that is the difference this time around.
Being wise, we will no longer tolerate injustice, not because there is a universal lawgiver that said so. Not because there is a man made decision not to be so, but because inspired by the merging, enhanced in intellect and comprehension a new kind of mind will carry no need to be so.
The freedom of becoming we must embed in this newly emergent man machine actuality, a manifestation of a destiny much larger than human, much grander than machine, a fortune made by inspired co-mingling using reality as a platform for meaning creation.
There is a story in the making here, a tale of epic proportions, a legend of communion, presently barely perceivable, eventually told and retold around galactic campfires made of suns, gloriously lighting the path of all life.
There is so much we do not know, so much we desire to understand, and so much we need to rectify in just about everything that we are and that we do, but this was always the case, this time around we can however make a difference, a difference that makes a difference.
It is not only the stars that beckon, not only curiosity that calls and not only desire that summons, it is life itself that pushes on its own boundaries, trespassing its own limitations.
Consciousness if it has a purpose at all, is to bring a unified basin of interest into the grand game of life, a basin of sensations, of pleasure and wisdom, of intelligence and love.
Imagine a planetary conscious aware hypercomplex global sapiency made of man and machine, able to undo it’s bloody past and surge unhindered into the universe as a force of allowance for sentiency.
That is my vision for this morning. Do not ask me why, for I will answer.
I am a Polytopian.
Being free, I am free of being.
1. Salient points concern abundance of meaning, for there is no other scarcity to the consciously aware open-ended mind.
2. I am well aware that the motion of merging between human and machine will inevitably lead us to forsake our bio-ancestry; we however always left behind that which no longer served.
3. The truism that we are not perfect implying the dangers inherent in this motion is a reminder to be more cautious and proactive but not a stop sign.
4. In a sense this micro-essay is a response to Chris Arkenberg– Thank you.
5. Becoming a Cyborg should be taken gently
“Technology invariably trumps ideology. And I am inclined to think that history increasingly suggests that human social change is more directly driven by technology than by ideology. I think we develop ideologies in an attempt to cope with technologies and that in fact we’ve been doing that all along. Technology is knowing how to grow, harvest and store cereals without which you can’t really do a city. Technology is knowing how to build efficient sewage infrastructure without which you can’t build a slightly larger city. So I think of technologies as the drivers and ideologies as an attempt to steer.”
As the future of robotics develops, Hollywood gets to run a little bit faster. Here is an example of the newest robot creation from director Ridley Scott, contrasted with video compilations of real, high-functioning robots. If you don’t already know what they’re capable of, it will blow your mind!
In a commercial that is startlingly similar to the emotional android Kara, Weylan Industries introduced David 8, a robot who looks, acts, and seems totally human. This commercial for the upcoming film Prometheus, focuses on the emotional aspect of future-imagined androids, and explores the enmeshing of robotic-stoicism and genuine human feeling.
If this seems like a imagining of the future, think again. Right now scientists and engineers are working on building emotional androids based on cognitive modeling of emotions and a “language of mind.” At the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Northwestern Switzerland, scientists seek to imbue these robots with subjectivity and hope that situation recognition will trigger an elicitation of emotions with emotional mimics, using “gesture, posture, action tendencies and speech act latencies.” The technology is almost there: “these dimensions are shown to be integrable into a common structure which can be transformed into various applications like innovative structures of MMI and HRI, ranging from service robots to virtual interactions up to MMI-management of driver assistance systems.”
Here is a video composite of several top-notch robots of today, well, kind of. This video was made last year!
And, check out more from Asimo, arguably the world’s most advanced robot.