While a warning about the application of AI and intelligent machines (IMs) in the area of military application might be appropriate, what if they're just a natural branch on the the tree of natural evolution?
The big questions
The big questions that we must now consider and attempt to answer are:
- What are the real prospects of IMs developing and the timing?
- Will some aspect of complexity, unpredictable performance, malfunction, or poor reliability of first-generation AI and IMs eventually cause the downfall of the human branch of the tree of life?
- If a new branch of evolution defined by IMs comes into existence, will we live with and alongside IMs, just as we do with other electronic devices, or will we enslave them and use them as animals, as we perhaps did at an earlier time as Neanderthals? Or more likely, will we use them as tools and even body parts to enhance our existence?
- Will intelligent machines become the means of survival as we see mass changes to our universe, making the conditions on earth uninhabitable for a carbon-based organic based species?
If so, perhaps the highlighted AI and IMs regions in Figure 1 should be considered as extension of the human branch, as illustrated in Figure 2.
Perhaps our knowledgeable readers who are in the best position to separate fact from fantasy would like to join the debate below. What is your assessment of the possibility a new species might arrive on the scene, and when and in what form?