Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Make-up first essay (second assignment)

Joy's article deals with a lot of problems that humanity might be facing soon. One of his big fears is that we will become replaced by machines. He gave examples of Darwinian evolution in action. South America was at one point separated from North America and was filled with crazy primitive marsupial-like animals. Once North and South America finally connected, the marsupials were wiped out because placental mammals were more 'fit' and successful. In his mind, we are the marsupials and our machines are the placentals. One day, we will be replaced by beings that are more fit than ourselves. I think that, while joy's fear is a bit irrational, he has a point. What we need to do is watch what we are creating. We should be more careful about what we are making and how. For example, if we are looking into artificial intelligence, we need some kind of constraints to keep it from rebelling... like the 3 laws developed in I, Robot. We need to be more careful about what kind of weapons we make as well. Why should we bother making ridiculous weapons of mass destruction when we aren't actually using them? We should use our knowledge on things that we actually use, not things that we may use, especially if they can be harmful. Artificial intelligence included. Why should we waste our time creating machines to talk to when we have perfectly good animals? We should spend more time learning about the intelligence of other animals (including the great apes, which can actually communicate with us) while they're still here. Our technology may or may not end up killing us in the future, but we should worry more about keeping what we have and less about what we might have.

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