I wrote this a couple of years ago (7/14/2011) for another, more corporate site. I’m reblogging here as it’s as good a summary as any of my thoughts on the respective roles of machines and humans.
It’s officially summer blockbuster season, so it seems a good time to comment preemptively on the inevitable angst, film and ink that will be devoted to the next permutation of The Singularity.
Let’s be clear: already, modern society literally cannot function without machine-based intelligence and automation. We are also creating a worldwide “hive mind,” enabled by cheap, fast connectivity, cheap, ubiquitous mobile devices, and various forms of cheap social media. Information technology is now a kind of intellectual exoskeleton, multiplying and conjoining the physical power of its individual operators to share information rapidly across large distances and audiences or to do massive projects that would once have taken years, if not generations to complete. We are already The Borg, even if most of us have no neural implants yet.