( A Fifteen minute read)
We are becoming less and less effective in the face of enormous but slow-moving crises such as the loss of biodiversity or climate change. Deforestation, Freshwater Species Extinctions, Climate Change and Destruction of Natural Resources, Large-scale Wars and Religious Conflicts.
“human cost” of the current system:
Not to Mention Technology.
What we prioritize, the way we shape our lives, affects the evolutionary future of our species, so we would do well to start asking some simple question about the untended consequences of technology?
Is it likely that in the near future humans are going to speciate? ( Humans one species and robots another. )
If you can’t explain Artificial intelligence/ Machine learning stored in the cloud and what it is doing to the public, there’s a good chance it doesn’t merit doing.
The number of people on the planet is set to rise to 9.7 billion in 2050 with 2 billion aged over 60.
That is only 30 odd year away.
We are entering the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a technological transformation that is robbing us of the essence of our humanity.
Driven by a ubiquitous and mobile internet, we are perhaps witnessing the end of human evolution as we know it.
Up to now human evolution proceeded extremely slowly and within historical memory, man has exhibited aggressive territorial behavior. Even as we bask smugly in the comforts of our smart phones natural selection to-day still ensured that only the fittest survived.
However it may not be long before computers are hooked up to the human brain with genetic trade-offs till we can’t be improved any further,
Then evolution will really have come to a stop for us. We will be the only species to have put a halt to natural selection, of its own free will, as it were.
Stopping natural selection is not as important, or as depressing, as it might sound — because our evolutionary process will then be cultural.
One way or the other by the time we get there our current social, political and economic systems will have driven inequalities with profit seeking algorithms off the map, rather than reducing them.
The challenge is to manage this seismic change in a way that promotes the long-term health and stability of the planet.
The writing has been on the wall for some time.
So where do we stand:
Since 1992 CO2 emissions have jumper 62% and the global temperature is up 29%. Fresh water is down 26%. Ocean dead zones up 76% . Forestland down 300 million acres. People up 35%.
You would think that we the biggest dimwit on the planet looking at this evidence would conclude that there is something very wrong. If you dont know what it is, we have evolved beyond our needs, trampling other species in the process.
We are now at a turning point we can either push ahead on our path to destruction or we can reshape our place in nature and prosper or we can face a humongous environmental crisis.
You would think that with everything connected by the internet, it would transform how we do business and help us manage resources more efficiently and sustainable.
As you can see this is not the result.
On the contrary the way we’ve set up corporations, world organisations, where even a majority vote cannot demand that a corporation’s or world organisation policies reflect the public good or preserve the environment for future use.
That’s because profit is the one and only motive.
It’s up to government and it’s up to people to protect the public interest. Corporations and world organisations are simply not allowed to.
Within the next decade, it is expected that more than a trillion sensors will be connected to the internet. By 2025, 10% of people are expected to be wearing clothes connected to the internet and the first implantable mobile phone is expected to be sold.
However today, 43% of the world’s population are connected to the internet, mostly in developed countries.
In a world driven by short-term profit, the connectivity theory is and will remain so far off the mark it can only be believed by artificial intelligence.
Growing unease over globalization, which is evident from the number of questions being asked about the power of corporations and the adequacy of the regulations governing employment, environmental issues and taxation, is causing economic and social ills, ranging from low consumption to social and political unrest, and is damaging to any future.
There is no need for me to tell you that we are living in turbulent times.
It is clear that the old stories are dying and if we continue to poison ourselves and the planet by self-interest, fragmentation and profit for profit sake there will be no point to the age of technology other than becoming slaves.
However evolution is going on invisibly all the time. Species evolve in response to whatever environment they encounter. No despots have ever set out to select for increased or decreased longevity in the populations they control.
By 2050, the world must feed 9 billion people. Yet the demand for food will be 60% greater than it is today.
The scale of the employment challenge is vast. Rapid progress in machine learning has raised the prospect that algorithms will one day be able to do most or all of the mental tasks currently performed by humans. These advances could lead to extremely positive developments, presenting solutions to now-intractable global problems, but they also pose severe risks.
This might be the most important transition of the next century – either ushering in an unprecedented era of wealth and progress, or heralding disaster.
But it’s also an area that’s highly neglected: while billions are spent making AI more powerful. The problem of how one might design a highly intelligent machine to pursue realistic human goals safely is very poorly understood. It is estimated that there are fewer than 100 people in the world working on how to make AI safe.
If AI research continues to advance without enough work going into the research problem of controlling such machines, catastrophic accidents are much more likely to occur.
It’s generally agreed that, among the forces that led to the immense sophistication of the human brain, the most powerful was a kind of feedback loop between the growing complexity of our ancestors’ physical and social environment and the ability of our ancestors to adapt to it. But why, you may ask, has the enormous increase in complexity of our recent technological environment not had a measurable physical impact on our brains?
The rate at which we are changing our environment now has outstripped even the fastest biological evolution.
However the ineluctable laws of evolution will continue to operate, probably even more strongly, in the overcrowded, ecologically damaged world of the future. And if things get really bad, the evolutionary consequences could be extreme. Any survivors of a nuclear holocaust or an ecological catastrophe are likely to be a small and highly selected subset of today’s population.
If, for example, destruction were so widespread that people could not form viable social groups, the evolution of our descendants would inevitably be driven in the direction of brutishness.
If our technologies fail to protect us against these forces of nature our genetic heritage could fail us too, meaning human evolution will return with a vengeance.
Then again if everyone had exactly the same set of genes controlling the brain’s development, there would be no genetic differences among people on which natural selection could act–and evolution really would come to a stop!
War then would be the strong life; it is life in extremism; war taxes are the only ones men never hesitate to pay, as the budgets of all nations show us.
There is no doubting the force of [the] arguments above, call me back in 3 million years time, because I may well be wrong on that one.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks chucked in the bin.