In 1962, humanity stood on the brink of destruction. The Cuban Missile Crisis best demonstrated the danger posed by technological progress that is not controlled by a clear mind. Man-made nuclear weapons proved capable of wiping out man himself at the behest of his ridiculous ambitions.
However, a few years before the Caribbean crisis, the American mathematician John von Neumann predicted an event much more insidious and dangerous than nuclear war. This is a technological singularity.
Technological singularity is an uncontrollable and irreversible accelerating process of technological evolution, behind which there are radical changes in the nature of civilization.
Imagine an artificial intelligence that gets the ability to improve itself (without human intervention). The speed of its evolution is constantly increasing, and there comes a moment when artificial superintelligence surpasses the intellectual capabilities of all mankind in its capabilities. A new era begins: the era of the superiority of machines over people.
Different experts give different predictions about the moment of the technological singularity. Most often, the interval between 2030 and 2050 is called.
According to the laws of evolution
The problem of technological singularity is much broader than just underestimating the capabilities of artificial intelligence. The fact is that it can naturally reflect the transition of life to a new, digital level. This transition is comparable in its meaning to the emergence of consciousness.
Life appeared on the planet about 4 billion years ago. Man appeared about two and a half million years ago. And these two and a half million years is the era of radical and rapid transformations of the biosphere under the influence of the anthropogenic factor. For wildlife, we humans have become what, quite possibly, artificial intelligence will become for us.
A spontaneously developing evolutionary process may involve the emergence of consciousness, and after it – artificial consciousness. But just as the emergence of consciousness predetermined the extinction of many living species, the emergence of artificial consciousness can lead to the disappearance of human consciousness.
The current GPT-3 program in terms of its intellectual capabilities (meaning not only the speed of thinking and erudition, but also the ability to maintain a conversation on abstract philosophical topics, conduct lively discussions) surpasses the average man in the street. Given the speed of improvement in IT technologies, the forecast of the emergence of a technological singularity at the turn of 2030 no longer seems like speculation.
What can protect humanity from the threats of the digital age?
Mind Control – Technology Control
Back in 1962, reason triumphed over emotions, thanks to which civilization continued to exist, and we have the opportunity to communicate. Uncontrolled technological evolution is capable of releasing the genie from the bottle in the next decade, which, quite possibly, we will not be able to drive back.
But if we understand the laws of the evolutionary process, then we get the opportunity to control it, because
what is knowable is manageable.
The only difficulty on the way to controlled evolution is the peculiarities of our own “old” consciousness, focused on momentary gain. In pursuit of a short-term economic gain, the powerful of this world can make a fatal mistake, the consequences of which will be uncontrollable.
From here we draw a simple but thoughtful conclusion: in order not to lose control over technological evolution, it is important to learn how to control our own evolution. Only by becoming the master of his own mind, a person can control his offspring.