“Will technology replace biology?”
An obviously rhetorical question, with an apparent answer, depending upon which side of the debate you may find yourself. But yet this presents a valid point for enquiry given the extraordinary predictions being made by Ray Kurzweil (and other transhumanists) for an approaching Technological Singularity.
Certainly, the question is not new. In contrast to the enthusiastic promotion for AI there also exists a growing dystopian vision of Artificial Intelligence which has inspired entire industries of science fiction literature from Frankenstein to I Robot with recent transformations, through further technological innovations, into the block buster films starring: HAL, Agent Smith, Terminator and Blade Runner. All asking the question:
Will our machines still love us when they are smarter than we are? (Are we going to eventually produce artificial machine intelligences that think and plan, re-pair and also reproduce in “up-grades” on an exponential timeline?)
Some people would definitely have it so and others of us would really rather not want to know.
There is as well the prospect of uploading one’s consciousness, as a digital simulacrum, into a cloud-computing hive of existence, that while still just a fantasy, is actually being imagined, discussed and theorized.
That it appeals to the ego while also being abhorrent to the soul comes as no surprise.
Could this be a natural and even a spiritual-mechanical evolution as Dr Kurzweil has recently expressed?
Or would AI be just another projection of materialist and commercial dreams upon much deeper organic well-springs of consciousness; a self aware, remembering, creative expression of free will that is indigenous to this little blue-green globe of life spinning in the Milky Way?
What if the real answer could be neither one, nor the other, but a third way of Yes?
A “both/and” point of view upon the coming Singularity expressing a metaphysical and psychological mystery. That the conundrum of human consciousness – Who am I? What am I doing here? – never actually has been a problem to be solved, but a transformative process to be dreamed, chosen and experienced…
About the Author: James Harvey is a poet, a mystic, a seasoned Light worker and learned observer of Life… Most recently, he is the author of the thought provoking book Singularia: Being at the Edge of Time.