They always try and make out it is the machines and artificial intelligence we should avoid and fear. Many a film has paved the way for this –
Terminator films – skynet and the fight to eradicate humans.
The Matrix – another rise of the machines type film, where we can’t co-exist and an ongoing fight ensues.
Eagle Eye – a central AI computer that decides humans need to be controlled ‘for their own safety’.
I Robot – VIKI – same premise, AI that defined the above as the only logical outcome as we can’t be trusted.
A Space Odyssey – HAL, another AI system that ‘goes rogue’ and starts thinking for itself, sort of, because it’s still following ‘the mission’ and can’t entirely think for itself obviously.
War Games – this is the odd one out in the list, because the computer, Joshua did learn and adapt. In the nick of time no less, where the lesson was the futility of war, and when everybody loses there is no point in playing. If only we had that capacity.
Apart from the last example, we portray that it essentially makes them more dangerous than humans as they lack the capacity for nuance and complex thought with emotions. Or is that where the cross-over appears between humans and thinking machines? Because that is all we are viewed as these days – machines with emotions, so do we both have the same potential and failings? Where something we invent takes on a mind of its own and ends up turning on us and then seeks to destroy us. Sounds pretty human if you ask me, and after all, they were initially designed and programmed by us.
On a slight tangent, but still related in my mind, I have concern for this strange virtual universe they are trying to create and think that is where it will get weird. They seem to like using reverse words for things, so I have gone along with that and funnily enough, the reverse of Meta = Atem. This just happens to be an Egyptian god (also Atum, or Tem), translating to ‘to complete or finish’. There can be varying interpretations of that. But he is the start and the end they say. Interestingly, a myth of his origin is that he spoke himself into existence. I wonder about this, having come across a term which apparently is a real thing, but not real. Let me explain.
Tulpa or Tulpamancy – “is a concept in Theosophy, mysticism, and the paranormal, of an object or being that is created through spiritual or mental powers”. So says Wikipedia. But it’s an odd concept and instantly made me think of when some children have imaginary friends, and they are told it’s fictional. Weird that when adults do it, it’s a real thing But not acceptable for all, because it does seem that there is discussion whether the whole Tulpa thing is real, spiritual and paranormal, or just a sign of loneliness and mental illness.
“A tulpa is an entity that exists inside a human’s brain, has their own sense of self, and is believed to have a conscious which is separate from the main human”.
Sounds normal right?
So, let’s presume for a moment that this is completely possible and can be done as they say above. Wouldn’t it be of concern then that we are constantly looking to ‘create’ another version of ourselves online, and in their meta-verse (it is a concern to me and has been for a while now, but nobody else seems to share that worry). Could it be that by giving such concentrated thought to an alternative personality within ourselves that we are knowingly or inadvertently creating beings and different versions of us through manifested thoughts. Some believe they are restricted to the mind only, but others believe they can become their own external entity.
In a world where we seem to have more than enough issues of people knowing who they are, and increasingly strange methods of keeping people isolated in ‘their own world’ as the saying goes. And that saying may be the future. In a Ready Player One kind of way. All hooked up and consuming in the virtual world so that you let the real-world crumble around you as they have planned it to, saving space and resources for the constructors of your social and virtual prison. Ending up in a Logan’s Run style set up, where people are contained in a completely controlled environment to ‘keep them safe’, they are not allowed to ask questions, think for themselves or be curious. Seems like we are halfway there already so need to really decide where this all goes, and I get the feeling we are not all going together.