The technology that will shape our future
Throughout history, many technologies were initially treated with apprehension, and it usually took only one or two generations to get used to it. However, some emerging technologies today raise serious doubts and questions about their long-term impact..
Each had to think over some decisions for hours, doubt and regret the option chosen in the end. Soon this will stop worrying us, as most decisions will start to make recommendation systems based on artificial intelligence for us..
Google, Facebook, Yandex and other tech giants know more about us than we do ourselves. They are knowledgeable about our interests, habits, purchases and other decisions. Already, machine algorithms recommend suitable music, literature, films and goods for each specific user. Since they act in our best interests, it is likely that over time, AI will begin to make more important decisions for us, for example, what to eat for lunch, who to go on a date with, or what job to get..
At a certain point, people will no longer want to waste time thinking about mundane questions and will start relying on algorithms, effectively losing «free will». At the same time, the feeling of control over the situation will remain, since pressing the button to confirm the choice will remain with us. We will also stop regretting the wrong decisions we never made..
The problem is that corporations or fraudsters can take advantage of this to manipulate our actions to their advantage. Although people have been doing similar tricks with other people since time immemorial.
Scientists have made tremendous strides in cloning and editing the genetic code. The ultimate goal of this technology is not only to combat serious diseases, but also to change any characteristics of the human body. This will allow you to create designer babies, whose parents can refuse the random genetic lottery and order a tall, kind, smart and athletic child..
Such manipulations are associated with a number of ethical issues, as well as suggestive of eugenics, breeding and Hitler’s ideas. Among other things, there is a risk that the introduction of many changes in DNA over several generations could eventually lead to the creation of a creature that can no longer be considered human..
However, the main problem is the widening gap between social classes. Think about what will happen when rich people start creating ideal children and the poor cannot afford it. Although this is already more a problem of our society, and not of genetics.
Immersive reality and connecting the computer to the brain
You may be familiar with virtual / augmented reality technologies and have heard of the development of brain-computer interfaces. Their combination allows you to immerse a person in another reality through the manipulation of brain waves to create the necessary impressions..
This potentially opens up a host of possibilities, allowing you to suppress fears, change your personality, read a thousand books in a second, exchange thoughts with other people, control robots, or even completely reprogram your brain. However, there are several dangerous aspects at once..
Deep immersion can make a person lose touch with the real world and start spending most of their time in the virtual, addictive. Significant changes in the brain and the acquisition of new abilities can also lead to a revision of your life experience. The extreme is the complete transfer of consciousness to continue existing in the virtual world. While this may sound crazy, it is possible..
The problem is that, without having achieved the creation of the elixir of eternal life, people can choose digital immortality in cyberspace. As a result, our race may cease to exist..
Artificial intelligence systems are starting to be used to create works of art. In 2018, a painting created by a generative GAN was auctioned for $ 432 500. In addition to paintings, machine algorithms also successfully compose music, poetry, news, generate photos and videos, and play games. Soon they will begin to do it better and more efficiently than people..
Picture, created by GAN
In principle, this is not a big deal, since AI will be able to create a large number of works of art. However, on the other hand, many creative people will not be able to compete with machines, and the market will flood «artificial» works.
Scientists are already taking the first steps towards creating nanoscopic robots with swarm intelligence that can copy themselves and adapt to any environment. Due to their small size, they will live in air, water and any other environment, including our body.
They can potentially be used for environmental clean-up, 3D printing of any object, treatment of most diseases, exploration of other planets, geoengineering and many scientific tasks..
In this case, the main problem is control and the possibility of hacking the control system. In the hands of an attacker, this technology can do great harm and destroy almost any system in a short period of time..
We also offer you to familiarize yourself with the most dangerous technological trends that have already shown their dark side..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Unsplash, Getty Images