A future is coming in which machines may override humans in dominance. This is not simply science fiction, but a very real possibility (dubbed the singularity). We may hypothesize how it manifests or argue about its value or its threat, but neither may be very productive. Instead it may be wise to at least prepare for the possibility.
According to Goertzel and Goertzel (2015), the singularity, however it presents itself, is likely to come, if not by about 2040, then by 2100. They suggest that our thoughts and actions will impact both when this occurs and the quality of the experience.
Unfortunately most of our current visions are images of terrible outcomes for our species. What we think about the future is a reflection or projection based on what we think now, what we think of ourselves and our species and an influence on how the future unfolds. The threads of our development are rushing toward that future, contaminated by our fears and dreads. These are results of awareness of human unkindness and proclivity toward violence. The fear we have of the future is thus based maybe realistically on awareness of our own human potentialities for violence, unkindness, and meanness, but also contributes to their unfolding.
If we accept that visions we hold help create the future why we would ever choose to propagate what is harmful or unkind? Why would we watch or produce terror even on screen? Viewing violence may not produce violence, but it also does not diminish it. Just because we can think something, just because we can create something does not mean it is wise to do so. Freedom does not mean license. Human integrity, wisdom and compassion are critical developmental needs for ourselves, our planet, our future. Thinking and imaging are just the first steps to actual emergence.
Can we choose tranquility instead of over-stimulation, open instead to a felt sense that may initially seem like boredom? Our future may depend on us doing so. We seem to have lost touch with the simple beauty and richness of simply being alive. Could we turn again to literature and movies that deal with life challenges in ways that ennoble our species rather than act out its basest potentials.
If we are creating who we become, we need to take responsibility for ourselves, for our species. We have the potential for integrating all levels of the mind / brain and manifesting what is best now and in the future. The future that unfolds, including the increasing power of machines, may be conditioned by our conscious or unconscious visions.
Let us intentionally foster the kind of mind, life, and world within which we want to live.
Learn to work with your own mind.
Goertzel, B., & Goertzel, T. G. (2015) The End of the Beginning: Life, Society and Economy on the Brink of the Singularity (available in paperback, but also at the time of this post, available as ebook for only $4.99).