Saturday, May 16, 2015

Personal Moral Choice Or Survival

Pen & Ink Drawing By Doug Ashby
Ray Kurzweilis an interesting guy. I have listened to a few of his books and for the life of me I can not decide if I like his ideas, or agree with them. Some of them are pretty out their. His book, "The Singularity Is Near", was exceptional difficult to get through. The ideas were, in my humble opinion, a little to far fetched. I wonder if other listeners and readers felt as I do. I was almost ready to give up on him as an author, which is hard as he basically pioneered so much that is so useful and important. However I didn't and I tried his latest book. "How To Create A Mind."

This book was along a similar path as the previous one mentioned, except it was a little more boiled down and not as grand in vision, as well as grandstanding. The basic premise is that we are near to having the technology to not only completely understand the workings of our minds, but to also enhance, artificially, their capabilities. Basically making us cyborgs. It also addresses the real possibility that in the near future we are likely to create a true A.I. and what that will mean to all of us, socially and morally. This artwork here deals with the enhancement aspect of our own brains.

Sci-fi has for many years envisioned the possibility of human technological enhancement. Many believe that sci-fi not only exists as an accurate predictor of our future but also exists to help us prepare for the many challenges our advances in science will bring, both morally and socially. I tend to fall into the camp that sees it that way. In Kurzweil's "How To Create A Mind" he discusses the possibility that through computer integrated technology we will be able to enhance our own intelligence both by adding memory, connecting to the internet and allowing us to think faster, as computers now compute faster then we think. I find this to be interesting and the possibility raises many questions.

Who will first have access to this technology when it arises. As with all technologies it often first goes to those who can afford it. In many ways to those who will not benefit most from it. The uber wealthy in many ways will just use this as a way to further keep their grip on the world. What also are the implications as the tech becomes more widespread? Will there will be those that find this alteration to be abhorrent and against human nature. Will we then see a "Gattaca" like effect where those who choose not to utilize such technology will e left behind? Will a new sub class emerge as in "Gattaca."

I would be curious to hear your thoughts on the matter and to get a discussion going. If Kurzweil is right on this one, and he has been right many times, perhaps now is the time to start thinking about it. At this moment I do not know what I would would choose for myself if I had a chance to do such a thing. Would my concern for my children's future be different then mine? I just don't know right now.

So lets chat. Get in touch at dashbyart@gmail.com. If you would like to download a print of the artwork to do yourself then simply visit my downloads page.

Thanks and I hope you like the art.

Doug

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