Pandora’s Box : The Singularity

Contemplating the possibility of living in a world where humans are no longer subject to the tediousness of survival…

by: Jason Stack

The Singularity is to futurists what heaven is to the religious. On the cusps of such a potential game-changing moment in time, it remains to be seen whether humanity can usher in a new era of abundance. There have been countless times where humans have risen to the occasion and penetrated through inconceivable barriers. There have also been times where the human race have mangled progression with deference towards regression. This time, the stakes are higher, the venture much greater. The development of artificial intelligence provides us with the opportunity to potentially bring paradise to Earth.

The technological collective is involved in the creation of an eventual artificial super intelligence. The birth of this system will presumably result in the rapid acceleration of development in many fields, including medicine, space exploration, and energy. The capabilities are so transformative that even the sharpest of minds cannot properly assess the impact that will be felt by society. If actualized, mankind will have initiated ultimate transcendence. The bliss of the secular.

To live in a world where humans are no longer subject to the tediousness of survival will nullify the need to engage in the acquisition of the physiological and safety needs in Maslow’s Hierarchy. These primitive requirements will likely be granted to all in an era of prosperity. This would provide people with the luxury of tending to the wishes of our higher conscience. If circumstances are just, one could easily envision a creative boom. Personally, I would rejoice in an environment where mental health is prioritized. Life has taught me to live in a constant state of motion due to our limited time. To witness my fellow brethren and I receive a chance of decompression would move me.

But are these desires the ramblings of a nerd who has indulged in too much science fiction? What will be left of man if it is no longer necessary to obtain some form of status? Will we be akin to pets of a superior intelligence as dogs are to man? Perhaps this is the spin of the old-fashioned. Civilization has progressed, in large part, because of the sense of urgency provided by self-preservation. Infinite wealth would absolve us of the responsibility of existence. What is the byproduct of a species whose feet are no longer put to fire?

The nature of human beings is intricate. We are prone to fleeting feelings and irrationality. Nonetheless, we have the ability to reason. Our intellect has designated us the apex predators. Though that gift may be a double edged sword. Is our intelligence pushing us to relinquish our self-governance and place it into the hands of a sentient machine?

It is entirely possible that an artificial super intelligence being brought rapidly to life could choose to destroy us. After all, we are manufacturing an entirely different life form that can function entirely without human input. However, I choose to believe in the magnificence of artificial intelligence. That is all one can do. No matter your hesitations and objections, change is coming. This has been true throughout all of history. You can choose to be bitter and reminiscent of a time that was. Or, you can release your grasp on the past and view this development through the lens of favorability.

For better or for worse, may we see the Singularity in our lifetime.

 

Jason Stack is an American writer who raises philosophical questions about the human experience. His writing routinely delves into themes of resilience, identity, and self-discovery, aiming to inspire readers to reflect and find strength in their own journeys. Find him on Twitter and Instagram.

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