The Merger of Man and Machine – Coming In Your Lifetime

 

Twenty years ago, I could never have imagined that I would be able to reach you with my message, wherever you are in the world now reading this, by clicking on my keyboard. I could never fantasize then that two decades later I would carry a device with me wherever I go that enables me to communicate with anyone anywhere in the world, and, if I wish, even to see the person I am talking to. Today, if I mention with awe to a young person that I could do such amazing feats it might cause that person to look askance at me as if I had just emerged into modern society from a tribal village deep in some Indian jungle.

Well, actually I’m from a middle-class family, and I spent my boyhood and youth in a rural place which was as developed as any other place in my country in the 60s and early 70s. But I remember the years I lived in literally the stone age. All our household appliances were made of stone, including the millstone, the grindstone, the pounding stone, and stone jars.  There was no electric lights, no fans, no fridge, no piped water, no washing machine, no food processor, no phone, no car, no tv, no extra pair of shoes. Life was so blissful. In the mid 70s, my astonished eyes beheld the first electronic item in my life – a small calculator that a relative living abroad gifted me. It was so amazing a device that I considered it my most prized possession in those years.

Ten to fifteen years from now, you and I will be able to do things that will be incomparably more awesome than what we can do with any advanced gadgets now. We will have little devices that will be more revolutionary than a telephone in a world where the latest technology to speak to a person beyond the reach of one’s voice through cupped palms was a bullhorn. They will more drastically change one’s work life than did the advent of the computer to my own profession in an age when I was trashing typescript after typescript because they contained too many typos that I just couldnt erase and rewrite over with my typewriter. The sooncoming inventions will be more awesomely life-changing than the internet which totally eliminated my obsession to visit libraries wherever I go and wade in amazement through all the different categories of books on the shelves.

What is coming in the next one and half decades is more awesomely revolutionary than any invention or discovery in the history of man. It is Artificial Intelligence.

The advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which will be literally billions of times more capable than the sum total of all human brains on earth, will usher in a new dimension into man’s existence such as never occurred in history. For in this new dimension man will be interacting, for both good and bad, with a community of intelligent machine beings immeasurably superior in skills, knowledge and capability than any advanced society of humans.

The greatest application of AI will be to merge human and machine functions. When this happens, the global phenomenon known as ‘The Singularity’ will occur. The Singularity will usher in the greatest transformation of human civilization since mankind first began to live together as a society on planet earth.

Ray Kurzweil, probably the savviest futurologist of this generation, and author of the bestselling ‘The Singularity Is Near’ is the man who popularized this term. The Singularity, he says, is the point in human development when current global trends go wildly off the charts and technological changes become so rapid that we cannot possibly envision its results.

There will be radical transformation in the way people work and relate to each other in our generation. The merger of man and machine, coupled with the sudden explosion in machine intelligence and rapid innovation in gene research and nanotechnology, will result in a world where there is no distinction between the biological and the mechanical, or between physical and virtual reality.

The Singularity will result in global paradigm shifts (the typical way all systems work in civilization) in every facet of human endeavor and thinking.

Scientists expect the technological paradigm shift to happen sooner than most people realize – between 2020 and 2040 – when technology advances beyond the human mind and people will no longer be the source of great invention. Did you get that? It will not be human beings anymore that will be inventing and discovering new things! Artificial Intelligence will be able to examine its own source code and improve it in an iterative design cycle!!

At that point, AI will be responsible for creating new breakthroughs with minimal human input. This new global order will be accompanied by paradigm shifts in social life, international relations and social values. Together, they will cause the greatest change in man’s lifestyle and interactions since Adam’s generation.

The Singularity will drastically impact one’s professional life. The paradigm shifts in the workplace will mean that unprepared professionals in every field will find themselves redundant and their skills of no more use anywhere. Prepared professionals will find themselves useful elsewhere. One great purpose of my ministry is to encourage you to be prepared for what’s coming in your lifetime.

The Singularity will be even more profound in your personal life. It will affect your relationships with people, it will change the way your parent your children, it will change the way you even husband your wife, or wife your husband. For the God-directed professional the Singularity can be used to enhance his personal and family life. But for the others, it will serve to further the perversions and wickedness on earth. Just as the computer and internet is serving a Godly purpose for me now, it is serving an evil purpose for billions of others who use it to indulge their lusts and to promote hate and strife locally and globally, or to spread destruction over the worldwide web to satiate their warped senses. A 12-year old cyber expert, for example, can wreak havoc around the world with a viral program he creates.


It will not be human beings anymore that will be inventing and discovering new things!


Now look at these amazing developments going on today, right now.

Nonbiological intelligence is currently multiplying by over 1,000 per decade. Between 2020 and 2040, nonbiological intelligence will be a billion times more powerful than the 10^26 (10 followed by 26 zeros) computations per second that all biological humanity represents. Artificial intelligence in certain computers is already more complex than a human brain and has surpassed the 20-petahertz threshold for potential intelligence. In 10 years, it will be everywhere. It’s already a short step to computer systems that make better decisions than corporate managers do, say scientists. Organizations have to be able to redefine themselves at an increasingly faster pace.

Machines are increasingly exceeding us in the performance of more and more tasks, from guiding objects like missiles or satellites to assembling other machines. They are merging with us ever more intimately and are learning how to reconfigure our biology in new technological domains.

At some point in the next decade, as machines become smarter than people, humans will get augmented with smart biochips and wearables, becoming supersmart cyborgs.

Here is a glimpse into how AI will affect our social lives shortly – very likely even before most of your hair turns grey:

‘By 2015, computers will be largely invisible…we will have images input directly onto our retinas. This allows for a very high-resolution display that encompasses the entire visual field of view yet is physically tiny…If we want a large, high-resolution computer image, it will just appear virtually in the air. We will have augmented reality, including popup displays explaining what is happening in the real world. We will be able to go into full-immersion, visual auditory virtual reality environments…and have nanobots in our brain that will shut down the signals coming from our nerves and sense organs, and replace them with the signals that we would be receiving if we were in the virtual environment. We can be actors in this virtual environment, and have a virtual body. But this virtual body doesn’t need to be the same as our real body. We will encounter other people in similar situations in this virtual world.’   From an interview with Ray Kurzweil, published by CRN News

Who needs undependable friends and spouses if we can have much better, but physically as-good-as-real, companions and mates in the other world?

Now, where do God and his prophecies come in this emerging world order? Surely the Bible, in its prophesies, could not have overlooked this greatest of human-generated events since Creation.

Keep reading the messages in this website, child of God, and you will get a good understanding of what’s coming, both from man’s side and from God’s side. Just to arouse your curiosity, consider these two endtime events mentioned in the book of Revelation:

‘The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like faces of men. They had hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails.’   Rev 9:7-10

Until three or four years ago, whenever I read this passage, I assumed it was purely a symbolic description of some terrible creatures, as certainly are the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse and the vision of the seven-headed beast rising from the sea. But the more I understand the prophecies, the more I think that some of the visions are more literal than most theologians think.

Now, remember – the greatest application of AI will be to merge human and machine functions. With AI, biotechnology could easily create creatures like the woman-locusts of Revelation. Very possible. But I am not definitely saying that the passage in Revelation is a result of biotechnology. Perhaps they may be supernatural creatures. But certainly, it is interesting to consider the other possibilities as well.

Just one more possibility to think of:

‘He was then permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. Then the statue of the beast commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die.’  Rev 13:15

The Message version puts it this way:

‘It was able to animate the image of the Beast so that it talked, and then arrange that anyone not worshiping the Beast would be killed.’

Artificial Intelligence that is far superior to the human brain?

 

Pappa Joseph

 

 

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