You can stop worrying about global warming now (assuming you actually were) because none of that stuff is going to matter in a couple of decades. According to British futurist and environmentalist James Lovelock, the day is coming – probably in your lifetime – when our technology is going to “evolve” on its own and become so vastly more intelligent and capable than us that we will almost immediately become irrelevant. He foresees the rapid rise of a generation of cyborgs, but he’s not talking about human beings combing robotics into our frames. They will have no use for us or any contribution we might make to the mix. These cyborgs will build themselves. (NBC News)
For tens of thousands of years, humans have reigned as our planet’s only intelligent, self-aware species. But the rise of intelligent machines means that could change soon, perhaps in our own lifetimes. Not long after that, Homo sapiens could vanish from Earth entirely.
That’s the jarring message of a new book by James Lovelock, the famed British environmentalist and futurist. “Our supremacy as the prime understanders of the cosmos is rapidly coming to end,” he says in the book, “Novacene.” “The understanders of the future will not be humans but what I choose to call ‘cyborgs’ that will have designed and built themselves.”
Lovelock describes cyborgs as the self-sufficient, self-aware descendants of today’s robots and artificial intelligence systems. He calls the looming era of their dominance the Novacene — literally, the “new new” age.
We should probably note (with making any specific diagnoses) that Lovelock just recently celebrated his 100th birthday, so I don’t know if that plays into his thought process here or not. But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt for now.