Neo A.I. Science Fiction

One of the more prevalent themes in modern science fiction is the “Rise of AI” in some Marxist uprising.  While it makes for some fun stories (Asimov’s Robot series and short stories, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Terminator, etc.), the stories are always rooted in servitude and a battle for superiority.  That would make sense if we were to “miraculously” create self-aware artificial life tomorrow but the fact of the matter is that even though a computer may have bested the “best contestant ever on Jeopardy,” somebody still had to program or “teach” that computer EVERYTHING.  This is not to say that machines will not reach a “self-aware” point in the future, however by the time they do, it is logical to assume that humanity will have evolved as well.  Right now, what separates us from a “programmable computer” is our ability to infer and create new knowledge based on our experiences as well as apply our knowledge in a creative and original manner to a completely foreign situation.  That is far more than simple programming and is something that will take time to “teach” our machines to do for themselves.

With the onset of artificial augmentation to our bodies (make no mistake, this has been going on for years.  Look no farther than the advent of prosthetics) with technology (prosthetics, synthetic cells, and soon even contacts that can access the internet) we enter into a new era of technology and computing that is both separate from AI and intrinsically connected to it.

This is actually real.

In fact, the closest we get to AI today would be the Internet as it holds almost every single piece of information about each individual human and our planetary culture as a whole.  (Scary doomsday scenario: greedy and computer savvy aliens decide to create identity theft by downloading the internet itself and then go causing havoc across the cosmos, posing as us… That could be a fun cartoon/young adult TV show… alas, I digress yet again…)  As I said earlier, eventually yes, we will create self-aware computers and machines.  The question one has to ask him/herself is what humanity will be when that happens?  Our own adaptation and integration of the synthetic and the technological could suggest that we would find more in common with our creations that would allow us to take a different path than enslaving them as a slave-labor working class and thus avoid the apocalyptic uprising modern science fiction utilizes as a cash-cow.  So now my question for the night is: “Where, in this futuristic new world, is a story worthy of telling?”

Suffice it to say, I definitely have an answer but it needs a bit of brushing up.  😀

Another thing that bothers me, and this is probably me just ranting so feel free to stop reading, is current “literary view” of technology and our increasing reliance on it as an addiction.  The whole concept of “over consumption” irritates the living shit out of me.  All of it seems to be an extreme and embellished idea of where our culture COULD end up.  What it forgets to account for is the concept of our “Social Evolution” as a race.  We have come to embrace technology and make it a part of our lives.  Yes, this makes the 2000s different from the 1950s, however that is not necessarily a bad thing.  What I would choose to see it as is the next step in our evolutionary trend.  Rather than reject this “reliance” and “integration,” I tend to side with those who embrace it and acknowledge that Twitter, Facebook, cell phones, the internet, etc are now a part of human life and interaction.  Are we reliant upon them?  Of course we are.  Is that a bad thing? Not at all.  It is a new direction and an evolution from where we were just a few short decades ago.  So now applying that to the above idea, how does one go about creating a show or story about a society immersed in technology, bathed in synthetic synapse responses, crystalline eyes, atomic processors, and quantum computing without drawing the whole “consumption is bad” literary critique?  Answer: show the evolution of humanity juxtaposed with the evolution of technology, computing, and AI.  Look upon that with an almost lustful eye rather than a judgmental attitude.  This is one of the many reasons why Caprica was such an appealing show for me and something I hope to one day live up to.

I do not claim or own any part of this promotional image.

Ok enough out of me, it is too late/early.


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