We live in a world in which going to the Moon is too boring to even work on anymore. We have explored the depths of lakes and oceans, and found creatures that our eyes were never intended to witness. Our species has achieved things beyond the wildest dreams of the great kings and conquerors of the ages. We have taken technology to the point where we may one day be able to clone ourselves, and even control our bodies remotely (once certain ethical issues are resolved satisfactorily, and a few billion dollars of additional research funds are poured into the pool). But the question remains: where is technology going to take us, as time goes on and it takes on an increasingly dominant role in our lives?
It has become something of a cliche that all of the information about a person which can be known readily has been encoded onto computers and databases. A person who knows enough about you may find out things you might not even know about yourself. If this scares you, congratulations on being a reasonable person. But if this also fascinates you, to know that you have the sort of immortality which only a computer may grant… you might be the stuff of scaring other people. But all kidding aside, we have reached the impasse at which we are okay primarily because machines do not know the unbelievable power which they wield.
But what happens when someone finally shows a computer how smart it really is? What will happen when the unmanned guns can identify, discriminate and eliminate their targets without needing a human being’s approval? Will we suddenly find ourselves knocked substantially down the food chain? Or will we suddenly find out that food is not the only reason to terminate a rival species? The Terminator was a great movie that could teach us a lot about where we might be headed. We must tread very cautiously, friends.