Enough arnold cognitive technology and the future of humanity
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Enough Arnold? Cognitive Technology and the Future of Humanity. Minds and Machines. The Coming of the Augments.

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Enough Arnold? Cognitive Technology and the Future of Humanity

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Enough arnold cognitive technology and the future of humanity

Enough Arnold?Cognitive Technology and the Future of Humanity

Minds and Machines


The coming of the augments

The Coming of the Augments

  • “GNR” technology (genetic engineering, nanotechnology, robotics technology) may soon reach the point where humans will have the ability to fundamentally change the nature of the human species.

  • TWO (or more) VARIETIES OF PERSONS MIGHT COME TO EXIST:

  • HUMANS -- AUGMENTS


Some worries

Some Worries

  • Could lead to destructive techno-race

    • Rifts in society

      • Horizontal: ‘techno-poor’ vs ‘techno-rich’

      • Vertical: generational gap

    • Today’s technology is outdated tomorrow

      • … and the pace of ‘progress’ will only accelerate

    • Our children become a commodity / product

      • Designer Babies

      • ‘Playing God’


Further worries

Further Worries

  • Loss of Free Will

    • Parents ‘designed’ us

  • Loss of Personal Identity

    • ‘Specs’ are known: Loss of self-exploration, self-motivation, or self-fulfillment

  • Maybe free will and personal identity are an illusion

    • Right now I don’t worry about that

    • But new technology may throw this in our face


The singularity

The Singularity

  • Some people believe that the pace of technological change will reach such a rate that we have to become cyborgs to even make sense of this new technology

    • If we are able to create a being that’s smarter than us, imagine what that being could create

  • Best-known proponent: Ray Kurzweil

    • In “The Singularity is Near”, he predicts this will happen somewhere mid 21st century


Three questions

Three Questions:

  • 1.


Three questions1

Three Questions:

  • 2.


Three questions2

Three Questions:

  • 3.


Three questions bound together

Three Questions Bound Together


Three questions bound together1

Three Questions Bound Together

  • Will implies Can – If we will stop it, then that must mean we can

  • Can does-not-implyOught- If we can stop it, does that mean we should? And if we cannot, does that mean we should not?

    • Those are Ought-from-Is fallacies!

    • Maybe doom is inevitable

  • Subtle variant: if we cannot stop it, should we therefore not try and stop it?


Three questions bound together2

Three Questions Bound Together

  • S: We should stop the “Age of Augments” from coming into being

  • C: We can stop the “Age of Augments” from coming into being

  • W: We will stop the “Age of Augments” from coming into being


Should we can we will we stop the age of augments

Should we … Can we … Will we …Stop the “Age of Augments”?

S C W T TTTT F T F T T F F

F T T

F T F

F F T F FF

Which combination is

the “correct one?”


Related questions

Related Questions:

  • The “Theoretical Enough” Questions:

    • Is there ever a point beyond which technological progress no longer implies:

      • Individual/Personal progress

      • Societal progress

      • Species progress


Related questions1

Related Questions:

  • The “Species” Questions:

  • Do we have the RIGHT to ensure that we remain the dominant species on Earth?

  • Do we have the OBLIGATION to ensure that we remain the dominant species?

  • If a new and superior species of Augments comes into being, do humans have the RIGHT to remain as a (non-dominant) species?


Related questions2

Related Questions:

  • The “No Child Left Behind” Question:

    • Assume a civilization of Augments becomes the dominant civilization on Earth

  • Should you as a parent be morally OBLIGATED to have your child undergo augmentation (become an augment) to ensure that she/he will be able to compete successfully with her/his peers?


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