Where is it all Going?. Dennis M. Bushnell Chief Scientist NASA Langley Research Center. Overall : An attempt to address “ Where is it all Going? ” Fair Warning : Broader and farther term than you may be accustomed to, Much is Not “Pretty ” Assertion :
Dennis M. Bushnell
NASA Langley Research Center
Humans Have “Taken Over” and Vastly Shortened “Evolution”[Human-Engendered some E7 Faster than “natural” Evolution”]
There are now seven major and simultaneous Societal Existential Issues, Any one of which will Change Society as we know it MUCH. The impacts of all seven, including potential synergisms, is approaching the unfathomable…….
- Projected arrival of ice-free Summers in the Arctic Ocean has shifted, in a few years [ based upon “ground truth”, what is actually happening] from 2100 to 2040 to 2014………
- Greater than projected worst case CO2 rise rate, Oceans warming faster,Ocean Acidification 10X faster
The “Great Dying” [The Permian [90%] Extinction- 250 MY ago] triggered [as was Venusian Warming] by massive Volcanic CO2 & Particulate release. Anthropogenic CO2 release[ 100X largest volcanic rate] is substituting for the Volcanic input, triggering the positive feedback mechanisms
- Overall, Humans Practicing “Anti-Terraforming”
“Prevention of collapse of the Ecosystem has now become the overwhelming issue”
European Commission on Key Technologies for Europe,2005
[Engendered by Population Growth,~ 30% too many of us for the Ecosystem to support NOW, if/as ROW attains U.S. Consumption rate will need 3 more planets…]
Just a goodly portion of the Sahara capable of providing [ using halophytes, seawater Irrig.] sufficient Biomass to replace ALL of the Fossil Carbon, provide petrochemical feedstock and all the requisite food whilst returning some of the 68% of the fresh water now used for Conventional Agric. to direct human use.Overall – “Solves” land, water, food, energy & warming…
[And the Inexpensive and Ubiquitous]
THE KEY TECHNOLOGIES(highly synergistic / at the frontiers of the small / in a “feeding frenzy” off each other)
“It will be routine to meet in full-immersion virtual reality for business meetings and casual conversations in 5 to 7 years”
Ray Kurzweil,Author,”Age of Spiritual Machines” and “The Singularity is Near”
“In 30 Years,The Universities of America,as we have Traditionally known them,will be Barren Wastelands”
Sample Data Sources - Emerging Global Sensor Grid[Everything becoming a [net-worked] sensor]
Human Brain Characteristics/Capabilities
“Productivity Improvements”, Impacts of Automation, Robotization and Machine Intelligence upon Human Employment
“When Industrialization first occurred there were fears of massive unemployment which never happened, Why will the integration of robots into the workforce be any different?”
“We didn’t create a second intelligent species 150 years ago, now we are doing that with intelligence that will get better and better……”
Marshall Brain, Author ‘Robotic Nation”
“In Thirty Years it is likely that virtually all of the intellectual work that is now done by trained human beings such as Doctors, Lawyers, Scientists, or programmers can be done by computers for pennies an hour. Artificial General Intelligence is likely to eliminate almost all of today’s decently paying jobs.” AGI-09, Washington D.C., ‘09
With ever more efficient technologies for communicating and processing information, the boundary between brain and external aids for thinking will practically disappear, so that computers and communication interfaces will feel as if they are an integral part of our personality. In the longer term, the effacing of borders between brain and computer will likely lead to an effacing of the border between individual, computer-supported brains, leading to the emergence of a collective mind or “global brain,” an integrated thinking, conscious being with an overall world view and sense of purpose.
Millennium 3000 Study - United Nations Univ., 2001
Nearly all of the Existential issues discussed are Longer Term, Strategic vice tactical.
Governments and society in general are essentially “Terminally Tactical”, only respond to issues when there is a serious smoking gun, not before. Much of this is the Boiling Frog Syndrome, Not at all clear these issues will be worked in time.
Marvin Minsky,AI Lab,MIT
Over the Million plus years of Human Evolution as the Dominant Animal on the Planet we have had to “work” to feed ourselves…….It now appears that we will create/develop machines that will be MUCH more productive than us and create Massive Wealth, relieving us of the need to “work”- this will be a MASSIVE “Sea Change” in the Human Existence Theorem
Then Year - not an issue of us vs. them [ the machines], we are rapidly merging ……………THE MAJOR ISSUE, Possibility of Better than human machine intelligence, will result in “better” than [ historical] humans [ OR ,taken another way, human contaminated machines]
Then Again – In the late 1800’s there was great consternation that Manhattan Island would in 15-20 years disappear under some 20 feet of Horse Manure [ “Saved” by the Internal Combustion Engine] As the Russians say – “We will live and we will see”…………