The Multiplicity

Has anybody else noticed the irony that we make movies in which humans play the roles of robots.  That has always been true, from the beginning of film in the original masterpiece “Metropolis” (1927), through “Artificial Intelligence” (2001) to “Ex Machina” (2015).  Using computers, robots can be imagined, for example in “Star Wars” (1977-2015) and “I, Robot” (2004).  But, to my knowledge so far no-one has made a movie in which an actual robot with AI plays a role.

Futurist Raymond Kurzweil has theorized that at some point in the future (possibly by 2045) man and robots will combine to make cyborgs that will in effect take over, this point in time is known as the singularlity.   I am quite skeptical of this theory, it is too neat and is purely dualistic (humans and robots), like the sexes and DNA.  But, the phenomena of life are a lot more complex and multifarious than that.  For example we can conceive of men having informational chips placed in their bodies at birth that will enable sensors to check their id, without having to prove it to a bank clerk or a government official.  Yes, it will enable governments and multi-national companies to plot everybody’s movements and preferences.  But, it will also expose criminals and terrorists.

You could also have a small computer embedded in your brain that could allow instant access to the internet and to all the phone numbers and e-mail addresses in the world. (But, why would people do that when they can just pick up their smart phone and do the same thing and certainly smart phones will get smarter).   But, this would not be a cyborg, but merely a man with greater information access.  Some people who have physical disabilities will benefit by having computer-controlled exoskeletons and artificial limbs, but that’s not a cyborg either.  Machines will be developed that allow jobs that involve the use of great strength, such as lifting heavy weights, to be done by men inside them (as seen in “Alien” and “Avatar“).  All of these alternatives fall short of a robot with artificial intelligence.

I suppose the singularity will have come and the Turing Test will have been achieved when a cyborg with AI actually makes a movie that humans can appreciate.  That’s like waiting for a monkey to type the Bible.

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