ROBOTS and EVOLUTION


jimmoyer
#1
I'd like to start a new thread here about Robots, only because that wonderful insightful thread on evolutionary theory begets a look at what we wish to evolve towards.

So let this discussion be a foward look at evolution and let the thread on evolution be a look at the past.


I wonder how evolution theory will look at the next generation of man when it assumes the form of robots ?

For isn't that the aspiration not understood by most complaints about the inefficiency and mistakes of mankind?

We want to get rid of all of our negatives, to make ourselves more perfect in some image we hold in our heads.


And when you consider nature installs a built-in historical amnesia whereby we don't remember who we came from because somehow we lost the database that was never maintained or updated simply because the sun will grow old and supernova and no amount of visual reality library can ever come close to match all of the reality that was us.
 
Reverend Blair
#2
There is danger of creating two very different classes of people through that, Jim. While the wealthy will be able to afford to modify themselves through mechanical and genetic means, that is unlikely to be the case for most of the world's population.

While I have no doubt that these modifications will happen, can it really be considered evolution if many of the world's people cannot participate in it. Would those that can afford to modify themselves really be considered a news species (let's call them homo mechanicalus) from the homo sapiens they come from?

Further to that, evolution is an accidental process...natural selction does not have a final goal in mind. Can modifications that we choose ourselves, with a solid direction in mind, be considered to be part of the evolutionary process or does out interference make them more of a construct (much like we speak of technology "evolving")?

Taking that a step further...Would there be a hierarchy of purposely evolved humans? Would genetic manipulation make you more truly evolved than nano-technology? Would nano-technology make you more evolved than bionics?

I don't have a real position on this, but the social ramifications are staggering.
 
Jo Canadian
#3
Quote:

There is danger of creating two very different classes of people through that, Jim. While the wealthy will be able to afford to modify themselves through mechanical and genetic means, that is unlikely to be the case for most of the world's population.

Evolution creates new species through time and change, that would sound like that humans would eventually split into two different groups.

Interesting.

We have not co-existed with a different homonid species for around 25000 to 20000 years, would we be ready to do so with another? Especially with the Imbalance of Class that Rev suggested?
 
kden604
#4
On a side note, have you ever seen the movie Bicentennial Man, with Robbin Williams?

What about when robots become so human that they are considered human?
 
Jo Canadian
#5
True, that's kind of like the AI/Bladerunner theme
 
kden604
#6
If they could make me a cool bionic eye or arm are something cool that was proven to be great... I'd sign up =) Of course I'm sure it wouldn't come cheap.. but maybe I could be the money they experiment on
 
jimmoyer
#7
While I have no doubt that these modifications will happen, can it really be considered evolution if many of the world's people cannot participate in it. ---------------------------------Reverend Blair.

My first reaction to your statement was to remind you that evolution's first prime directive, to borrow from Star Trek, is Survival of the Fittest.

My second reaction is, well maybe your thought still conforms to that tenet.

Perhaps allowing the option of evolving to all is based on fairness, and is that not an evolutionary idea?

And is fairness an idea that makes us strong?

And will it allow us to survive and evolve?

And yet who is to allocate fairness?

And the person who mentioned Bicentennial Man mentioned a really excellent movie. Might I also add Issac Assimov's Foundation and Robot series.

For a supposedly "B" writer that Issac Assimov is, I find a lot of far reaching substance there.
 
Reverend Blair
#8
Asimov was a great writer...I didn't like his I, Robot series or Foundation much but that's a matter of personal preference. His vision helped to define generations of s/f and has had an impact on "mainstream" literature as well.



Quote:

Perhaps allowing the option of evolving to all is based on fairness, and is that not an evolutionary idea?

And is fairness an idea that makes us strong?

I was thinking less of fairness than equality. Without equality you will breed resentment and prejudice. Our experience as a species is that resentment and prejudice, even if only perceived and not real, lead to strife and violence. If non-natural evolution becomes the purview of the wealthy, either as divided by class or by nation, the question becomes the extent of the weakness the lack of equality will lead to.

Quote:

And will it allow us to survive and evolve?

It may allow survival and evolution, it may encourage survival and evolution, or it may cause the opposite reactions. We won't know until it happens, but all major changes in society or in a species have those three possible outcomes.

Since we are discussing what is basically a managed evolutionary shift I would suggest that we can choose to manage the outcome by ensuring equality.

Quote:

And yet who is to allocate fairness?

That's a problem that we have yet to come to terms with. We've already institutionalized unfairness and inequality to a great degree. Perhaps our technological prowess is being out-stripped by our greed and lack of maturity as a species?
 
jimmoyer
#9
All great points, Reverend Blair.

There's a lot to this.

Your point about "managed" evolution is interesting.

There may be a point of thousands of years from now when the robotic race we created in our own image, sans the blemishes and flaws we hated in ourselves, may dimly remember who created them.

No creator or inventor can never anticipate all the ramifications of their creation.

Evolutionary theory itself is evolving to include the understanding that all life has built in itself seeds of its own demise and thus must transform into something else.

Teleoromes. Google it.
 
Extrafire
#10
Interesting thoughts. The addition of any kind of bionic component to individuals wouldn't qualify as evoluiton because it wouldn't be something that could be passed on to offspring through reproduction any more than someone could pass on an artificial hip.

Rev wrote:

Quote:

Taking that a step further...Would there be a hierarchy of purposely evolved humans? Would genetic manipulation make you more truly evolved than nano-technology? Would nano-technology make you more evolved than bionics?

Genetic manipulation would be the only way to produce humans that could pass on the genetic traits to offspring. But that would involve intelligent intervention in the process, disqualifying it from the standard definition of evolution. A point could be made that we had evolved to the point where we could interfere in the evolutionary process and speed it up, but I don't accept that.

I recently heard a program (Quirks and Quarks?) discussing AI and robots, and the concensus was that true artificial intelligence could never be developed, because computers only respond to programs. They could be made to mimic AI, but would never actually be AI. Food for thought, and food for Sci Fi.
 
Reverend Blair
#11
Nanotechnology could easily be passed along through bodily fluids and be inherent in any fetus as it developed though.
 
fubbleskag
#12
www.newscientist.com/article....mg18624945.800 (external - login to view)
 
Extrafire
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Reverend Blair

Nanotechnology could easily be passed along through bodily fluids and be inherent in any fetus as it developed though.

Yeah, but could that be considered evolution since it isn't actually a part of the organism, rather just like a parasite?
 
Extrafire
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by fubbleskag

www.newscientist.com/article....mg18624945.800 (external - login to view)

Wow! The future is now. I wonder if they would be applicable to help someone who does heavy manual labour?
 
Reverend Blair
#15
Quote:

Yeah, but could that be considered evolution since it isn't actually a part of the organism, rather just like a parasite?

I don't know. Nanotech works at the cellular level and could conceivably be making modifications to the physical being itself. If the technology, and therefore the results of that technology, are integral to the development of an organism and significantly alter that organism, then can that technology be considered to be part of that organism?

For example, let's say that the nanotechnology is designed to effect genetic and physical changes that make the organism 50% smarter and 50% stronger. The nanotechnology does that both through genetic manipulation starting at, and even before, conception. The nanotechnology is self-replicating and will be passed on to any off-spring through the generations and the organisms have little or no control over it.

Is that technology still an introduced force by the secone generation of organism? How about by the tenth generation? If the nanotechnology breaks down but the changes is has caused stay and continue to be passed on, then is that considered an evolutionary step?

It really is a grey area.
 
jimmoyer
#16
Great conversation here.

This science quest will always have a greater impact than the politics that dominates our attention and our newspapers.

I only wish that reporters and editors get it.

They could be leaders instead of disgusing themselves as objective.

Push away some of the news and make room for the news that really counts.

I think Frankenstein Science would make a great headline.

News is packaged, so let's do it.
 
Jo Canadian
#17
Here's something that will get you going.

US robot builds copies of itself (external - login to view)
 
jimmoyer
#18
We've seen so many sci-fi movies that we consider little the dangers.

Just think if we quadruple our lifespan, build a robot race, then the stories of vampires and their immortal problems will be our problems and most insightful to the new human condition.
 

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