The End of the Human Being


jimmoyer
#1
Other than the usual, but no less disturbing, predictions of the end of humans, I would like to list some possibilities often not discussed.

1: Robots taking over

Hans Moravec is a research professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute in Pittsburgh:

"Robot controllers double in complexity (processing power) every year or two.

They are now barely at the lower range of vertebrate complexity, but should catch up with us within a half-century. By 2050 I predict that there will be robots with humanlike mental power, with the ability to abstract and generalise.

"These intelligent machines will grow from us, learn our skills, share our goals and values, and can be viewed as children of our minds.

Not only will these robots look after us in the home, but they will also carry out complex tasks that currently require human input, such as diagnosing illness and recommending a therapy or cure.

They will be our heirs and will offer us the best chance we'll ever get for immortality by uploading ourselves into advanced robots."

Chance of super-intelligent robots in the next 70 years: High
Danger score: 8

2: Telomere erosion

Reinhard Stindl, a medical doctor at the University of Vienna, says every species contains an "evolutionary clock", ticking through the generations and counting down towards an inevitable extinction date:

"On the end of every animal's chromosomes are protective caps called telomeres.

Without them our chromosomes would become unstable. Each time a cell divides it never quite copies its telomere completely and throughout our lifetime the telomeres become shorter and shorter as the cells multiply.

Eventually, when they become critically short, we start to see age-related diseases, such as cancer, Alzheimer's, heart attacks and strokes.

"However, it is not just through our lifetime that telomeres get shorter.

My theory is that there is a tiny loss of telomere length from one generation to the next, mirroring the process of ageing in individuals.

Over thousands of generations the telomere gets eroded down to its critical level. Once at the critical level we would expect to see outbreaks of age-related diseases occurring earlier in life and finally a population crash.

Telomere erosion could explain the disappearance of a seemingly successful species, such as Neanderthal man, with no need for external factors such as climate change."

Chances of a human population crash due to telomere erosion during the next 70 years: Low
Danger score: 8
 
zenfisher
#2
Hey... I'm still waiting for the flying car they predicted in the seventies. They wer supposed to appear at the end of the nineties...ain't seen one yet...
 
LadyC
#3
That's 'cause they're gray.... and you live in Seattle......
 
Hard-Luck Henry
#4
How the world will end (external - login to view). A nice, cheerful start to the day.
 
Reverend Blair
#5
Looks like we aren't as smart as we thought we were , Henry.
 
EmmaDibbs
#6
The super volcano thing is a bummer- watched the programme on the telly and it wouldn't be the best thing to happen, although it would wipe out most of the US....
 
peapod
#7
I watched that one to Emma, I never realized what was under yellowstone park
 
EmmaDibbs
#8
I know...it is scary to think what is bubbling around there.
 
glu
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by jimmoyer

Other than the usual, but no less disturbing, predictions of the end of humans, I would like to list some possibilities often not discussed.

1: Robots taking over

If this technology is advancing as quickly as suggested - it seems to me that we're in the process of creating a new life form - albeit electronic.
Anything that can procreate is considered life - whether we recognize it or not.
If humanity is the creator of this life form it doesn't bode well...

Happy Mother's Day!
 
jimmoyer
#10
I'm not sure what it bodes.

No creator or inventor has ever known the complete consequences of its actions.

It's an impossibility for it would mean the creator can predict the exact transit of the future.

All I know is that the robots will not be a concoction of cheap, crappy electronics, but rather a biological electronic organic being.

And so the last generation of who we are might get a shot at a much larger lifespan this way, one that rivals the immortal vampires.
 
zenfisher
#11
Hmmmm...if its has organic components wouldn't that make it a cyborg?
 
jimmoyer
#12
You must realize the article preceding the noun is a huge faux pas on your part.

The article "a" never precedes the noun, "cyborg."

The references are never singular.

Examples:

"They" are cyborg.

"We" are cyborg.

Resistance is futile zenfisher.
 
zenfisher
#13
A cyborg went for walk.

You could of course use "the", but that would assume familiarity.

You do know of course this is a web forum and not a high school English class
 
LadyC
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by zenfisher

Resistance is futile zenfisher.

You do know of course that he was being like a nerdy sci-fi freak.

He gotcha good.
 
zenfisher
#15
OOohhh I'm quaking in my boots Lady C. I got got. Hey but I'm a nerdy sci fi freak. Ya see though..."the" does lead to familiarity
 
LadyC
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by zenfisher

Hey but I'm a nerdy sci fi freak

Ahhh... that explains why you didn't get the joke.







 
zenfisher
#17
I didn't say I didn't get it. But yo may not have got mine.
 
LadyC
#18
Yeah, I did. I just thought I'd get one more in.
 
bhoour
#19
um..........a bit morbid........eh?

carry on..........as you were.
 

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