a dystopian scenario – (en)

A DYSTOPIAN SCENARIO
First let us postulate that the computer, robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotech scientists succeed in developing intelligent machines that can do all things better than human beings can do them. In that case presumably all work will be done by vast, highly organized systems of machines and no human effort will be necessary. Either of two cases might occur. The machines might be permitted to make all of their own decisions without human oversight, or else human control over the machines might be retained.
If the machines are permitted to make all their own decisions, we can’t make any conjectures as to the results, because it is impossible to guess how such machines might behave. We only point out that the fate of the human race would be at the mercy of the machines. It might be argued that the human race would never be foolish enough to hand over all the power to the machines. But we are suggesting neither that the human race would voluntarily turn power over to the machines nor that the machines would willfully seize power. What we do suggest is that the human race might easily permit itself to drift into a position of such dependence on the machines that it would have no practical choice but to accept all of the machines’ decisions. As society and the problems that face it become more and more complex and machines become more and more intelligent, people will let machines make more of their decisions for them, simply because machine-made decisions will bring better results than man-made ones. Eventually a stage may be reached at which the decisions necessary to keep the system running will be so complex that human beings will be incapable of making them intelligently. At that stage the machines will be in effective control. People won’t be able to just turn the machines off, because they will be so dependent on them that turning them off would amount to suicide.
A DYSTOPIAN SCENARIO (4)
On the other hand it is possible that human control over the machines may be retained. In that case the average man may have control over certain private machines of his own, such as his car or his personal computer, but control over large systems of machines will be in the hands of a tiny elite —just as it is today, but with two differences. Due to improved techniques the elite will have greater control over the masses; and because human work will no longer be necessary the masses will be superfluous, a useless burden on the system. If the elite is ruthless they may simply decide to exterminate the mass of humanity. If they are humane they may use propaganda or other psychological or biological techniques to reduce the birth rate until the mass of humanity becomes extinct, leaving the world to the elite. Or, if the elite consists of soft-hearted liberals, they may decide to play the role of good shepherds to the rest of the human race. They will see to it that everyone’s physical needs are satisfied, that all children are raised under psychologically hygienic conditions, that everyone has a wholesome hobby to keep him busy, and that anyone who may become dissatisfied undergoes “treatment” to cure his “problem.” “Of course, life will be so purposeless that people will have to be biologically or psychologically engineered either to remove their need for the power process or make them “sublimate” their drive for power into some harmless hobby. These engineered human beings may be happy in such a society, but they will most certainly not be free. They will have been reduced to the status of domestic animals.(1)
Note by Dugutigui: Most science fictional and futurist visions of the future tend towards the negative —and for good reasons: our environment is a mess, we have a nasty tendency to misuse technologies, and we’re becoming increasingly capable of destroying ourselves; but, for me it isn’t obvious that robots will be superior to us and, if they ever were, they may be less troublesome than my neighbors next door. In addition, my vision of the future doesn’t presuppose that robots and humans will remain separate creatures. Many scientists think humans will gradually incorporate technology into their own bodies —which makes perfect sense to me— thus eliminating the situation that Joy envisions.
What do you think the future holds for us?
.
A dystopian scenario – From the piece by Bill Joy: “Why the future doesn’t need us”.
(1) The passage final quote is from Kaczynski’s Unabomber Manifesto, which was published jointly, under duress, by The New York Times and The Washington Post to attempt to bring his campaign of terror to an end.

About Dugutigui

In the “Diula” language in Mali, the term « dugutigui » (chief of the village), literally translated, means: «owner of the village»; «dugu» means village and «tigui», owner. Probably the term is the result of the contraction of «dugu kuntigui» (literally: chief of the village).
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21 Responses to a dystopian scenario – (en)

  1. stevehi says:

    The future seems ominous to say the least. There are many in this world the feel the over population problem needs to be dealt remedied with depopulation. The current and future world of mechanisation in
    pronouncing the majority obsolete. This is not my view but the view of the globalist that wrote UN Agenda 21. They believe that the world population is not sustainable. Take a look, it’s easy to find Agenda 21. Good luck.

    • Dugutigui says:

      Thanks for your comment!
      I have criticized in the past and in several posts the Agenda 21, which in many aspects, such as depopulation, I feel a profound aberration. Moreover, the UN has increasingly more limited credibility, and need for profound [impossible] reform to be able to confront the most pressing global issues. I’ve been a UN contractor in several peacekeeping missions in Africa and the only thing I can assert is that the United Nations has proven itself as a failure and will continue being useless, and what is worst: the UN needs more conflict countries than conflict countries need the UN …

  2. Great article D. You hit a chord again.
    When I think of the future I cannot see a very positive thing. Given the greed, lack of consideration and feeling that many humans display the future can only be gloomy…

  3. heartmama says:

    I’m sorry to have nothing magnificent to add to this conversation, but I find it fascinating to contemplate.

    • Dugutigui says:

      I like your comment very much: the world is too full to talk about 🙂 … when the soul lies down in that grass, reading, listening to music, or just silence.

  4. oddmanout215 says:

    Nice piece. Great line — :”…For me it isn’t obvious that robots will be superior to us and, if they ever were, they may be less troublesome than my neighbors next door.” We must have the same sort of neighbors…..William Gibson wrote about human-digital hybrids back in the 1980s, before most of us knew what the hell digital technology was…

  5. Muy bueno .Hay una película de Chaplin,que mostraba como imponían el trabajo en serie,repetitivo .Uno se convertía en maquina para lograr entre todos mas productos en menos horas.
    .Un abrazo

  6. Kjackson00 says:

    Reblogged this on Kyle Jackson Arts: Thoughts and their progression and commented:
    This is a must read!!!

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