Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Aug 27 Bill Joy "Why the Future Doesn't Need Us"
While I find this piece a bit excessive in its pessimistic view of potential technological advances, I cannot argue without a doubt that we will never reach a time when Joy’s concerns are valid. I think it very unlikely that we will create super-robots capable of replacing ourselves, nor do I think all the contents of our being could be downloaded onto any form of mega-hard drive. I think machines are only as smart as the people operating them (although this leaves much room for negotiation as the levels of human intelligence vary significantly). I would posit that the most important part of this work is Joy’s references to Attali and the Dalai Lama actually; we must look to the best interests of others instead of ourselves to further human society. I am quite pleased actually that this is the conclusion and not something crazier than robots with human thoughts downloaded onto hard drives killing off all the humans and replicating with their grey goo matter. It brings the readers back to reality and to what ought to matter – human interaction instead of human/machine interaction.