100-year-old Scientist Predicts Self-aware AI Will Replace Humans

Science

100-year old futurist James Lovelock argued in his new book 'Novacene:  The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence' that cyborgs will be replacing humans eventually

Written By Tech Desk | Mumbai | Updated On:

A 100-year old independent scientist and futurist James Lovelock argued in his new book 'Novacene:  The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence' that human supremacy as prime understanders of cosmos is rapidly coming to an end and cyborgs will be able to replace humans in the world's 'new age.' In his new book, Lovelock described cyborgs as advancements to today's artificial intelligence (AI) and robot's systems. He also described the modern age cyborgs as self-aware and self-sufficient. Lovelock suggests the looming era of dominant Cyborgs, and he calls it Novacene, which means 'new age.'

Lovelock's understanding of the future differs from techno sceptics like computer scientist Roman Yampolskiy from University of Louisville and utopians like futurist Ray Kurzweil. While Yampolskiy predicts a complete machine dominance over humans Kurzweil envisions machines and humans forming a union. Lovelock's perspective, on the other hand, focuses more on the rise of technology with an evolution, considering his research over all these years and he instead considers ecological and biological systems. Only last month, Lovelock marked his 100th birthday.

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Once established, the cyborgs will remain dominant on our planet. "The Novacene," Lovelock says, "will probably be the final era of life on Earth..." Lovelock believes that advances like AlphaZero mean we don't have to look to the distant future to see how the story will unfold. "The crucial step that started the Novacene was, I think, the need to use computers to design and make themselves," he writes. "It now seems probable that a new form of intelligent life will emerge from an artificially intelligent precursor made by one of us, perhaps from something like AlphaZero."

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In the initial days of Novacene, things might not be bad awful for humans once they get used to being treated like houseplants. According to Lovelock, cyborgs and humans will have a shared interest in protecting Earth from climate change because neither humans nor cyborgs can tolerate temperatures beyond about 50 degrees Celsius. If humans fail to find ways to mitigate the effects of global warming, cyborgs will need to do it.

"They will, of course, bring something new to the party, probably in the field of geoengineering -- large-scale projects to protect or modify the environment. Such projects will be well within the capacity of electronic life," Lovelock writes.

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Cyborgs might be able to cover large areas of Earth's surface with mirrors to reduce the amount of absorbed solar heat. As the Novacene moves forward, the cyborgs might decide to form the new world of Earth's ecosystem, without a need for oxygen or water. As a result, the cyborgs would become Earth's final inhabitants, Lovelock predicts.

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