We already live in a world of ‘haves and have-nots’, but in the future could that gap widen into an immense chasm resulting in a technocracy with two-tiers of genetically engineered humans? Predictions have been made with regards to robotics and genetic evolution, and there is data to back each theory up. This article briefly investigates each claim. 2008 saw a panoply of advances in robotics, artificial intelligence and nano-technology. A recent study by Spanish scientists looked into the impacts of robots on future society. International experts working on inventing and adapting cutting edge robots for practical use were interviewed during the study in order to find out by when we will be regularly using the models they are currently designing. All agreed on 2020 as a “technological inflection point,” because by then robots “will be able to see, act, speak, manage natural language and have intelligence, and our relationship with them will have become more constant and commonplace,” said López Peláez.
One of the more disconcerting predictions is “the insertion of robots into our bodies, such as intelligent implants in the brain, which will improve our rational thought, and nanorobots to be released into the blood to clean our arteries. Another important role will be the replacement of people working in the areas of security, surveillance or defence. According to Professor López Peláez, it is predicted that 40% of armies will be automated with robot soldiers by 2020 ‘just as a car factory is today, which will result in less human deaths during violent conflicts.’ ”
Thanks to our friends at DARPA there have been many more recent advancements in robotics for the military that will make that prediction a reality. These include robots that can go into small places that are equipped with cameras, lethal and “non-lethal” weapons, autonomous shooting robots (forutnately that have backfired-no pun intended- miserably, but that won’t stop their development), exoskeletons, flying spy-bugs, “big dog” that carries a 340-lb payload, a caterpillar-like robot that can climb vertical surfaces (including metal and glass), hovering robots to shoot down missiles, and autonomous full-sized vehicles. They’ve even created a “multi-robot pursuit system” to hunt down “non-cooperative human subjects.” And these are all the better to kill people with, of course.
According to the above-mentioned study, the “most striking feature of this technological revolution are social robots, machines with artificial intelligence, and with which we will have emotional and even intimate interactions. ‘A robot might be a more effective partner and a better person than the humans we actually have in our immediate lives: just as you can see dog owners talking to their pets today, soon we will be talking to robots,’ says López Peláez - to such an extent that sexual robots are currently being designed to carry out pleasurable personal interactions. These will be equipped with the required sensorial abilities, such as touch.”
There has already been a robot developed to be a companion for a lonely man - “her” name is Akiko. In June of 2005, research had begun at the NASA Goddard laboratory “to develop a high-tech covering that would enable robots to sense their environment and react to it, much like humans respond when something or someone touches their skin.” And in lab at John’s Jopkins, the “haptic artists” are working on “touch effects.”
If this seems a little too sci-fi, consider the following mundane advances in 2008 alone: various robots that can not only vacuum a room (Roomba), but cook food, greet a person at the door, fetch things, or just listen if you are lonely; pets (hamsters, dogs, lions, tigers, and various bears - oh my!), plants, dolls that show emotion depending on how they are treated, fish, robots designed to help teach autistic persons and more.
Not only has robotics made massive leaps forward but artificial intelligence (AI) has as well. Research into neural-networks and complex data-processing programs have made great progress in the last few years, especially in the realm of surveillance. In fact, Google is working on an AI program to gobble up not only all the data from the Internet, but all the books that are being put online as well. They are actively working on this AI program gaining sentience. Perhaps they’ve never seen the predictive programming movies Lawnmower Man or Battlestar Galactica? Or perhaps they have.
And nano-technology has become a part of our lives whether we know it or not. Nano are used in products such as personal care items and even the plastics that contain food items inside cardboard boxes. There are growing concerns about how this technology is affecting humans and its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, yet there are no labeling requirements on food or personal care products so consumers can make an educated choice about their purchases.
In 2007 evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry from the London School of Economics put forth the theory that, “The human race will one day split into two separate species, an attractive, intelligent ruling elite and an underclass of dim-witted, ugly goblin-like creatures.” Is this possible without genetic engineering or ‘enhancement?’ And who would genetically or technologically ‘enhance’ themselves anyway?
A Transhumanist, that’s who. The term “transhumanism” refers to those who are not opposed to using technology, including genetic and/or bionic enhancements, to improve the human body. “We can also use technological means that will eventually enable us to move beyond what some would think of as ‘human.’ ” Transhumansist are passionate about making advancements so they can have “better minds, better bodies and better lives” although they stress that one should be able to choose whether or not to be ‘enhanced.’ Lest one think they are a bunch of nutty geeks who will get nowhere with these silly notions, take a look at who’s on their Board of Directors. They are no slackers, and it seems that the ability to ‘enhance oneself’ is quickly coming into the realm of the present. One article on their blog states that school children, “are the transhumans of the future. The schools are superb areas for the popularization of transhumanism.” It goes on to give tips on how transhumanism (and posthumanism) can be incorporated into virtually every subject, but, it insists “it is all about communicating knowledge and arousing interest not indoctrinating!” It won’t be a very tough sell to children who are raised on live-action Transformers, Batman, Iron Man and other characters, as well as Bluetooth, virtual reality and online networked video-gaming.
Some scientists are concerned about the possiblity of “genetic genocide” stating that genetic enhancements may lead to creation of superhuman people and “given the history of humankind, it is extremely unlikely that we will see the posthumans as equal in rights and dignity to us, or that they will see us as equals.” He states his concerned that “the posthuman will come to see us (the garden variety human) as an inferior subspecies without human rights to be enslaved or slaughtered preemptively.”
Besides transhumanists, mainstream science is now more public about genetic manipulation. The Human Genome Project successfully mapped the entire human genome in 2003, adding an unheard of level of knowledge about our species. There are serious questions about the ethics of genetic enhancement and manipulation (outside of “gene therapy” for the seriously ill) that are and will continue to be hotly debated. At the present, prospective parents are being wooed with idea of being able to not only choose their child’s gender, but other qualities as well, as long as they have the money to pay of course. It has even been called “a sort of decentralized, do-it-yourself eugenics.”
The larger question of whether this ability will lead to a society of “two very separate classes of people: those who can afford genetic enhancements and those who cannot” is not an empty one.
The elite already have a quality of life far beyond us mere mortals, but they have worked studiously on their multi-generational plan to create a neo-feudalist society. They are are obsessed with the scientific outlook, genetics, are very careful to keep their genetic lines “pure” from the rest of us rabble and fund much of the genetics research. Eating only whole organic foods, exercising and not taking vaccines that are offered to us, using natural medicine instead of Western medicine are some ways they keep themselves healthy. They even have organic heirloom seeds saved up in around the world (and see here). Transhumanism is appealing to them because it has the potential to not only make them smarter, healthier and live longer, but with genetic engineering to make them more beautiful, too. And historically, they have been heavily involved in the eugenics movement and give generously to foundations and causes that promote abortion, “family planning,” sterility and population reduction. See Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement for the history and progress of their insidious plan.
Meanwhile, the rest of human race is being poisoned by the multiple toxins in genetically modified food, commercial drinks and water, and that are ubiquitous in the environment. Sodium fluoride has been shown to decrease intelligence and mercury, such as is found in vaccines and dental amalgam, actually kills human neurons (video). Other substances such as aspartame have been linked to neurodegenerative conditions and pthalates affect male fertility. We are barraged with barium, aluminium and other carcinogenic particulates from the aerial spraying that have been found to also contain Mycoplasma fermentens and an unknown biological organism that the Environmental Protection Agency refuses to investigate or identify. The net effect to our health is an explosion of preventable disases such as diabetes, Crohn’s, chronic fatigue syndrome, fybromyalgia and others, not to mention chronic obesity.
It seems as if we are being genetically engineered, so to speak, without our knowledge or consent. An unhealthy and ‘dim-witted’ population is much easier to enslave and control, which is part of the elite’s plan for their New World Order. We can choose to eat whole, organic foods, avoid processed foods and fluoridated water, exercise, use natural medicine and avoid overuse of antibiotics to guard our health against this onslaught upon our genetic health for our posterity. While we cannot affect the technological and robotic advancements we must choose not to let the “genetic evolution” prediction occur, but it will take a concerted effort and determination. Our freedom, health, and genetic integrity of our selves and our progeny are at stake.
January 1, 2009
Singularity Insitiute for Artificial Intelligence- Artificial General Intelligence and the Singularity - Suggested Reading
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