Aaagh! A Ghost in the Machine

I have always trusted computer systems, never doubting their ability to operate and function as designed. Machines are slaves that will follow its Master's (in this case the software's design) orders blindly, regardless of the sanity of those orders. I take a bizarre sense of comfort from that fact, machines are consistent, predictable and reliable while us 'meatbags' are not. Yet at any given opportunity the movie industry pounces on the concept of machines running our lives and portrays it as a bad thing, le gasp!

Terminator, Stealth, Wall-e, The Matrix, War Games, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Eagle Eye, 9, i-Robot, Blade Runner, Virus ...and the list goes on.

As you may have guessed what the above films have in common is focus on artificial intelligence becoming unwieldy, untrustworthy and ultimately deciding human rule is no longer required, and in the process of gaining this self awareness human lives are endangered or lost. While entertaining these films have had a profound effect on the collective psyche, we fear automation...progress. This mentality is absurd and potentially harmful to our development towards the most significant future step of mankind the SINGULARITY.

I believe that our progress as a species is intrinsically intertwined with that of our greatest creation, the machine intelligence. In the following weeks I intend to justify this position by discussing articles and papers published on the topic, with the hope to change a few peoples` minds. Resistance is futile.

Posted on January 2, 2011 and filed under Article, General, Intelligent Systems, Software Design, Software Safety.