Assessing the Future of Human Evolution

What is the future of human evolution on this earth?  If you look around, there are many clues to be had as to where we, as a human species,could be heading.  Let us take a look at one of those clues…artificial intelligence.  Experiments in artificial intelligence have been an ongoing process for many years, and this continues to be so.

In fact, if we take a look back in ancient history, one can see the exact course where we have been heading. During the 5th Century, B.C, it was Aristotle who invented syllogistic logic.  During the 13th century, Roger Bacon, and Albert the Great, where said to be among the very first owners of ‘talking heads’,  The 15th century saw the invention of ‘moveable type’ in printing.  During the 15th and 16th centuries modern measuring machines where introduced, using lathes [these would be known as clocks].

The 16th century saw mechanical animals [among other unusual additions] being introduced by clockmakers.  In fact, it was Rabbi Loew, from Prague, who is said to have created the ‘Golem’.  This was a man, made of clay, which had allegedly been ‘brought to life’ [1580]. 

It was during the early part of the 17th century that Descartes stated that the bodies of animals are nothing more than complex machines.  And, it was also during this century that Pacal invented the very first mechanical digital calculating machine [1642].

In 1651 Thomas Hobbes published ‘The Leviathan’.  This book contained a mechanistic and combinatorial theory about artificial intelligence.

During the 18th century there was an explosion of mechanical toys, included in which where, ‘The Turk’ [the famous mechanical chess player]  [1769].  This mechanical chess player was designed by Baron Wolfgang [an Hungarian engineer and inventor]. 18th century advertisements billed this as ‘the chess playing automation’. 

This mechanical man/machine, was arguably capable of beating even the strongest players.  However, this was not fully mechanical, because the ‘mechanical chess-playing man’ was worked by that of a human being inside it, of course, this was a secret that had been kept from the general public.

Between the years 1811-1816, all machinery was destroyed by the Luddites. However, this did not stop people being fascinated in artificial intelligence, and in the year 1818, the character, Dr Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley, tried to reanimate dead flesh.  Throughout the 20th century, scientists continued to experiment with artificial intelligence, with some very interesting results.

One of the most notable results being the creation of the chess supercomputer.  In 1990,’Deep Blue’ played and beat the world chess champion of that year, Gary Kasporov, in a series of controversial matches.  During the late 1990s, and within the first decade of the 21st century, we are now experiencing, robot pets, which are commercially for sale on the market now, These toys can interact with human beings. 

There is still some way to go before we will truly be able to create a fully-fledged, artificially intelligent machine, but we will get there. Nintendo’s ; ‘Pets’ which interact with the user, and the robot pets in the paragraph above, are but the first stages toward human beings advancement in artificial intelligence. In the future, it could well be that human beings will cease to exist, replaced by artificially-intelligent machines, who will be able to think for themselves, and even develop a subconscious mind.

One must remember that once a creation is able to think for itself, then it becomes a whole new ball game. New laws would have to be formed by governments and the United Nations, recognizing the new life forms. Some kind of law would also have to be brought about, stopping the new life forms from attacking us.

The whole concept and scenario is fascinating, and continued experiments in artificial intelligence will bring forward that day when human beings will surely be replaced. Artificial intelligent machines, who will look like us, in every way, will almost certainly be the next stage in our advancement and development in the future of human evolution.