Friday, March 4, 2011

Apocalypse: Robot A.I. vs. Zombie Plague.

Two years ago I was asked by one of my good friends if I thought it was more likely the world would end by sentient computers or through some sort of zombie plague.  It was an interesting question and I wanted to give you my answer I gave him.  I am curious what some of you might think as well if you have any thoughts on the matter
Though some time has past since I originally wrote most of this I think we are still miles away from true sentient artificial intelligence.  We are getting closer with leaps and bounds with neat stuff but I don't think A.I. will ever be perfected in such a way that it will become independent of us and attack us ala the “Terminator” or to a lesser extent “Blade Runner” if we have A.I it will likely follow the Asimov laws of robotics:

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
 2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
since that is the basis for what “iRobot” is about in a sense (as Asimov wrote the original story) I am not very sure how much it would deviate from the truth.  But it really is a stretch to say that whoever creates an autonomous machine for the sole reason of service to mankind would make them go against their own programming.  If anything those laws of robotics at least would be the core programming most folks would center most A.I. around.

Now we come to the meat of the question (no pun intended).  The vampire/zombie plague scenario.  Unlikely, but still in this day and age where you can turn on the news and see chaos in mob mentality its not exactly hard to imagine. 

I think it is easier to imagine that if there was a biological sickness that rendered folks mindless of everything but the most basic instincts save primal group mentality. Then yeah people would likely be screwed.  I don’t think folks would ever be the actual walking dead or vampires but mindless and primal like rage zombies…that seems less a stretch. Vampires aren’t even an option because the whole friggin' world gets covered in sunlight and that is a pretty big thing to have an aversion to. 

A zombie is at least more likely because also we know virus mutate constantly (every year you got to get a new offing flu shot and there is still no cure for a common cold).  So hell maybe a mutant genetic freak of a virus gets lucky and causes the doom of humanity

Wow when I put it that way I suppose that is the big contest isn't it?  The evolution and mutation of viruses vs. human A.I technology.  I’m still going go with the viral mutation on this one.  It seems to be the one more likely to happen in a realistic time span.

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