Robots will inherit the universe

MIT's Nexi

Now this idea actually comes from my original posting on the National Examiner and also in part by Ray Kurzweil, but it should be considered nonetheless.  Below is my short argument for why a Star Wars like existence won’t happen, but a robotic one can, and will.  The key is not destroying ourselves until after the Technological Singularity has given us the technology to create entities that surpass our intelligence.

Humans are stuck on earth because we need it for sustenance and energy. We’ve had the technology to go out into space for a while now but it seems we are tethered to the blue planet indirectly. Humans need oxygen, but fortunately we can build machines that we call robots that don’t. We may have trouble getting off this planet for good, but we can build machines that can.

There is no conceivable boundary to technology, and as long as the algorithms get there before we destroy ourselves, robots will live on, anywhere they want.

I’ve been saying for a long time now that we are going to simply blow ourselves up. With technology to make our lives ‘better’, comes technology to kill. And for some reason, humans just can’t go without dominating each other for any extended period of time, which is why as long as there have been history books, there has been war. Imagine if the Vikings or Romans had the ability to build an atomic bomb. Imagine what kind of war will be fought in 100 years, and the kind of smart weapons that will be used.

I guess the only thing we can hope for is that some people are left over to populate the earth again, and the inevitable cycle will start again. Maybe that has already happened before. Maybe the lost city of Atlantis had spaceships and electric transport, maybe ancient civilizations were smarter than we have evidence to believe. Egyptians calculated the circumference of the earth and in 1492 the earth was round. Maybe there was a war that a few thousand unknowing souls made it through and civilization started over.

Those familiar with Ray Kurzweil and the technological singularity know where my thought pattern is coming from. The technological singularity, when robots become smarter than us and we as humans are no longer needed. Robots will have algorithms to fix themselves when they break. Robots will have algorithms to learn, at incredible speed, better ways to do things. They will reproduce and build themselves and adapt to situations, based on the unfathomable amount of capacity and speed of their ‘brains’.

Robots will be our children in a big picture sense. Long after human’s have perished, robots will live on and expand into the distance reaches of the universe. Of course, even at close to light speed, it would take 100,000 years to get to the edge of the milky way, but robots have nothing but time. Imagine a complex robot smarter than you or me, programmed with the knowledge to collect and rebuild itself many times over, and use energy collected from stars and planets it visits to keep going and going, Into eternity.

Every day it seems we take something that used to be science fiction and drop the ‘fiction’ part. Imagine telling someone 400 years ago that you can talk to someone, without wires, instantly on the other side of the earth like they’re in the room with you. Now imagine telling someone 50 years ago that we can build something the size of your fingernail that does millions of calculations a second.

If an alien race landed on earth, they wouldn’t be frail creatures like us.  They would be the mechanical creations of some other analog evolutionary being.  At that point, as Dr. Kurzweil would say, the universe wakes up to its potential.


September 24, 2009. Random Rants.


  1. the_judge replied:

    From another angle – if we could do this then other intelligent life forms in the Galaxy would have done this as the chances that we are alone is slim and the chances that we are the first intelligent life is also slim (Fermi paradox). Therefore either it is impossible or there is a limit to what Robots can accomplish even with the Singularity or we are the first and only life forms to get this far or robots will make the same mistakes that we have as they are based at least for the first revs on our blueprint. Think also that even if we could have robots flying around the galaxy we do not have an energy source that could last the millions of years to the next stars with the laws of physics as we understand them being true.

  2. Sir Eggs Benedict replied:

    Not necessarily. There are roughly 100 billion galaxies in the known universe, and roughly the same amount of stars in each. If we take the universe to be 13-14 billion years old, with actual elements and formation of livable planets much much later, it would be impossible to tell if this has happened somewhere else. The chances are slim that we are the first to have life, but the closest galaxy is 2.5 million light years away. Although, humans will be making these algorithms and they will have flaws because we do, but maybe these algorithms can tell the robot to change itself when necessary.

    Just a thought, great comment though

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