We’ve all seen those grim post-apocalyptic sci-fi flicks where machines rule but if Doctor Seth Shostak is to be believed, it looks like that may become real in the future.
Actually, Shostak is not alone in his belief. Other scientists also think – and fear – that the 21st century may be ‘humanity’s last’ century. In the years to come, humans may be replaced by ‘genetically engineered super-men’ or cyborgs, as we call them from the movies.
SETI Institute’s Dr Seth Shostak believes this could be “humanity’s last century.”
Doctor Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute in Mountain View, California and according to him, there have been three huge scientific advances that will lead to the dreadful future where humans may become extinct.
“New technology will allow us to evolve down paths we choose, as opposed to the path nature decides,” Shostak shared.
“We can eventually produce offspring that are as different from us as dogs are from gray wolves. The haphazard, bottom-up alterations to our species occasioned by Darwinian evolution will yield to the directed improvements of future engineers.
Basically, this means new technology will allow us to evolve down paths we choose, as opposed to the path nature decides, potentially splintering the species.”
He then went on specifying the three technologies namely genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and space travel – all of which, he thinks, can change the human race as we know it.
The emergence of artificial intelligence could contribute to humanity’s demise.
Among the three, he thinks artificial intelligence is the scariest.
“The development of general artificial intelligence will surely be the most dramatic driver of change, because it is less a matter of improving our descendants than replacing them with our engineered successors.”
There’s no telling but in the future, Shostak believes humans may ‘merge’ with machines like uploading personalities to machines. The result, he says, “will not be Homo sapiens as we’ve known [them] for 50 thousand years.”
Famous physicist Stephen Hawking also believed we should colonize the solar system to survive in the future.
While Doctor Shostak’s statements may sound ridiculous to some, revered physicist Stephen Hawking, when he was still alive, has said something along those lines as well. In an interview with Radio Times, Hawking warned that the planet may encounter a huge disaster in the next 1,000 to 10,000 years. He also said it is ‘necessary’ for humans to colonize the solar system soon in order to survive.
He went on to add that one of the biggest threats humans now face is advances in science and technology, such as nuclear weapons and genetically engineered viruses.
To sum up Hawking’s whole point, he said:
“We are not going to stop making progress, or reverse it, so we must recognize the dangers and control them.”
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