Friday, July 7, 2017

Being Machines

I'm in a blackout. I have electricity, I'm fine. Fridge is cold, I even have the air conditioning on, it's July 5, 2017 3:45 pm pacific time, Planet Earth. It's hot, 34 degrees Celsius. (Figure it out, America.) I'm in a blackout because I have no internet. A few years ago, count them on one hand, being without the internet would have been a minor inconvenience, now it's a fucking catastrophe.

I can't access my cloud, Alexa and My Google have become useless. There goes all my entertainment, information access, past, present and future. I can't invoice for my writing, I can't submit this essay. I can't trade the markets. (Yes, I trade, two hours a day every morning. No I'm not rich. I have no secret trick to sell you. I write, trade and work a day job.) Oh, I can't access the emails I require to do that day job, so no day job either.

Except, that's not really true because I can get email, the internet and therefore access to everything with my cell phone. But not without using up precious, expensive data. My wife and I eek out our meagre mobile cyber experience with only two gigs of data shared between us, per month. This is enough, with our Pixels plugged into Mother Google, for them to still constantly be surprising us. "So," asks the phone, "what did you think of that Hamburger you just ate?"

Granted, I have invited all this into my life. I am a technophile of sorts. I don't go to extremes, I'm not rich by Western standards, so I don't have everything that's out there. But I speak to machines who talk back to me everyday. I go to McDonalds, eat that hamburger and allow Google to know exactly where I am, what I am doing. Wifi, internet, satellites, GPS, these things, at least plus me plus phone equals my datasphere.

Even ordering that hamburger involves interacting with a machine now, but don't worry because my phones also gonna say, (you have to imagine my phone with a Californian accent,) "Hey Dumbass, you only took 987 steps today, you better get walking, cuz you just ate, like a thousand calories." I don't mind, but maybe you do? Maybe you think it's intrusive. You can turn it off, as I originally had. "I don't need Google organizing all my shit for me!" This if fine, but I found, as you may too, that if you want to use certain features, it's a lot easier to just turn them all on.

Your permissions don't much matter, because it's not going to be very long before such technologies, or rather the use of such technologies becomes obligatory. The world of the future, provided things proceed unhindered by needless damages, will be one of increased time getting up close and personal with technology. This does not bother me. Put me in a cyborg, as soon as they're ready. Plug me into the Matrix, I'll be a head in a jar, whatever. (Maybe not the Beta versions.) My wife, not so much. She's afeared that the non-flesh is unnatural, perhaps faulty. Maybe she's right, certainly at first...Perhaps you side one way or the other.

This too, isn't going to matter in the end. That future, always ahead of us, a dream until we make it a reality, will continue to be obligated to grow, working toward increased time spent becoming technology. I for one will welcome our new Robot paradigm, it is the opportunity for the continued potential of consciousness, namely mine, but also on a grander scale. Even if I didn't, we're all going to turn around and cars will be driving us, we'll all blink and be out of a manufacturing job, we'll all take a breath to discover there's no longer a need.

It's just a question of time. I think it more likely that Artificial Intelligence will be a transferred person before a created person. Once we can do that, put a person, a real consciousness inside a machine, any machine can be anybody, nobody, everybody. We can copy, paste, edit. All bets are off. 

Then it becomes a question of who is keeping the power on?

If you're reading this I've escaped my blackout.