will modify the Earth
to suit to their needs,
which might lead to
the extinction of humans...
Noting our physical dependence on smart devices, the near ubiquitous presence of machines in our lives, and our obsession with online networks, Musk says the only thing stopping us from being being full-blown cyborgs (the kind imagined in movies) is input/output limitations.
But that day is on the
horizon, and independent scientist
James Lovelock argues that it
could come sooner than we think.
The new dominant species will be a self-sufficient robot/artificial intelligence hybridization that aims to modify the Earth.
Lovelock says it is difficult, if not impossible, for us to know what the cyborgs will look like because exponential technological growth over the next several decades and centuries will so dramatically alter computer systems and processing platforms.
Lovelock imagines future cyborgs could be spherical objects, or, he says,
Lovelock's theory is an offshoot of the Gaia hypothesis he developed in 1974.
The Gaia hypothesis posits that the Earth is a single, self-regulating system that pushes and evolves to facilitate more complex forms of life and intelligence.
Future cyborgs, it follows, will evolve from today's rudimentary systems and will recognize the need for more sustainable ecosystems. This doesn't necessarily mean they will kill humans off, as imagined by the Terminator movies, but they will likely seek to modify the Earth.
They may terraform the Earth to make it more silicon-friendly and, in the process, make it less hospitable for carbon-based life forms.
Lovelock is certainly not the only thinker to imagine a future world run by advanced artificial intelligence entities.
Ray Kurzweil, author of The Singularity Is Near, and dozens of other futurists speculate that exponential technological growth will make intelligences of the future incomprehensible to our current minds.
The big question is,