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  • As machines take over: what does it mean to be human? Here’s what we know.

As machines take over: what does it mean to be human? Here’s what we know.

Opinions of contributing entrepreneurs are their own.

Our imagination often gives us clues about what the future might look like.

Everyone remembers the future of the human race in the terminator series. Robots, almost indistinguishable from humans, roam the world, destroying whatever human life they can find. In addition to pointing out what may be the case, science fiction has also shaped the narrative that robots will eventually replace humans.

In an alternate ending, we can end with dune pills: AI becomes an artifact of the past, a cautionary tale told to generations of human ancestors about how autonomous machines attempted to take over the universe, only to be thwarted by humanity and banned completely.

But amid all the confusion, one vital question remains: How will emerging technology change our understanding of what it means to be human?

From ancient times to contemporary thinkers, the definition of what makes humanity unique has varied. But as AI, biocomputing and web3 progress, the lines between machines and humans are blurring. Many experts, optimists or not, are concerned that these tools will essential elements of being human change.

What does it mean to be human in the age of hybrid intelligence, blockchain and machine learning? Let’s take a closer look at recent technological developments and what the transition to hybrid intelligence means for traditional views of humanity.

Related: How Will Artificial Intelligence Affect Real Estate?

The intersection of biocomputing and AI

Biocomputing is a field that uses biologically based molecules, such as DNA or proteins, to perform computing tasks. Imitating the genius of nature can completely change the paradigm of understanding when it comes to computation and storage of data. The field has shown promise in cryptography and drug discovery. However, biocomputers are still limited compared to non-biocomputers because they cannot cool themselves properly and can do more than two things at once.

However, advances in AI are booming. Since 2012, interest in AI, especially machine learning, has been renewed, leading to a dramatic increase in funding and investment. Machine learning models ingest large amounts of data and infer patterns.

More recently, generative AI has exploded in popularity with the release of major AI models such as MidJourney, ChatGPT, and Stable Diffusion. Generative AI is a class of AI algorithms that generate new data or content that closely resembles existing data, almost identical to human-made data.

But AI has its limitations. Most generative models can handle only one type of data: text, images, or sounds. Although the multimodal GPT-4 was released in mid-March, much more work is needed to combine AI with multiple modalities.

AI has given biocomputing the potential to unlock new insights into complex biological systems and accelerate scientific discoveries. For example, AI can analyze large genomic datasets to identify genetic variations associated with specific diseases. AI can also be used in drug discovery by predicting the properties of new molecules or optimizing already existing ones.

Towards augmented reality

Another area benefiting from advancements is augmented reality (AR). AR systems contain three basic functions: A combination of real and virtual worlds, real-time interaction and accurate 3D registration of virtual and real objects.

AR often requires virtual reality (VR) tooling, such as large headsets. While the headsets advance in software, they are limited by their hardware. Users suffer from nausea and wearing the headsets for too long. It is far from the reality envisioned with Skynet as ruler.

Related: 3 Entrepreneurial Uses of Artificial Intelligence

The emergence of web3

The emergence of Web 3.0 is also likely to play an important role in the convergence of these technologies. Web3 is the next evolution of the internet, based on a different way of designing the internet using blockchain, which is a open, transparent and decentralized way of communicating online.

Web3 has the potential to take power away from big tech companies by returning ownership of data to individual internet users. This could dismantle big data and solve data privacy issues.

Web3 also enables new human-machine interactions. For example, Web3 could enable secure, decentralized marketplaces for AI networks owned and operated by those who use it.

All these technologies are currently developing in isolation. Eventually, a combination of hybrid human and machine intelligence will emerge.

The concept of humanity in an artificial age

Hybrid intelligence combines human and machine intelligence resulting in more capable operations than the two alone, effectively blurring the boundaries between biology and technology.

But what does the fading distinction mean for humanity?

In ancient philosophy, the concept of humanity was centered around the idea of ​​a soul. Plato, a Greek philosopher, student of Socrates and one of the most important figures in Western philosophy, created a myth to describe the structure of the human soul in dialogue Phaedrus.

According to the myth, the human soul resembles a chariot drawn by two horses – one is white, representing liveliness, and the other black, representing desire. The horses are coupled to a chariot, on which a rider sits. The rider represents reason. People are often pulled in opposite directions by our liveliness (courage, pride, and honor) and desire or appetite (lust, hunger, or thirst.) The charioteer’s job is to lead the entire ensemble through reason, which causes internal conflict.

The human soul consists of desire and the mind is guided by our reason. But machines already reason much better than most humans. If machines begin to experience emotions, desires and empathy, what makes them different from us?

AI, the sun and electric sheep

Kazuo Ishiguro writes in from both sides of man and machine Clara and the sun. Klara is an AI-powered robot bought by Josie, a young girl experiencing the potentially deadly side effects of being genetically altered to improve her academic performance.

Although Klara is composed of artificial materials, paradoxically enough it gets its nutrition from nature, the sun. At one point, Josie’s mother pays for a “portrait” of Josie, a robotic replica of Josie. When Josie dies, she plans to transfer Klara’s consciousness into Josie’s robot replica. In fact, Klara would live on as Josie.

Philip K. Dick explores similar themes in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. In this post-apocalyptic world, androids are almost indistinguishable from humans. Rick Deckard is tasked with tracking down and retiring rogue androids. As he carries out his mission, Deckard begins to question the morality of his actions and whether the androids are really ‘alive’.

While humanoid androids are a far cry from the current state of technology, these stories highlight a battle we are approaching in the age of hybrid intelligence.

Some philosophers argue that even now we should consider electronic devices, such as smartphones extension of our mind. The momentum of technology drives us into internal conflict and confusion about what is human and what only appears human.

Related: Artificial intelligence and its role in healthcare

To infinity and beyond

Collaboration between humans and machines can greatly improve our quality of life. We are already approaching a world where we can work alongside intelligent machines to solve complex problems, create new works of art and explore unknown territories. Imagine personalized medical treatments tailored to an individual’s unique genetic makeup.

The rise of hybrid intelligence is a testament to our ability as humans to push the boundaries of what is possible. As we explore the possibilities of biocomputing, AI and augmented reality, we should be open to the idea that humanity may soon not be confined to the purely biological. And this is the promise of hybrid intelligence, a future that is at once exciting and frightening.


Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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