I, Human

Nick Glunt

When I was younger, I remember my math teacher telling my class not to place too much trust in calculators.

“The calculator is only as smart as the person behind it,” she warned.

And I believed her. Strangely, that’s the way I’ve always felt about technology since then.

Technology’s got to be less intelligent than humanity. Otherwise, we could never have created it, right?

So when I was surfing The Associated Press articles today, I was surprised to find myself a little disheartened at a specific advancing technology. As it turns out, Google is testing cars that can steer without drivers.

Now, this seems like a really cool advancement in technology. At least at first. It means potentially less accidents, safer roads and better speed limit obedience. It means more time to get work done or to take a nap behind the wheel.

Mostly, however, it means we’re one step closer to creating artificial intelligence. If cars can drive on their own, obey speed limits and traffic signs, know traffic patterns and avoid car accidents — all of which these ones can — then what’s next?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from future-set movies, television shows and novels, it’s that artificial intelligence is a bad freaking idea. If we give any semblance of intelligence to another form of being, how long would it take for those beings to turn on us? We can’t live peacefully with other humans, let alone another race of sentient beings. It wouldn’t take long for them to realize they’d be better off without us.

Computers have a much higher capacity for intelligence than humans do. They have access to the Internet, which gives them virtually unlimited resources. And if they were given intelligence, they could cut us off from that resource.

Not to mention, if humanity puts that artificial intelligence in any sort of humanoid body (like a robot or android), they’d be physically stronger than us as well. The only thing missing would be emotion, which some argue makes us weaker anyways.

We’re pretty much just spongy pink blobs of emotion, after all. We all know it wouldn’t take much effort for a race of mechanical sentinels to wipe us out.

Call it a paranoid rant, but I’m standing firm in this topic. We need to stop developing technology that makes machines more intelligent. The more intelligent machines get, the lazier and therefore less intelligent humanity gets.

Soon enough, that calculator won’t need someone behind it anymore. And those are the days we need to avoid.

Contact Nick Glunt at [email protected].