Human Singularity And Artificial Intelligence: The Prospect Of Humanity – OpEd
By Hamayun Khan
Even though swift advances in technology are bringing us closer to industry 5.0, it is concerning how humankind could be supplanted by artificial intelligence (AI).
Elon Musk cautions us in one of his widely watched videos that AI could prove far more deadly than nuclear weapons for mankind. He continues his speech with the phrase “mark my words” to reaffirm his prediction. On the other hand, many AI experts believe that human singularity is a possible future period when technological advancement becomes unstoppable and permanent, causing significant changes to human civilization. Such changes could either be positive or negative. In case of positive changes, many heavy and nearly impossible jobs will be made easy and possible. While the case of negative, ordinary people will suffer due to job loss and several other threats.
I compare the concept of human singularity to the phenomenon of the universe. Similar to how the universe originated as a single tiny particle, has been expanding ever since, and will eventually return to its starting shape where it will most likely wipe out. In terms of technical development, it is also thought that humans are approaching a moment of maturity before steeply declining. This is conceivable either through an asteroid strike, an alien invasion, or the introduction of cutting-edge technology that will be difficult to handle. As a result, AI machines and robots will take the position of ordinary humans as the primary workforce. For instance, recent research from Oxford University showed that AI is going to be superior to humans in several tasks by the years 2024, 2026, 2031, 2049, 2053, and 2031, respectively. They include various activities, such as language translation, writing essays for academic purposes, selling goods, and conducting surgeries. In the upcoming years, AI will permeate every part of our lives, ultimately leading to super-intelligent robots that can outsmart us.
Therefore, the concept of human singularity, if mainstreamed, will shape humanity into a more dependent-on-technology form. As a result, such an unprecedent dynamic may change the course of humans into coded living beings. This is due to the fact that according to promoters of the Human Singularity theory, humans are going to be rapidly approaching a time when they can be transformed via the use of cutting-edge technology, extending human lives, enhancing human cognitive capacities, and even synchronizing human consciousness with that of computers. Some contend that the fusion of biology and technology will usher in a new age of existence for humans, one in which our physical and biological limitations will no longer apply. On the other hand, Human Singularity’s critics argue that the concept looks more unrealistic, and that several technological and moral issues must be resolved before humans can arrive at such a state. They suggest that combining humans and robots entails serious dangers, such as loss of privacy, the possibility of exploitation of humans, and the development of novel social injustice. The idea of Human Singularity is still a subject of intense discussion and conjecture, and it is unclear whether or when humanity will ever arrive at such a level.
The predictions made in the renowned book “Homo Dues” by Noah Harari, in which he makes the case that humans would eventually start to seek immortality, present more evidence that the human body will be synced with AI technology. This is due to the fact that technology nowadays is advancing rapidly and has reached its pinnacle. Man, consequently, seeks means of extending life. This could be possible through advanced AI machines and algorithms. One way is that AI algorithms will be implanted in the human body to extend its life span. Or, as mentioned above, again AI scientists and experts will synchronize DNA and other organs with AI algorithms and then implant those organs into robots that will live longer even if a man dies.
The elite, business tycoons, AI specialists, and professionals will benefit from advancements like these, which accurately depict the trajectory of the human singularity, but common people will suffer in the same manner that they did when significant global events like the COVID-19 pandemic and others struck. The hazards posed by AI, however, need not be long-lasting issues; in fact, many of them may be mitigated with appropriate strategies, regulations, and human adaptability. Because of this, it is essential to consider any potential disadvantages of AI and take proactive measures to address them. One of those strategies may be proactive and coordinated actions to either cope with or eliminate such anticipated hazards.
Hamayun Khan is pursuing a Master of Science in International Business at the George Washington University in Washington DC. and holds an MBA in finance from IK Gujral Punjab Technical University, India.