ByMona Torgersen, writer at
Staff Writer, lover of all things fantastical and supporter of House Martell. Follow me on twitter @monatorgersen
Mona Torgersen

Uh-oh! Looks like mankind's inevitable doom is right around the corner. At least if we are to believe this one scientist.

Doctor Seth Shostak — a Senior Astronomer at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute in Mountain View, California — has recently published an article suggesting that this century could potentially be humanity's last.

Artificial Intelligence will take over Earth and humans will colonize space

In his article, Shostak predicts that three major events are bound to happen in the next century — designer babies will be a thing, humans will colonize space and A.I.s will steal our jobs.

Doctor Seth Shostak
Doctor Seth Shostak

The designer babies will happen as a result of us finally understanding biology on a molecular level, so we'll be able to once and for all rule out genetic diseases as well as decide what our children will look like.

Shostak also predicts that humans will colonize nearby space. Earth is running out of resources such as copper, zinc, and platinum, which can be found on asteroids. But according to him, we won't stop there! He suggests that our ancestors can build "huge, orbiting habitats in which you can live without a spacesuit," kind of like the international space station just much bigger. These habitats would be able to host endless amounts of people, which would solve the current overpopulation problem we are facing.

The third, and perhaps most interesting thing, is the engineering of artificially intelligent robots who could take over our jobs:

"The third thing you can expect before the year 2100 is the development of generalized artificial intelligence (GAI). In other words, machines that don't just play games like chess or Jeopardy, but can do the thinking required for any white-collar job, including all the ones at the top."
Photograph: Blutgruppe
Photograph: Blutgruppe

This all sounds fine and dandy if everybody is happy and nobody goes to war. But if history is anything to go by, we all know that humans simply can't live peacefully together. Will the next century see a war between artificially intelligent robots and genetically engineered humans? What side will the cyborgs pick? Somebody make a movie about this!

Well, somebody did make a movie about this... in fact several people have. Here's a clip from Ex Machina, a movie about an A.I. attempting to pass the Turing test:

The whole thing reminds me of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and the moral debate of whether humans should interfere with nature in such a way. Sure, we probably can create this, but should we? I guess the answer to that question lies somewhere in the future, and most likely after my lifetime. Good luck humans of tomorrow, you'll need it!



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