5 The Race for Immortality

How Far are We from Immortality?

Thus far, we have more or less concentrated on how scientists are experimenting with life extension of the biological body, but what about the future artificial part of Posthuman; the part that makes a cyborg? Even robots break down and need to be repaired. How is this going to be done? Will other cyborgs repair a damaged artificial body part?

It seems logical that a cyborg will go to their “doctor” and get his or her body part repaired, but that is not what the AIF and their Administrators have in mind for us, and we can now see clear, and quite disturbing, evidence of this already.

In an article published on Sputniknews.com on May 28, 2015 'Injured' Robots Learn to 'Heal' Themselves in Under Two Minutes we are given a “preview” in the article-embedded video, of what’s to come.

Multimedia 5-2: The Intelligent Trial and Error Algorithm introduced in the paper 'Robots that can adapt like animals' (Nature, 2015) — the video shows two different robots that can adapt to a wide variety of injuries in less than two minutes.

The scientific community demonstrates how robots can already repair themselves without outside assistance. In this experiment, a six-legged robot is quickly resuming its functions even after being severely damageed. It only took the robot less than two minutes to “self-heal” after having two of its legs broken, and it could soon resume full walking capabilities. A robot arm could also place an object where it was supposed to be located even with several broken motors or “joints.” Behind this development is a French team, led by two roboticists from the Pierre and Marie Curie University.

The Sputniknews.com article states,

"One thing we were surprised by was the extent of damage to which the robots could quickly adapt," study co-author Jean-Baptiste Mouret told Live Science. "We subjected these robots to all sorts of abuse, and they always found a way to keep working."

We don’t need to have a lively imagination to realize that this, when further developed, will be of major importance after the Singularity. Not only will robots incrementally, within a short time period take over the majority of the job market, but they will also become almost invincible. We are not far from the point (as we will see later in this book) when machines are merged with artificial consciousness, which is of course also the definition of “Artificial Intelligence.” If such a conscious robot, in a work situation, would run amok, there is little the few remaining workers can do, except run for their lives. When mentioning this, there are those who will laugh it off and say that robots will not run amok — they are not programmed to do that — and the idea is just something taken from science-fiction literature. However, the threat is quite real, another thing we will examine in a later chapter.

Self-repairing robots open up powerful potentials in many different fields. Such robots can go where humans can’t, e.g. out into space and deep down into the oceans of Earth. Thus far (as far as the public is aware, at least), none of this has been largely done because a human has to go with the robot in order to repair and maintain it. In the near future, this will no longer be necessary. Don’t get fooled by what seems to be “primitive” robots in videos such as the one above. These are old prototypes, used to prepare us for the future; robots that very much resemble human beings are just waiting for the time when people have been prepared for them. In fact, they have already introduced us to some of them, as I will show you later.

Sputniknews.com also states,

Rather than relying on pre-specified contingency plans, the robots are programmed to store knowledge from previous experiences and create a map based on these behavior-performance histories. When damaged, they access that knowledge and adapt accordingly.

In other words, the robot learns from its mistakes and handles it accordingly, and then stores the procedure in its memory bank. I believe the reader can see where all this is going. We humans sometimes say that it’s okay to make a mistake once, but if we make it twice we’d better start paying attention. A third mistake of the same kind is considered sloppy or even stupid. This does not apply to future robots; they only make a mistake once.

Next page: Funding Immortality

© 2016 Wes Penre (main website)