Friday, September 04, 2009

TFU Files - the end of the world

I have some good news and I have some bad news. First, the good news: Global Warming won’t cause the destruction of human civilsation. Now the bad news: we’re going to be wiped out before Global Warming has a chance to do us in. While there are a lot of competing Armageddon theories I believe I have conclusive evidence for mine.

Not many people will be surprised at the revelation that humanity will bring about its own destruction. There are even those who won’t be surprised when I reveal that it will be robots that exterminate us. What may surprise is how exact my evidence is. This isn’t a vague “one day the robots will get us” alarmism. This isn’t some offshoot of Singularity theory – the idea that one day computers will be smarter than us and will be able to build still smarter computers without our help. Actually, the robots who destroy us won’t be particularly intelligent.

For my evidence, let me show you three significant developments in robotics. First, the tiny SWARM robots. These are solar powered robots not much bigger than a flea. By themselves they don’t do much but they are designed to communicate via infra red and form a group capable of swarm intelligence that enables them to perform a range of tasks (much like ants or bees).

Then there’s the plasmobot – a biological robot made from slime mould that is capable of “solving complex computational tasks” and “It propogates and searches for sources of nutrients”.

My final piece of evidence is the horrifically named “EATR”, a battlefield robot designed to fuel itself with biomass that it gathers from the battlefield. It has been pointed out that this biomass could include dead humans. It has also been pointed out that a battlefield robot is designed to create its own supply of dead bodies.

Now, while the EATR alone could cause human extinction (or maybe it will keep us on farms so it has a constant supply of meat) I think our destruction will come from a combination of these three. The group intelligence of the SWARM robots, the biological nature of the plasmobot and the human harvesting tendencies of the EATR will combine. In fact we’ve already seen this: It’s the BLOB, people!

It’s the fucking blob and it will eat us all and we are in the process of creating it ourselves. It gets to the point where saying “nobody could have predicted…” really doesn’t hold any water. For supposedly smart people, scientists seem to indulge in some really fucking dumb behaviour. I’m not the first to say “haven’t these scientists seen even one scary science fiction movie?”

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