Of Cyborgs and AI: Is Humanity Being Replaced?
I was raised in and around the formerly scandalous city of Reno, Nevada. For those unfamiliar with the terrain of that area, Reno sits on the east of the lofty Sierra Nevada mountains that are intersected by the Nevada-California border.
Snow skiing is very popular in those mountains as it was at the time of my youth in the previous century. I partook in the activity very briefly and poorly, and I quickly grew weary of eating snow with my entire face and other such calamities. However, I clearly recall the feeling I had just before I started down a slope of greater degree than a beginner’s hillside.
I stood on the top with one more push forward from the ski-poles before I began the descent looking at the slope and thinking, ‘Last chance. One more push and the rest is inevitable, I’m going downhill very fast after that.’
I pushed, went downhill even faster than I thought, and half-deliberately, I crashed into the snow and fortunately not into anything more solid. That ended my skiing aspirations on the spot.
I have been getting a similar feeling about the world for a while now. A feeling that all it’s going to require is one more little push, and we are all headed downhill very fast, and now only a painful crash will stop the descent.
Because humanity is now at a point where certain inevitabilities are already working among us that, unless halted in their tracks, will push us to a very real possibility of extinction, barring Divine intervention. For we are heading toward, purposely or not, replacing humanity with creations from humanity!
The stage was set for this potential doom long ago
We could trace the origins of our current dilemma back many centuries, however, I want to narrow the focus and timeline and examine only the factors in history, particularly in America, over the span of my life that have set the stage as well as propelled us to the edge of disaster today. For, should we miraculously avoid by God’s grace the devastation ahead, we must understand what brought us here and learn to never allow it to happen again.
The first of these was the decision by our federal government, specifically the Supreme Court, to prohibit even voluntary prayer and Bible reading in the public school classroom in the early 1960s. This allowed two generations of children to be educated under the belief that faith and God didn’t really matter as far as education was concerned.
Moreover, it allowed the banishment of any semblance of objective morality from the sphere of education, thus producing future leaders of society with no attachment to God and the moral accountability faith provides. This, in turn, produced a cadre within our culture of highly educated people who now run our scientific and technology enterprises yet possess a deluded sense of morality that places them, at least in their minds, as the moral and ethical arbiters of the human race.
The fruit of these efforts to relegate God and His righteousness to the basement of human concerns was quickly realized as early as 1968 with the publication of “The Population Bomb” by Paul Erlich. Essentially, Erlich argued that the world’s population was increasing too fast for the earth to be able to sustain human life for much longer, and certainly wouldn’t make it until the 21st century.
Regardless of the fact that all of his predictions in the book failed to come about, the ideal of “sustainability” became the gospel of future environmentalists and soon became politically enthroned in the United Nations as “Agenda 21.” This was also latched onto by influential elites such as billionaire Bill Gates with the goal to reduce the human population to a more “sustainable” number. I have previously noted the involvement of Gates and others in the orchestration of the current pandemic panic of COVID-19 and its resulting “deadly jabs” that are serving the depopulation goal.
However, two perhaps unexpected developments occurred along the way that has altered the future scenario of a vastly depopulated earth in a few years. Instead of a world with a lot fewer humans, because of these two developments, the elites are potentially steering us toward a world with zero human population, as least human as we now understand the concept.
The “transhumanist” movement is growing
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, transhumanism is:
A belief that humans should strive to transcend the physical limitations of the mind and body by technological means.
A movement of people who espouse such a belief.
This is a relatively new phenomenon, having been around academic circles for about two decades, give or take. I first became aware of transhumanism back in 2006 and compiled some preliminary notes about the wrongness of this philosophy which I fortunately stored on my computer and on a thumb drive.
I kept the notes despite the fact that I never used them for anything but mini-debates among friends. They are organized as a list of seven reasons why transhumanism is immoral according to the teachings of the Scriptures:
IT MAKES ETERNAL LIFE FROM GOD AN UNNEEDED THING BY PLACING PHYSICAL IMMORTALITY IN OUR GRASP.
IT REMOVES INCENTIVE TO BE RIGHTEOUS OR MORAL EXCEPT AS SUCH ACTIONS MIGHT ADVANCE THE WISHES OF THOSE WHO WOULD CONTROL THE TECHNOLOGY. IT WOULD BE THOSE PEOPLE WHO WOULD SET THE MORAL BOUNDARIES. WHOEVER ‘THEY’ WOULD BE, THEIR REASONING WOULD BE THE FORCE USED TO IMPOSE A HUMANIST (OR RATHER A ‘TRANS HUMANIST’) MANIFESTO BY WHICH WE WOULD BE EXPECTED TO LIVE IF WE REALLY WISHED TO LIVE. THUS A NEWER AND MORE POTENT FORM OF TYRANNY WOULD COME TO PASS.
IT MAKES ANY CONCEPT OF “SIN” MEANINGLESS, AT LEAST IN A PHYSICAL SENSE, AND THUS REMOVES THE NEED FOR SALVATION OR A ‘SAVIOR.’ IF ONE HAS THE ABILITY TO LIVE AN UNLIMITED TIME AND TO DO SO IN A PHYSICALLY UNFETTERED WAY, BEHAVIOR, WHETHER GOOD OR BAD CEASES TO HAVE PHYSICAL CONSEQUENCES. THEREFORE, AT LEAST PHYSICALLY, THERE IS NOTHING TO BE SAVED FROM. OBSERVE JUST HOW SUCCESSFUL HUMANITY HAS BEEN IN REDEFINING SIN INTO NON-EXISTENCE WITHOUT HAVING PHYSICAL PERFECTION OR IMMORTALITY!
IT TAKES HUMANITY ANOTHER STEP IN THE DIRECTION OF ‘GODHOOD.’ VIRTUAL IMMORTALITY, AND, AS THE TECHNOLOGY PROGRESSES, VIRTUAL INVULNERABILITY RENDER ONE A VIRTUAL GOD.
WITH TIME, WHICH THIS TECHNOLOGY SEEMINGLY GRANTS, IMPROVEMENTS IN ‘INTELLIGENCE’ AND MENTAL PERFORMANCE WILL GROW TO HEIGHTS WHICH WOULD SEEM TO ALSO BE GODLIKE. HOWEVER, WISDOM, ESPECIALLY MORAL WISDOM, DOES NOT COME AUTOMATICALLY WITH AN INCREASE IN INTELLIGENCE. AMORAL WISDOM IS NO WISDOM AT ALL.
IF 4 AND 5 PROVE TRUE, WE WOULD BE CREATORS OF A FUTURE RACE OF ‘GODS’ WITHOUT MORALS, EXCEPT THOSE MORALS THEY WOULD WISH TO SELF-GENERATE. THE ULTIMATE IN IDOLATRY WOULD BE IN PLACE. ACCOUNTABILITY TO A SUPERIOR BEING THAT WE CALL ‘GOD’ WOULD BE CONSIDERED TOTALLY UNNECESSARY.
DEATH AS A PHYSICAL BARRIER IS CONQUERED THROUGH OUR OWN EFFORTS. THEREFORE, ‘LIFE AFTER DEATH’ BECOMES A MEANINGLESS CONCEPT. AS ONE HUMANIST AUTHOR WROTE, ‘THERE IS NO HELL TO BE SHUNNED OR HEAVEN TO LOOK FORWARD TO.’
The problem with opposing transhumanism is the same today as it was 15 years ago. The optics are against you because of the multitude of beneficial medical technologies that have improved the lives of many disabled people such as cochlear implants for the deaf, a helmet granting sight to the blind, and computerized mobility assists that have dramatically increased the ability of paralysis victims to walk.
All of these are good things, however, the inevitable human tendency is to never leave well-enough alone. There are always those who will only think in terms of pushing the limits to achieve some ‘greater good’ without considering the consequences.
In the case of transhumanism, one of those who is more public than most is Elon Musk with his attempts at creating neurolink, which is designed to link the human brain directly to the internet. However, there is more on the horizon, as told by Joe Allen in the brief video below:
So now we have digital implants that can make you “happy”? Emotional control at your whim, or perhaps someone else’s wish? Some of the most powerful people in the world striving toward a melding of human and machine?
It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see the cyborg-like future that awaits if this course is further pursued. Moreover, though I am not a prophet in the foretelling sense, at least a few of the items I listed opposing transhumanism will come to pass in that case.
Yet there is another factor that has come to the fore recently that both works in conjunction with transhuman tech, but could end up surpassing and supplanting transhumanism. That is the concept of the A.I. “God.”
The A.I. “God” is coming via the “singularity”
I recently came upon a piece written by the same Joe Allen in the video with the title, “Ex-Google Exec: Artificial Intelligence is God as a child – and we must love it.” The title is startling in itself, but the body of this article is packed with even more engaging and frightening information.
The zealots in Silicon Valley believe we’re hurtling toward the Singularity. In theory, this is the inflection point when machines will become our masters. By the year 2029, they predict, artificial general intelligence will be superior to human intellect. By 2049, superintelligent machines will be a billion times smarter than any person on earth.
Given those predictions are accurate, what would that mean for humanity? Doe’s such super intelligence translate into anything like sentience as so many science fiction writers have maintained?
According to the “Ex-Google Exec” mentioned in Allen’s article, the answer would be yes. His name is Mo Gawdat and he was the former Chief Business Officer at Google.
In recent weeks, Gawdat has been selling the idea of superconscious machines along with his new book, Scary Smart: The Future of Artificial Intelligence and How You Can Save the World. His central thesis is that AI has already surpassed us in narrow tasks like chess, Go, Jeopardy!, and Atari games. In fact, he believes on some level they’re already conscious. As machine learning improves, computers will inevitably best humans in every domain. “The reality is,” he publicly declared, “we’re creating God.”
Before you dismiss his claims entirely, consider how many primitive AI systems are already involved in our lives. Just the use of cell phone technology involves such systems that function in everything from geo-location to playing games and even texting a friend. As Allen notes:
Artificial intelligence already has tremendous sway over our lives. The various surveillance devices and pervasive spyware that surround us are funneling mass amounts of data into AI systems. These intelligent machines observe our locations, our social networks, our tastes, our work ethic, our facial expressions, our verbalized emotions, our virtues, our vices, our victories, and our failures. Guided by machine learning, with a few nudges by programmers, AI systems are training themselves using our data. In that sense, we’re teaching these bots what it means to be alive.
In Gawdat’s thinking, we are already making a digital diety in our own image. He pictures AI as a god presently in infant form but one that will learn and grow very quickly to become an adult “God” that has essentially been raised by people in the tech industry.
Therefore, he would argue, that we have to learn to raise this child-god right with politically correct values so that we do not become its victims later.
We should understand at this point that Gawdat is a committed Leftist, so one can surmise what kind of values he desires to be instilled in the omnipotent digital one.
Though I’m not sure I buy everything Gawdat is selling, he does make a good case for the astounding learning capabilities of these AI machines and the superintelligent entity which could emerge as a result.
In Gawdat’s recent in-depth interview with The Times of London, the search engine salesman recalled a chilling moment during his tenure at Google. Standing in a robotics lab, he watched a swarm of mechanical arms—powered by machine learning—try to manipulate toys. As the Times reporter described it:
Then, one day, an arm picked up a yellow ball and showed it proudly to the camera. The next day, all the arms could do it. Two days after that, they could pick up anything at all.
The misanthropic Gawdat, who lost his only son to a medical tragedy, was in awe.
“And then it hit me that they are children. But very, very fast children. They get smarter so quickly! … And they’re observing us? I’m sorry to say, we suck.”
So here we are at the precipice of what seems to be an almost inevitable convergence of futuristic worlds dominated by either human-machine amalgams of god-like abilities, or an AI deity that reigns over all or with the new cyborg creations. The species homo-sapien will have been replaced altogether, or relegated to submission under the new divine overlords.
An important question that arises from this examination is, “Can anything be done about it?” Short of a true Divine event rendering the technology useless, or a massive revival toward God in our society, my answer would be no.
However, I will state that should we reach the point beyond the “singularity” and perhaps to 2049 without any real interruption, I believe that will be the point at which the LORD God Almighty will act to bring it to a halt and His final judgment will come to fruition.
I believe that we are in a time that combines the wickedness of Noah’s day with the ambition of the builders of the Tower of Babel. Human bound “elites” now aspire to some form of godhood in the midst of depravity and reach the height of sinful idolatry.
What we as followers of Christ must do now is to heed the biblical advice and “watch and pray” and extend the love of Christ to those who are not yet His, guiding them to His grace.
And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. Deuteronomy 8:19 [ESV]
[Note: Our bloggers are independent writers with their own constitutionally granted opinions, viewpoints, interpretations, and feelings. Their views do not always represent that of American Reveille LLC. Regardless, we support their right to free speech and a medium to express it! Got a problem with that? Go somewhere else!]
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