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#256013 - 04/24/13 05:07 PM How are humans going to become extinct
loganrbt Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 5850
Loc: Massaphuggintwoshirts
Quote:
There are also fears about how artificial or machine intelligence interact with the external world.

Such computer-driven "intelligence" might be a powerful tool in industry, medicine, agriculture or managing the economy.

But it also can be completely indifferent to any incidental damage

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22002530

ReaderRant may in fact be an unwitting case study. Some of us remember when Earl Weaver managed the Orioles, Bill Clinton as POTUS, and RR was a vibrant, active, and engaging place to commune with others of unlike mind in mostly civilized way.

Then came the posters who are artificially intelligent, who destroyed discourse of any kind through polemics, indefensible argument, outright prevarication, etc. Over years of such activity, with a revolving door of the disruptive, it just isn't what it used to be.

Well, at least now we know why!
_________________________
"The white men were as thick and numerous and aimless as grasshoppers, moving always in a hurry but never seeming to get to whatever place it was they were going to." Dee Brown

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#256014 - 04/24/13 05:26 PM Re: How are humans going to become extinct [Re: loganrbt]
Ardy Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 12007
Loc: San Jose, Ca USA
I do not see extinction as a near term possibility

OTOH constantly accelerating technology far outpaces out ability to judge the impact of changes.

ANd the globalization of human society means that mistakes are likely to rapidly propagate.

So it is not quite possible that we will do one ore more bad things that have extensive consequences. And that could lead to a dramatic population collapse... and possibly undermine our current level of develepment.... in a way similar to how the ROman Empire disappeared and much of it's technological prowess along with it.

In the case of Rome, it was a limited die back. But these days the entire "civilized" world could be impacted.
_________________________
"It's not a lie if you believe it." -- George Costanza
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves. --Bertrand Russel

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#256048 - 04/24/13 11:34 PM Re: How are humans going to become extinct [Re: Ardy]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 8378
Loc: North San Diego County
Quote:
I do not see extinction as a near term possibility


I disagree. I see two distinct possible paths to human extinction that would take less than one year to run their course.

1) A biotechnology mistake could release some sort of synthetic organism into the world that would infect every person on Earth even before we recognized the threat. For example, a virus that spreads easily but generates no disease symptoms for months and is then quickly fatal.

2) An asteroid being diverted out of it's normal orbit by a close encounter with one or more other large objects. The time between detecting the new path that intersects Earth and having a useful defense capability could easily be longer than the time it takes to get here.

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#256104 - 04/25/13 05:04 PM Re: How are humans going to become extinct [Re: loganrbt]
Ardy Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 12007
Loc: San Jose, Ca USA
Yeah, pretty much anything "could happen" The CERN machine might generate a black hole that gobbles up the earth.... maybe. The long predicted apocalypse may finally happen, maybe. There may be aliens from another planet that will arrive and want the earth for themselves, maybe. Some unexpected super bug may spontaneously evolve and wipe our humanity, maybe.

All those things may happen. I will continue to live with the risk. But in my case, I think that it is more likely that I will die in an auto accident or have a heart attack or find that I have inoperable cancer. Who knows, I may even be shot by a group of terrorist rising around in a car with a bunch of guns. Or hit by lightning. Hard to know how and when it will end for any of us, let alone the species as a whole.
_________________________
"It's not a lie if you believe it." -- George Costanza
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves. --Bertrand Russel

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