Science Fiction, Science Future: Inorganic Beings from Tantalizing Toys to Terrible Terminators?
In my science fiction novella, Metal Flesh (After Eden Tek-Fall, Episode I) I touch on some concepts related to inorganic beings, also known as robots and androids. Long before movies with such characters as the Data from Star Trek, Terminator from the 1980s, even Robby the Robot from the 1950s; ancient societies had many mythologies about humans or gods creating living organic beings. Philip Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (the book being the basis for the movie) introduced organic androids or synthetic humans.
We are continuously mastering the creation of mechanical bodies, but the limitation has always been their “brains.” As excited as some are about AI (artificial intelligence), which would be that “brain,” the reality is that our technological capabilities are far below even the potential of the science fiction books and movies that we have been exposed to for many decades. To use physicist-guru Dr. Michio Kaku’s apt description, in regards to our most advanced robot or computer today, they have “the intelligence of a retarded cockroach.” Yes, even in 2014.
However, one thing you can say about humans is that they will never stop when they set their mind to a particular objective. We want thinking robots, androids indistinguishable from human beings, and AI sentience. Well, at least they say we do.
This all looks fun, don’t you think?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6feEE716UEk
But do you really want this? Right now we’re in the “toy” phase of our robotic and cybernetic abilities. If we get more advanced, whether it’s twenty, fifty or one hundred years in the future, will we enter a“terrifying” phase?
We went from fists to swords to arrows to single-shot pistols to repeater rifles to machine-guns, from tanks to bomber jets to atomic bombs. But on the other hand, we went from attributing deadly diseases in the past to evil spirits to wiping out those diseases and plagues that used to kill millions every year, we’ve gone from treating patients with leeches and chants to laser and robotic surgery. We actually do have bionic men and women walking around in the world (or the much more cooler term, cyborgs). Humankind always has the choice as to which path we take. Which one do you think we’ll take?
Cyborgs, Robots, Androids, AI and the the Future
I enjoy writing science fiction because its a way to explore possible futures and people have always been fascinating with the concept of being able to see into the future, even if what they were to see was not good at all. Are you eagerly waiting with optimism for super robots and hyper-genius-level AI, or are you scared to death and hope you won’t be alive when these things come into reality? Or are we debating (and getting worked up) about nothing and never will be able to reach these goals which are so easy to attain within the endless boundaries of our imagination but our true limitations in the physical world are altogether different?
#Robots #AI #ScienceFiction
Austin Dragon is the author of over 30 books in science fiction, fantasy, and classic horror. His works include the sci-fi detective LIQUID COOL series, the epic fantasy FABLED QUEST CHRONICLES, the international futuristic epic AFTER EDEN Series, the classic SLEEPY HOLLOW HORRORS, and new military sci-fi PLANET TAMERS series. He is a native New Yorker but has called Los Angeles, California home for more than twenty years. Words to describe him, in no particular order: U.S. Army, English teacher, one-time resident of Paris, ex-political junkie, movie buff, Fortune 500 corporate recruiter, renaissance man, futurist, and dreamer.