A blog about a London Real interview with Ben Goertzel
‘What’s going to happen in the next 40 years?
(See link at end of blog.)
A very interesting interview where Ben endeavours to answer the above question based on his working knowledge and years of experience with AI technology. He basically states that ‘The Matrix’ is going to become a reality.
It still seemed a bit far fetched especially when he compared those who would choose not to be fused into the mainframe AI server would become as insignificant as squirrels foraging around in the city parks. But then it suddenly dawned on me that in another way ‘The Matrix’ has already been in existence for a number of years and we already have withdrawel symptoms when we occasionally choose to disconnect from it. It has become a necessity.
I would put it somewhere between four to six on the ‘What we need for survival’ scale being only preceded by toilet paper, oxygen, water, food, clothing and some form of shelter be it a cardboard box but definitely within mobile internet range or free public wifi. This last requirement should soon become obsolete…due to the ongoing worldwide implementation of 5g network.
…..5g network….The Matrix …..5g network ….The Matrix….????
I was also not sure if access to health care, a job and human interaction should precede or succeed the need for a ‘Matrix’ connection on that survival scale because its getting to the stage now where if we do not have some form of electronic identity that can be easily accessed and controlled online….we don’t really exist. The same goes for the job thing from applying through ‘The Matrix’ through to being employed and getting paid via that medium. Come to think of it our primary channel of human interaction and communication is through that self same ‘Matrix’ connection. Skype was one of the pioneers in using the internet as a cheaper form of human communicating via an internet connection in comparison to land and mobile telephone lines and wireless services. Eventually Skype got pushed into the background in the private consumer sector by the Messenger services of Hotmail, Facebook and Instagram. I think the major winner became Whatsapp with its exclusive mobile application and complete independence from any desktop computer operating system. The Lockdown has only served to increase our dependance on all these channels and now platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams are replacing Skype as the primary channel for conference calls, business meetings and employee employer information events. Even the sports, dance and leisure sectors are turning to ‘The Matrix’ to be able to resume some of their lost business activities, activities that previously did not need an internet connection to connect, train and motivate their students.
Another example of The Matrix@work is in the whole gaming industry. Add up the number of living hours, days, weeks and yes even years spent gaming online by a very significant segment of the human population. It’s not only the gaming in itself but it is also the ‘online experience’ that is already being elevated to the next level with the growing development and use of “Virtual Reality” technology. It is no longer about killing monsters or reliving World War One & Two in games like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Minecraft because games like Grand Theft auto brought the fantasy or historical gaming world into our present every day world of reality. So instead of going out to steal a few cars and having a shoot out you can now be ‘Michael De Santa’ in the comfort of your own home and live the life of one of the baddest criminals in the neighbourhood in The Matrix.
Gamers our already living in a parallel world where they have become part of a community that seems to be creating civilisations, building fortresses and defending their virtual empires from neighbouring opposing kingdoms. Cryptocurrency is nothing new to the gaming world because they have their own and use it to engage in virtual trading and business deals in and outside their gaming world. This is how some gamers make money in addition to professional gaming events, they exchanging their accumulated game currency for real dollar bills.
Gaming involves experiencing every conceivable human emotion from ecstatic joy and laughter to uncontrolled fits of anger and hatred. From romance and sexual arousal to being in complete awe at the incredible visual effects, colours and panoramic scenery to periods of deep dark depression when you not only failed to get to that next level after hundreds of hours of gaming but you also got demoted to a lower level. These emotions can be experienced individually or in group with fellow gamers but the the intensity of those feelings do not seem to be any different to those experienced in the real world.
But we non-gamers cannot judge or laugh at them either. It’s not that we do not go out into the real world to enjoy real human interaction, road and city trips and nature in general it’s just that we have developed this obsessive need to record and share every outdoor activity that we engage in with our virtual audience via ‘The Matrix’ . If we cannot or do not share it, it almost feels as if we did not do it. We need to constantly sacrifice our personal privacy to appease ‘The Matrix’ god so that it will accept our offer and bestow upon us the prize of approval establishing that this or that activity did actually take place in the real offline world. Its almost seems that if we cannot Instagram it …. it’s not worth doing.
It already has so much control and influence on our lives that when it turns on us negatively online it results in problems and issues offline.
This negative aspect comes in the form of active abuse where people react negatively to our comments and posts with some receiving a barrage of name calling, hate messages and even death threats. But some abusers take the negativity to the next level by carrying out one of the most deplorable acts of cruelty in the interconnected world of ‘The Matrix’ …..
they unfriend you!!
But sometimes the passive forms of abuse can be worst. At least when they are threatening to kill you you know that you are alive and are being noticed but when no one reacts to anything that you post or comment on, it feels as if you are either invisible or have already died. Everyday you keep checking your online status to see if anyone has responded to that post or comment you made and once again no reaction, nothing, nada, rien, niets, niente, not even one like. This sometimes unintentional passive form of non reaction has been known to lead to serious cases of depression and anxiety. Some have even taken more drastic measures ……. termination of their social media account!!
Can you imagine that?
but let’s be honest now going back to those squirrels in the park, what facial reaction appears on our face when we discover that the person we are casually talking to has not got a Facebook account, Instagram, SnapChat or at least a Whatsapp application on his or her means of mobile communication!!.
Our life in the real offline world has become fully entwined in what happens or does not happen to us in the virtual world of ‘The Matrix’.
There are so many other ‘Matrix’ connection facets that have completely change how we live, work and play but this was meant to be a recommendation to check out Bens interview. The level of that conversation and everything associated with the AI projects he works on are on a totally higher intellectual scale in comparison to my simplistic blog. The only area where I would even dare to disagree with is the tense being used in that interview;
” ‘The Matrix’ is not coming, it’s already here!!”
Who is Ben Goertzel?
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