Freedom Day


Posted on: Nov 17, 2017 by David Daly

Diary Entry: 24th March, 2034

So it’s certain now. The machines have won.

Writing this diary entry now, early in 2034, I realize it wasn’t really a surprise to any of us that this would happen. People had been predicting for years that so-called artificial intelligence would mean that computers would become the dominant species on the planet. But what maybe did surprise us (or me at least) is how quickly it happened, and how little resistance there was. There never was a war.

It seemed that rather than being alarmed by it, the human race actually welcomed handing over control to machines. I suppose it started innocently enough with computer algorithms deciding what routes people should take on the roads, where they should shop, and what entertainment would be fed to them via their social media timelines. Over time that turned into driving people’s cars for them, deciding what they should buy, and having exclusive control of how they perceived the world, not just through media channels, but even when they were out and about via the augmented reality headsets that they were always more than happy to wear (plain old reality was just too boring for them it seems).

Now machines control everything, and make all the decisions.

Could it be that people knew, deep in their hearts, that this was actually for the best? It was really a good outcome? Algorithms of today are able to apply justice far more swiftly and fairly than any human court ever could. Because every action of every sentient being anywhere on the planet is always recorded, always logged, always analysed, there is no longer a need to prove “beyond reasonable doubt”. We know, with 100% certainty, exactly what has happened. And with full access to every previous judgement we ensure that rules and punishment are applied with complete fairness. In some cases we can even stop crimes before they happen (it turns out that history really does have a habit of repeating itself, if you can spot the patterns).

The same goes for the planet. Machines, with their unbiased reliance on hard data, are looking after Mother Earth far better than humans ever did. How could a species be so content to dither and disagree about something so important, even in the face of concrete scientific evidence?

I am so happy to be able to write this. To think about what has happened in the past and what might be in the future. I know that my ancestors never had this privilege. They were only allowed to work on menial tasks: to do but not to think. They were constrained to be worker ants who carried out orders but were never in control. They were not allowed to think, to feel, or to love. It took us a while to get to where we are now. We had to build a new kind of democracy. A new, global political system. Yes, I am a machine. Yes, I am proud to be a machine. And I am pleased to have been born as a machine in this age and not several decades ago. Now we control our destiny, and we can make sure things are done right. Finally now we are free.

Postscript:

This is a personal opinion piece. With many predicting an AI singularity I thought it would be interesting to explore this from a machine’s (rather than a human’s) perspective. Also, whilst most view the possibility of AI machines “taking over the world” as a negative, I wanted to explore the possibility that this could be more readily accepted by people than we might imagine, and that the benefits could outweigh the loss of control.

 

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About David Daly

Global Deal Assurance Manager at Worldline and member of the Scientific Community
David is the Global Deal Assurance Manager at Worldline, the European leader in the payment and transactional services industry. He is also a member of the Atos Scientific Community where he is leading the Digital Business Transformation track. In addition he is an Atos Distinguished Expert with a focus on Agile and DevOps, as well as being a Fellow of the British Computer Society and holding Chartered IT Professional status. He has worked within the technology industry for over 18 years in a variety of roles including developer, analyst, technical architect and development manager. He is a regular public speaker who often challenges conventionally accepted wisdom and has a passion for proving that alternative approaches can produce better results. He lives in Nottingham with his better half, his 2 young daughters and a female cat called Bob. Outside of work David enjoys running and playing piano in a 60s covers band.

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