A Troubling Transhumanist Tale

The tale of a Troubling Transhumanist

If we want to consider how a superior intelligence might treat creatures with lesser intelligence then it is certainly instructive to look at our own behaviour. Mankind over the past five hundred years has pampered and bred countless animals while at the same time massacring and confining countless more.

While h plus magazine is devoted to ushering in the transhumanist dream of Singularity, the above statement is quite troubling, even by their own admission. The true nature of transhumanist thinking can be summed up by the closing sentiment in the same article:

  • The fact that intelligent machines in the future may create even greater disparity between those humans that are pampered and those that are hunted should not be any concern – after all a world with inequality is one we have already created on our own without the need for any machines.

Some time ago, I shared a great View from the Bunker interview between host Derek Gilbert and Dr. Prof. Hugo de Garis. This brainiac (literally, he works with artificial brains) both warns about and seems to welcome the idea of a coming “Artilect War” between human beings and “Godlike Massively Intelligent Machines”. de Garis believes that there will come a time when humanity is broken into factions; “Cosmists” – those who believe it is man’s responsibility to bring massively intelligent machines into being, thus fulfilling our destiny of creating godlike Artilects that represent the next rung on the evolutionary ladder; and “Terrans” – those who believe that the potential risks of bringing Artilects on to the scene are so great that the development of such machines should be stopped. Terrans will maintain that the responsibility of the human race is to prevent future generations from being exterminated or enslaved by the Artilects, either intentionally or through their indifference to us. The entire interview is worth a listen, for an inside view as to what is genuinely expected for our future by those who work inside the robotics field.

There are many factions currently in existence that either extol the virtue of transhumanism or decry its potential for doom, but I think I’ve found one thing that should cut across all scientific, religious, and philosophical lines. I’m referring to a short film by British writer/director/VFX artist Rob McLellan, titled simply, “Abe”.

Abe is a simple yet terrifying tale of what may happen if an artificial intelligence is programmed to feel human emotions. Lacking the uniquely human capacity for processing a variety of emotional stimuli, this self aware robot turns from man’s helper to mankind’s horror.

To my mind, Abe is probably the most powerful visual argument against AI and the transhumanist agenda that I’ve seen, presented in such a way that should startle anyone who watches, regardless of worldview.