One of my favorite things to think about these days.
I saw iRobot last night, given this is a mainstream film, those themes are probably something that the 'collective conscious' is significantly thinking about too.
Here's something that I realised not so long ago (by accident ;) while I was talking with my Dad.
I was just talking about technology. Dad was talking about human creativity.
He said it was practically inconceivable that we could build a machine that could be as creative as a human.
I realised that 'procreation' is effectively such an activity.
However, the relevant thing that I realised was that a human brain is, well, only as big as a human head.
So, we have a biological machine that big, and from it we get the results that we do.
I'm not so naive as to think that humans are actually as amazing as we claim we are.
The thing that I realised sitting here this morning, is that humans *are* designing a new species.
Our progress in technology is amazing (perhaps not as amazing as it should be, god damn bureaucrats slowing us down, etc.), and I really think that we will end up creating an 'immortal' intelligence one day.
Our machines are better than humans. They can power themselves more directly from the sun or other nuclear sources (humans tend to need to eat other carbon based life forms to acquire the sun's energy so that we can sustain our own energy levels). Machines don't necessarily need water or air. They can be repaired more readily, etc.
Our technology is so pervasive and 'all knowing', I think that one day it really will be like a god.
At that time, perhaps humans will be obsolete?
Why do we live anyway?
When we create our machines, we tend to create them for a 'purpose'.
Do you really think that there is a 'creator' and that the universe is here for a 'purpose'?
At least we tell our machines what their purpose is.
By that logic, perhaps I do know what my purpose is.
Not that I really assert 'I' mind you.
Do you think a machine would ever wonder who created their creator?
There is only one past.
You have only one life.
You are a slave to causality.
'Consciousness' and 'intelligence' are an illusion.