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the good life in a digital age

why isn’t AI a GM-like bogeyman?

I listened to the Gardeners Question Time GM debate recently. Afterwards I tried to explain to PW why anti-GM protesters annoy me, when I mostly agree that turning propagation into something controlled by corporations is a bad thing.

I suppose I get annoyed with the focus on GM as the science that will destroy the world. Pretty much any technology has that capability but we only seem to be allowed to worry about one at a time (fretting about nuclear is very last century, it seems).

Co-incidently I’ve just finished Dan Simmon’s Hyperion series (tetralogy? cantos?) which features sinister artificial intelligence that may be intent on genocide. The AI takeover of the world (AI apocalypse, Cybernetic revolt, Machine Rule, Grey Goo) is such a common theme in modern Sci-Fi that it seems curious that there has not yet been tabloid outrage at the reckless scientists working in the field of AI. Think Matrix, Terminator, Battlestar Galactica, and 2001. And after all, what’s is the etymology of ‘Frankenstein Foods’?

Perhaps it is just a little too early.

(I’m also regularly referred to as the AI, as in “we’ll get the AI to knock out some wireframes”, so I’m looking forward to being mistaken for a tabloid threat to humanity)

Written by Karen

December 31st, 2008 at 7:12 am

Posted in fear,future,science