I can still hear Hal, the computer in the 1968 movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”, sing “Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do.”
It was the portent to what we now call Artificial Intelligence, or A.I.
And it was a harbinger of what is now becoming reality.
Computers doing their own thinking.
Their own reasoning.
It’s the reason technology genius and entrepreneur extraordinaire Elon Musk has bought into it.
To monitor its development.
To ensure that it doesn’t take us over.
Take over humanity.
Just like in the movie, The Terminator.
The most recent example of how ominous A.I. could become is the recent incident involving Facebook.
Two Facebook “chatbots”, created to interact with users, started inventing their own language!
They were immediately terminated by Facebook.
Allegedly. Hopefully.
And recently, I have noticed my Google gmail emails, when I receive them on my phone, are intuitively suggesting quick, automatic responses.
For example, if I receive an email from someone that suggests something, I am given three reply options, completely suggested by Google, at the bottom of the email.
They are enclosed in blue squares, and I simply have to click on one of the options, it self-populates into the email, and I can quickly send it as a response.
It’s a great option to having to painstakingly thumb-type a reply on my phone.
But it’s really creepy.
It means someone or something at Google, perhaps google-bots, have “read” the wording in the email, and are suggesting an implied response.
Really creepy.
And our online interactions are becoming increasingly intuitive.
If you type in any search words, the search engine of choice automatically populates suggested endings to the words.
It’s unnerving.
It’s unnatural.
But it’s becoming so commonplace, that we are learning to expect it.
And the latest intuitive voice, in “Siri”, a built-in “intelligent assistant” with Apple iPhones, is especially disturbing.
And the fact that “Siri” is of apparent Scandinavian origin meaning “beautiful victory”, is interesting. Does that mean a victory over mankind? Over humans?
The fact we can speak and ask questions or make requests to a computer/robot who has a name, and “she” will turn on lights, make notes in our online calendars, play music, look up information, is amazing. Incredible.
And now tech giant Google has partnered with Walmart to offer voice-activated shopping. What? Are we so lethargic we now have to speak with a Google-bot to order our purchases?
We are becoming so dependent on technology, that it is becoming second nature.
Perhaps the premise behind the Terminator movies are not so far off.
That machines overpower humans.
Eventually taking over the world.
Eventually becoming at war with their inventors. Their benefactors.
The Star Trek series, originally written in the 1960’s, was incredibly prophetic.
We now have cell phones.
We have all sorts of wireless technology and means of communicating which could only have been imagined when that series was first created.
Although computers have been around since the 1950’s, they have been becoming more and more intelligent at a record pace.
I dare say they may be teaching us how to make them better?
The student teaching the teacher?
We have evolved so much in the last half century, more than perhaps all of the centuries before combined, and most of it involves technology.
That is so scary.
It’s almost as if we would be unable to live without the technology we have created.
We will soon have driverless cars, perhaps.
We already have cars which brake for us if they “sense” a danger in front. And they “sense” and then alert us to a danger behind the vehicle when we are in reverse.
How far will that go?
I understand the driver service Uber is experimenting with driverless vehicles already.
And there could even be pilotless airplanes on the horizon too.
Are we creating our own demise?
Are we enabling this technology to take us over, so to speak?
To make humans obsolete?
And perhaps we make so many errors and mistakes that it would not be such a bad thing.
I would like to see what technology would do to help the environment.
To help with disagreements between politicians, countries, religions.
Robots are becoming so human-like, that perhaps we humans won’t even need humans.
Hopefully, some Google-bots won’t erase this article.
And let us be aware of the possibility that perhaps while we are indeed creating and enabling these intelligent computers and robots, these artificially intelligent creations may be creating us to their own advantage, in return.
Let’s hope they have some humanity.

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