I didn’t consider the robots: 10 reasons to watch out for technology destroying the world (PtI)

By now, if you’ve read the blog, you probably know that I have a strange obsession / detestation of zombies and dinosaurs. Zombies often get cast in end-of-the-world scenarios, but dinosaurs could be there, too. Along with robots. What do these three strange elements have in common?

Technology.

Yes, that’s right, our greatest ally and potentially most insidious enemy (you’ll know what I mean when your computer crashes and you lose all those important files).

So, here’s the top ten reasons technology could cause the apocalypse:

1. Advances in medicine

 You’d think this should be a reason why we should be safe, but no. Instead, just as genetically altered plants and hybrids are less disease resistant, so too could we humans – desperate to remain young and beautiful — become. Or, conversely, think about super-bugs rampaging through hospitals – all our modern medicines have caused those problems, unable to cure them.

2. Disease and incurable infection, aka zombies (see, told you they fit in here).

Also known as genetic engineering or germ warfare, these modern day plagues could be man-made through technology and either wipe us our or turn a large percentage of the population into zombies (who then wipe us out … either way, bad news).

3. Computers becoming smarter than us

Every year things like memory capabilities of devices increases exponentially, so much so that it’s almost inevitable someday computers will surpass us in intelligence.

"Big Dog Military Robots" Credit: image from http://acobox.com

When that happens computers – gaining mobility as robots – take over, potentially even to “save us from ourselves.”

4. Computers acquiring a touch of humanity

Scientists finally figure out how to make computers more human … and that’s the biggest mistake of all. Now not only are they smarter than us, but computers could replicate themselves, and would have human desires, thoughts, and emotions – greed, and a potentially megalomaniac complex doubtlessly leading to human extinction.

5. Reverse genetic engineering, aka dinosaurs (and you didn’t think I could relate all three).

Dinosaurs rampaging through the streets. Need I say more? I, quite frankly, wouldn’t want to face one down. And they’d probably be more likely to want to eat us than be trained and do our work. No, any walls won’t contain them, and yes, they will eventually escape anything and everything and get us.

6. Alien robots or equivalent technology

What if the Transformers are out to get us? What if some technology really could create A.I. in the simplest electronic devices? Then when  you’re having a bad day and become convinced everything is out to get you, you’ll be right when it’s your toaster and coffee machine do you in – seems silly to store them somewhere with so high a concentration of potential weapons (aka: cutlery, knives, rolling pins), now doesn’t it?

7. Space exploration and aliens

While space research continues and we enjoy the idea of space travel à la Star Trek or Firefly, who’s to say we don’t go out for a space flight and a very dangerous sort of puppy (more like Alien or Predator) follows us home? I doubt they’ll settle for an interstellar conference on peace or want to sign polite non-aggression pacts.

8. Advanced weapons technology

We used to just throw rocks at each other. And fortunately, the rocks generally only hurt the people we were aiming directly at (provided our aim wasn’t atrocious). Now, though, we have weapons that won’t just get the “bad guys” but everyone around them, from young and old, male and female just for being, essentially, in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Maybe we deserve to be eaten by dinosaurs)

Small boy nuclear test, 1962 Credit: http://acobox.com

9. All in the name of science

Maybe it’s the theoretical physicists who will spell our final doom, not just conjecturing about space and time, but with experimental black holes. One little miscalculation and we’re all just a bunch of randomly distributed atoms. “Oops” won’t cut it.

10. Accident / human error

The scariest statement I’ve heard was that the most likely reason for nuclear war would be by accident. Thus, through human error, or someone jumping the gun or pressing the wrong button, the world could be wiped out. Seems more than a little foolish, doesn’t it, to let accident prone fools have that much power? Then again, guess it’s better under human control than computers … we’ve already seen what problems THAT could cause.

So, ready to toss your cellphone in favor of smoke signals? Well, when it wakes up and bites your – or won’t work in the event of a zombie uprising – I’m going to say “I told you so.”

Have I missed any? Suggestions or comments? Do feel free to comment or add your own additions below.

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