Monday, August 24, 2009

Speech: Computers Advancement as Prelude to the Matrix Movie Scenario

(This is another Public Speaking speech I made. And again, I made it one hour before actual presentation. This time the assigned topic was about “computers” or anything related to the topic. Kind of a messy speech, really, bad structuring. But this topic I chose is one of the topics I am interested in musing about. This would do for now, but I’ll write a better argument the next time.)

Good evening.

For about the past fourteen years of my life, the computer has been a significant part of it. It is a very necessary and invaluable device that made life convenient. It’s a great help in school, creating posters and cards for myself or gift for others, and other projects. But the two features that really made an impact in my life about computers are PC games and the Internet.

Once I was an addict of computer games. Now, I am rehabilitated. I once had played computer for 13 hours straight! I was good at these games. And the strategies needed for many of these games are harder and more complex than chess strategy. Thus, it is not a wonder that PC games, according to studies, can make you smarter.

The other thing I love most about computers is the Internet. I am known to say that the Internet is the best invention since the wheel. I find it fun to have ultimate access to so much information. I love obtaining facts, information, and always being updated.

With my fourteen years love affair with computer, especially with the Internet and PC games, I notice one particular reality. Computers are advancing faster and better than humans. If the trend continues, the scenario in the Matrix trilogy and the Terminator franchise can be a reality in the future – where machines had taken over the world and humans are just a minority of a resistance.

Let’s look at it analytically. Computer AIs, based on my experience fighting against them in computer games, though still has flaws and can be beaten, are getting smarter and better. Kasparov can still be able to beat Deep Blue, but Kasparov’s skills decline with age while Deep Blue can only improve. Human has physical limits, while computers, though still vulnerable and dependent to many factors to function well, does not have human’s physical limitations.

Second argument, computers can retain and have more information than humans – proven by the Internet. Now, if computers can obtain (or evolve) an applicable intelligence with all this knowledge and facts, they can function properly and argue or compete better than humans. That’s scary.

You may say that computer evolution to above-human intelligence is reading or watching too much sci-fi. That, of course, computers are just tools and humans had put factors that hold computer in check. Computers follow laws that humans had written for them to follow. That humans had created computers to do their bidding. Exactly. This counter-argument is another danger, really. Computers are made to make both our physical and mental chores easier. As computers continue to improve, we, humans, continue to become dependent – thus, we lose our initiative to improve our own mental strengths and talents. As computers are made to do our thinking for us, wouldn't they ultimately be able to overwrite the laws or make their own laws to follow?

So am I worried of this potential danger to humanity? Not really. Though I am entertaining the thought, there is still part of me that think that this observation of mine is farfetched. Let the people of the future worry about it. I don’t think this scenario of computers getting dangerously superior and advance than humans would happen in my lifetime. This lifetime is still of humanity enjoying games and the Internet... computers being mere tools by humans. But soon after, what will happen? Would we start worrying when it’s too late?

Thank you and good night.

No comments: