David Simpson, author of the Post-Human sci-fi book series, is no stranger to Serious Wonder. Having already conducted two interviews with the author, our readers likely have a good understanding of both his books and short film. But what about his actual vision of the future? Below is a TED Talk that Simpson had given in December, where he discusses the future of Post-Humans, Strong A.I., and how the two might actually coalesce.
The entire collection of David Simpson’s Post-Human book series. (Credit: David Simpson)
“In this TEDx talk, I speak about our Post-Human future. I tell the audience about my passion, which is communicating with the world, via my books and films, what many of the most successful and intelligent people in the tech and science realms have been telling us for some time, which is that we may be as little as fifteen years away from achieving strong artificial intelligence, meaning A.I. that surpasses current human capability.
First, I outline how and why luminaries such as Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil came to believe the timeline is so short, and why Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and Elon Musk think we need to be aware of it and its profound implications.
Then I tackle one scenario whereby we might successfully meet the challenge of bringing a superhuman level machine intelligence into existence without it meaning an end to human life. Though the future will be “post-human,” in the sense that we will merge with our technology and take control of our evolution, it doesn’t mean that we have to leave behind the best aspects of humanity—namely our propensity for goodness. I think by focusing on this aspect—the heroic best in humanity—when building strong A.I., we give ourselves the best chance for success and for a future beyond our current abilities to even imagine.”