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Robots Program People - Dilbert Blog

Robots Program People

It won’t be long before all new drugs are discovered by robots. This start-up is an example of that trend.

And it won’t be long before IBM’s Watson can diagnose and prescribe treatments better than any human doctor.

Put those two trends together and robots will be programming humans with drugs. Drugs are the user interface to our moistware.

In many cases, the drugs will be the type that change your personality. The meds might make you happy when you are naturally depressed, calm when you would otherwise be anxious, and so on.

I’ll say it again: The machines will literally be programming our brains with drugs. And we will let them do it because we all want to be happy and calm. We also want to be horny, energetic, optimistic, fit, outgoing, and lots more. There are drugs for all of that, and more on the way.

Okay, okay. I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that humans program the machines, and the machines just do their job. So really, humans are just creating useful medicines for other humans. The machines are merely our tools.

By that way of thinking, we should give trophies to the parents of successful athletes because they, along with coaches, created the athlete. The athlete simply did what he was programmed to do. He needed his parents’ DNA and a lot of coaching to succeed. So why give the athlete credit when he is just a tool of his parents and coaches?

The short answer is that we have magical notions about our souls and our consciousness and our free will. So we think the universe revolves around humans. We say the athlete is the one doing the great deeds, ignoring the infinite set of forces in the universe that are necessary for every specific outcome.

An objective view of the world is that everything is an endless chain of cause and effect. You cannot point to one link in a 15-billion-year chain of events and say, “That’s the one that mattered. Give it a trophy.” It all had to happen just the way it did to get the result you got.

And so while it is true that humans will create the amazing medical machines of the future, we do not know what the machines will subsequently discover or prescribe. And being ignorant of the future is what we call “free will.” For all practical purposes, an AI platform that does its own thing and discovers new cures will be just like a human doctor. Neither of them will have real “free will” but it might look to outsiders as if they do.

So there you have it: Someday, for sure, machines will be programming humans. And that day will probably be in your lifetime. But don’t be afraid because the robots will someday have a drug that will make you feel totally okay with being their pet.

I mean that literally. You won’t have a care in the world.

In Top Tech Blog…

Nanoparticles communicate with Brains  <—- So…computers can program human brains directly?

Oculus touches VR

Tabletop Holograms  <— this one is very cool

Scott

@ScottAdamsSays on Twitter