Or so Lizzie Dearden discovered while researching techno-human relationships for the Independent. It appears the film Her really wasn’t that far fetched when the idea of a man falling in love with his super intelligent computer became a reality.
Futurist, Ray Kurzweil claims that within a few years (by 2029) not only will technology surpass our intelligence but they will be able to interact at human level (predominantly emotionally) by creating algorithms which match that of the human brain. Kurzweil stressed that attributes which partners are expected to have will be attributed to our computers; whether it be humour, romance, or being “sexy” super intelligence will be able to do it.
For many, this idea sounds ludicrous but the further I explored the ideas Kurzweil has put out into the public eye about the advancement of technology the more his ideals seem to become practical. We are in a day and age where utilizing technology matters more than face to face interaction, humans are far more accessible through text and social media platforms than they are in a coffee shop. Some people lust over the release of the latest gadgets more than seeing their own partners after weeks to months of being a part. The age of technophilia (a desire and heightened interest to constantly have access to the latest and most advanced technologies) has been on the rise for over a decade and 15 years from now doesn’t seem like all that long of a time frame for some to feel a mutual to their gadgets.
Kurzweil believes that we will sync to what he calls “singularity” where the lines of distinguishing man and technology will cease to exist.
Ray Kurzweil: The Coming Singularity
“To drive itself, a vehicle needs to understand where it is in the world, what’s around it, and what might happen next. And then it needs to decide what to do and move safely and naturally. Our engineers build the software that the vehicles use to understand their environment, and we also have a team of safety drivers who test the software in real-world situations.”
Google representative Priscilla who (as a passenger) has been working on helping analyze the efficiency of the Google car, explains how Google and Lexus have collaborated to format a vehicle completely built on sensors and external processors that feed information into the vehicle and allow it to move on its own essentially. The Google car maps out trips and responds to the environment in which it’s driving through in order to successfully navigate a trip. Characteristics such as space determination and construction zone navigation have made it properly equipped to function in most settings based on technology alone.
Though the Google car is not currently on the market and very few have had the opportunity to give it a try we have to consider how realistic it is to someday own a car that drives solely on its own. With such advancements and features, human beings freedom within their motor car would definitely expand but at what costs?
Some anticipate the self driving car is coming to us much sooner than anticipated, in my opinion relying on technology to completely navigate on busy roads doesn’t seem like the smartest or safest idea but may help with aspects such as lowering the rate of motor vehicle accidents and so forth.
The idea of a “carpanion” (interactive car system- ex SIRI/GPS Nav) and cyber car (completely interactive system for motorvehicles/ customization- ex Heated seats, built in playlists etc) will be taken to a place which most units do not have now. Something such as the self-driving car makes me wonder how travel would change completely… would texting and driving still be illegal? Would their be more leniency on the drinking and driving laws currently in place? How practical/efficient would the sensory aspect be in the case of high speed accidents etcetera? How will driving for people who are physically disable (whether this is permanent or temporary) change?