I have just finished reading the final chapters of Annie Jacobsen’s The Pentagon’s Brain, a well-assembled book on the history of the Pentagon’s Defense and Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and am astounded at the potentialities our men and women of science are creating.
DARPA, as you may know, is the institution attributed with the conception of the internet, the Castle-Bravo hydrogen bomb, super-computers, and mobile robots. It is veritably the fountain of this nation’s most advanced technologies – most of which are released to the public domain at least 20 years AFTER their invention.
The book will inform on the many contributions to civilization DARPA has made while alluding (in the final chapters) that the 2013 BRAIN initiative signed into effect by Obama is purposed to not only study the neural networks of human brains for the derivation of healthful benefits to mankind, but to create killer machines that can operate with the plasticity of a human brain.
Let us not forget that DARPA is an institution for the development of DEFENSIVE (i.e. warfare) weapons and equipment.
Now, I am not stating unequivocally that this initiative will ultimately bring forth the seeds of human destruction. What I mean to convey here is the reality that a new arms race between nations of power is in its incipient stages. Warfare is departing from the conventional means of powder and shell to cyber-based weapons and electronic systems of defense.
What might our enemies produce? It is this question that impels one to consider the necessity of inventing machines that may compose the dirge of our existence. . . Oh what a thought.
To paraphrase Jacobsen, in a world of technology, it is not the fittest who are suited to survive, but the intelligent. Take this with emphasis as the world of intelligent machines unfolds into the human domain.