This is something that falls squarely with in my field of "God that is cool/interesting" Catergory, but before I launch into some meaningful post, I may be helpful to have a bit of background information.
Artificial brain designer and theoretical physicist ~Prof. Hugo de Garis raised the issue of whether humanity should build godlike intelligent machines. Because of technological advances, he foresees a time in this century when artificial intelligence can be developed at the atomic level, and an object the size of an apple could surpass human brain capacity to the trillionth power.
At this point, he believes humanity will break into two groups. The Cosmists, who want to build these massively intelligent machines, and the Terrans who are against it. A third, smaller faction, he labeled as the Cyborgists, who want to merge with the artificial intelligence. Prof. de Garis believes the conflict between the Cosmists and the Terrans will be so extreme that wars could be fought over the issue.
The machines he called "artilects", may become so massively intelligent, said de Garis, that they would regard humanity, in the same way we look at insects, and they could be so powerful as to create their own universes. He boiled it down to the question: Do we build gods or do we build our potential exterminators? In an on-the-spot Fast Blast poll that was conducted, 56% sided with the Terrans, and 44% with the Cosmists.
Intruiged so I am I So lets have a bit more information on these so called 'Artilects', What could these artilects be, well essentially a massive computer with power many times greater than the faster super-computers. Currently IBMs' Blue Gene Which Performs 280600 GigaFlops, To something that would have near infinitesimal processing power; the Quantum Computer.
The Quantum Computer
A quantum computer is any device for computation that makes direct use of distinctively quantum mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data. In a classical (or conventional) computer, the amount of data is measured by bits; in a quantum computer, the data is measured by qubits. The basic principle of quantum computation is that the quantum properties of particles can be used to represent and structure data, and that quantum mechanisms can be devised and built to perform operations with these data.
What is a quantum Computer
The Timeline reads with a unnerving sense not 'if' but 'when' a full usable quantum computer is available. A comparison can be drawn with the current state of technology; rapid development and advancement over a relatively short period of time. The Q-Computer Timeline has the same sort markers that the current computer timeline has. Making the Artilect dilemma/debate something more important than you might think, its not just the realms of science-fiction, its well and truly science-fact.
The point of all this?
Its the background to something that will become, a very real problem within my lifetime. I think it will be interesting to see just what we can predict now and compare this to what actually may happen. Apart from that this stuff just generally interests me a whole lot, and a will be following this post with some more in the future that go into the details of the research, arguments, concepts and ideologies based around the problem of Artilects / god computers and the effect that will have on our race.