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Meta.Morf 2018: A Beautiful Accident

JAMES BRIDLE / DISNOVATION.ORG / FLORIS KAAYK / SASCHA POHFLEPP / FÉLIX LUQUE SÁNCHEZ / JORIS STRIJBOS / FREDERIK DE WILDE / PINAR YOLDAS

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“If we assume that mankind is unique in the universe and is a result of a beautiful accident of evolution, then today we are facing a moment in time where we take evolution into our own hand by designing intelligent and maybe even conscious machines. This road will change our understanding of who we are and determine what we will become.”
– Alex Adriaansens / Angelica D. Schmitt

It took Billions of years of evolution before complex life forms evolved from our planet, and it is only 200.000 years ago since homo sapiens showed up. Today we are facing a moment in time where we might take evolution into our own hands by developing technology like autonomous and intelligent machines that will release us from the burdens of Nature, like illness, labor and who knows even death. And when we think one step further this technology might determine its own future independent from its creators.

All of this could happen in an unimaginably short time as the rate of development in the fields of artificial intelligence progresses exponentially. In the traceability of exponential developments, the human brain has always failed. At the same time our cognitive capacities seem to be getting more and more limited as the intelligence of our machines grows.

What we humans can be sure of is, that we are the only living species on earth that could not have survived to this day without technology. Without ever having had the ability to coat oneself with the help of a needle and the fur of an animal, man would probably have died out long ago. So from the cradle of humankind on, technology has always been a necessary tool to cope with a “non-paradisiacal”, hostile environment to survive.
The ensuing history of human civilization, with its great inventions and rich cultural heritage, can be considered as the consequence of mankind's need to reach independence from nature and its hopeful endeavor of creating a better world.