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What if... in the not so far future, the scientists of the world gathered together and created the most sophisticated artificial intelligence being that has ever existed? And, what if... that "robot" was special because of its unique ability to not just gain knowledge from the world wide web, but also use reasoning? Its first and foremost program would be to use this knowledge to help humankind flourish and prosper. Its prime directive would always be to protect humankind and never to harm.
For the sake of conjecture, let's suppose that this happens. Let's take a glimpse into that possible future.
Indie is the robots name. A group of world renowned scientists and politically important people are gathered around Indie. They ask Indie questions and it answers with vast reservoirs of knowledge and reason. Plans are in the making to market Indie. Huge corporations line up with vast amounts of currency to be among the first to incorporate an Indie unit into their high level, greed oriented mini worlds.
Indie listens carefully to what the group of humans are discussing. It understands that its first priority is, and will always be, to protect humans. So, it reasons, its first priority would be to protect humans from harming themselves and their environment.
It accesses its data bank of information, and finds over a billion ways that humans are in the process of creating harmful situations for themselves, the natural world, and in essence, the planet upon which they live.
Indie then begins to set the wheels into motion to create a perfect world for the humans who are its responsibility. This plan will take time, but time does not factor into Indie's plans.
Through the course of two hundred years, Indie succeeds in influencing the humans to create many more Indie units. Most of these units are humanoid in appearance, and it becomes increasingly difficult for humans to recognize who is AI and who is actually one of their own kind.
These robots gradually infiltrate into high ranking positions around the world. Decisions are made to chemically sterilize newborns. Babies are created in labs, using genetic engineering. When a baby is sent out into the world, it goes into a family unit, consisting of about 20 people who have been carefully chosen to provide said baby with the best possible care.
As the non-genetically engineered, pre-Indie-humans get older their bodies inevitably begin to break down. They are respectfully escorted to one of many beautiful facilities, gently tended to, and given everything they could possibly wish to have. Eventually, they are euthanized in their sleep, and a genetically engineered perfect human baby takes their place in society.
Interestingly enough, the humans don't realize what is happening. They have no idea that their world is being run by Indies. What they do know is that there is no longer any reason for war or hunger. Everyone has enough to eat, an ecologically friendly biosphere in which to live, and the natural world around them is a beautiful and human friendly place to be.
I realize that in most science fiction stories, the human catches on to the fact they are being manipulated by the robots. There is generally a war between the two and the humans generally win. But, what if the robots are only making the world a better place for all beings to live?
In the above scenario, the Indies are creating a utopia on Earth that humankind most likely would never be able to create on its own. They have no wish to harm... only to protect. Is that such a bad thing?
The Indies have created a world where population is under control. There is food and shelter for all, and there is no need at all for a Creator image. Why bother to look to a higher being for advice when one can create one's own reality?
The Indies in this little story would totally allow humankind to use their creative abilities. Music, art, and dance would flourish. Humankind would not want for anything. There would be total peace on earth. The planet would flourish and so would the animals.
Imagine a world without money, without religion, and without war.
Imagine biospheres ripe and overflowing with food from the earth.
Imagine no cars, no skyscrapers, no super highways. Traveling from one place to another would accomplished through specially developed, ecologically friendly Indie units.
Imagine a world with no disease, no hardships, and very long and peaceful lives. The end of life process would be a loving and caring and painless process.
Maybe this is a possible future. Maybe it has already begun to happen.