I’ve been doing some developing of a novel that will feature a devout Mormon family, faced with questions of personhood, the singularity, etc. Writing it in reaction to such novels as Accelerando by Charles Stross. I’m a little tired of cynical, secular (and somewhat anti-religious) singularity novels. That fact is, devout religious people will still be here and will not be crazy or delusional. Loving families will still be here. So what is that going to look like? How will the range of human beings react to AIs, and how will the AIs act? What will those AIs feel, how will feelings work, and will they have a soul? When we can’t tell the difference between a ‘real’ human and a facsimile, what will we do?
A good friend of mine pointed me out to a group of people, the Mormon Transhumanist Society. Very cool. Some great threads of thought there, though I’m afraid they’re reaching towards a tower of babel society. I don’t think the technological enhancement of our bodies is a path towards transfiguration (basically being resurrected or instantly changed (if not dead) into new and incorrupt bodies).
But I do believe we will have technological enhancement of our bodies. I’m sporting some right now: I have implants in my eyes, that correct my otherwise flawed vision. I think there will be more, that go beyond correcting and into perceived and perhaps real improvement. But just because we can facebook stalk our friends with the flick of an eye, or upload new languages at will, suck energy directly from the sun with our new green skin, or learn quantum mechanics and evolution in first grade, doesn’t mean God will become less real. Nor does it mean we will become closer to God. The faster we’ll be able to run, the faster we’ll be able to fall flat on our spiritual faces.
Information ratios: how much information will be pushing us to make materially focused decisions vs spiritual decisions? And where were we before?
Next time, Information pollution.