Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Apocalypse Never?

They're everywhere. They're on our desks, in our cars, and, in some cases, even inside our bodies. They've been around less than a hundred years, in comparison to our supposed 100,000+ years, yet we've already reached a point where living without them is almost unimaginable. They keep track of our money, help us stay in touch, and even record TV shows they think we'd like to see.

But computers will never rule the world.

We'll never have to worry about an army of Terminators methodically wiping out the human race. We're not going to end up as human batteries, blissfully ignorant of our enslavement in a virtual reality. And we won't even have to consider resisting assimilation into a race of cyborgs. It's just not going to happen.

How do I know this? Is it because humans are more adaptive than machines? Or because we can reproduce relatively quickly and inexpensively? Or maybe because something as "simple" as common sense is too difficult to program in a machine? Sure, but I arrived at my conclusion in a much more personal way. Here's the breakdown:

I rock at Unreal Tournament. You set the difficulty of that game at whatever level you want, in any match mode, and I will kick ass. I'll side-step oncoming rockets like they were old ladies with walkers... I'll spin around corners, dropping enemies before they even see me... And I'll capture enough flags to end the game before the enemy even reaches my base. I've done it hundreds of times already, and I'm sure I'll do it hundreds of more times. Like I said, I rock at Unreal Tournament. The game even tells me I'm "Godlike!"

Of course, that's if I'm playing against computer opponents... Once I go online, any 14 year old kid living off of Coke and Doritos in his mother's basement can pwn my ass in about 16 seconds.

So, forget about SkyNet achieving awareness and nuking the planet. I'm more worried about the day little Johnnie finally figures out how to use a belt, gets a job, and becomes the leading target demographic.

Heaven help us.
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