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A.I. - the Brave New World

Updated: Feb 3

Like many other guys of my age, I grew up reading and watching science fiction. Of course, science fiction is nothing new as a genre. Ever since Jules Verne and HG Wells started sending people to the moon or back in time, our society has been fascinated with technology and how it would impact our lives. I was no exception.

My earliest recollections were books such as 20,000 Leagues under the Sea and the Time Machine. Visually, I was born into the era of Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Terminator. From the minds of people such as George Lucas, Gene Roddenberry, and Harlan Ellison (no, James Cameron was not responsible for the terminator!) I was presented with the possibility of a vast, new universe both without and within, and concepts such as warp speed and the singularity.

Today, as a quadriplegic, I eagerly follow the work of Elon Musk and what he is doing at Neuralink, a company that seeks to bridge the divide between the brain and technology, implanting microchips directly into the cerebral cortex and bypassing the need for a spinal-cord at all. Again, it takes its cue from science fiction but, has its eventuality firmly rooted in science fact. The realisation of the cyborg is here!

While all I have mentioned thus far except, perhaps, for the work of Verne, is still in the box marked Coming Soon, AI has come a long way in the last few years. Growing up, it was put to me that I would be required to get a 12 year education at the very least, followed by a further 4 to 7 years of tertiary instruction in order to realise my potential as a professional. As it turns out, those days might be over.