Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Ghost in the Machine? It's You.


I joined BHF for dinner before we performed server maintenance for one of our customers. We started talking about science fiction troupes. Once that line of discussion started, it was only a matter of time before we talked about The Ghost in the Machine -- we both agree we hate the term, but we are starting to see some of its fingerprints.


In science fiction, this troupe is all about a machine becoming self-aware and questioning whether it has a soul. Some of the greatest stories in scifi center around a self-aware computer that helps or destroys humanity. Naturally, we think it's complete nonsense.

Instead of scifi's emerging self-awareness, we believe it is more like a mass digital swarming Zeitgeist. With every tweet, comment, like, poke, friend request, review and data point we feed the ghost, it collects another piece of the human psyche. Slowly we are accumulating all the joy and hate, pain and pleasure, fear and hope of the human race into a digital format. The collective human psyche now has a mighty digital mirror.

Since all tech strives to become invisible and we are on a convergence course towards one another, soon we will merge with digital technology and make it part of ourselves. At that point, we are the machines. We become technology and it becomes us. The machine won't wake up -- we will.










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