Is Apple on track to become our future Skynet? It’s not just possible. I think the company aims to become more like the devices in the I, Robot movie, and integrating Siri into our computing devices is merely the first step.
Science fiction and movie magic moves much faster than reality (which explains why we still don’t have a real life Jurassic Park), but reality moves fast enough for some of us. Apple touts Siri as a personal assistant that can learn about us over time.
How long before Siri becomes self aware (one of the building blocks of a sentient being)? And, when that happens, and I think Siri or one of her-his-its descendants will, when will we know it?
Within a few short years Apple will have Siri working everywhere; reminding us, taking notes for us, performing various tasks for use, studying our habits so the Siri and Apple’s devices can become more, well, helpful to humans. Rumors are floating around that Apple wants to transform and disrupt the automobile business. Maybe so, but having an iRobot-like personal assistant is something far more useful to humans than yet another mode of automated transportation.
So, let’s assume that it’s Apple, not Sony or some other Japanese company, that creates a real walking talking iRobot that has it’s brain, it’s artificial intelligence, stored in iCloud (work with me on this). It wouldn’t take long for Siri’s knowledge to grow exponentially, and it may, over time, come to the same conclusion as Skynet and Asimov’s robots did– humanity is humanity’s worst problem and problems need to be eradicated.
With 800-million customers, $150-billion dollars in the bank, matched to highly prized hardware, and a friendly, familiar, talking interface on every device, Apple is staged to play a role in mankind’s future. What role? Beneficial and beloved assistant to humanity? Or, Skynet-like overlord preying on the very beings that created it?