Xenophobe wrote:The Terminator guy seemed a bit sci-fi,
I forget his credentials, but I seem to recall the AI guy is a scientist actually working in this field, not an amateur doom flake. I think the whole panel were mainstream experts except for Kunstler and Ruppert (correction: the nuke doom guy is the editor of TOR books).
About the AI doom.. the guy knows what's he talking about, and it's food for thought, but honestly that's like fifty - a hundred years from now doom. On a practical level, I just don't see "robots turning on us" ever being a problem. The only problem I see there would be from weaponized robotics -- that's going to be a game changer and will most likely lead to more totalitarian societies (it's one thing for a protester to stand up to a human cop, but a robot has no emotion or human decency -- robots will carry out the orders of their controller).
But robots collectively turning on humanity? That's unlikely.. every step of the way programmers will include "kill switches" and humans will always have ultimate control. It's not like complete control of everything would ever be turned over to one particular master program. That wouldn't even be good programming -- you WANT some decentralization since that's a more stable system.
And ultimately, there will be more of us than them for a long time and software / robots are more vulnerable than we are. They MUST have a BAU grid to survive, whereas humans can make it in the rough.
so yeah, the water guy at least came across as reasonable.
That was an eye-opener. But I just can't get too far into "water doom," I mean I have lakes and rivers within walking distance. The river might be brackish, but further upstream it's fresh. I guess he's imagining an America with an India-like concentration of people.. given our size that would mean two billion.
Lots of good info on the water though, for one thing I didn't know something like 19 million Americans get sick from their water every year. On the other hand, if it's that bad here then how do the Mexicans and Indians survive? Their water is a lot worse.
He also pointed out that our treatment plants just aren't designed to filter a lot of stuff out. So we're taking in pharmaceuticals, all kinds of crap. Even fish has caffeine in it now, which comes from our human waste ultimately making it's way into lakes and rivers.