Humanity, Mark II
I love this picture of an alien and human interacting emotionally and physically because it sits at the heart of the sci-fi I write. Whilst there are alien enemies (aren't there always?) there are also opportunities for allies, friends and companions. In the Pattern Universe Zeke and Zirkos become friends, Pod and Zeke become companions (of a sort) whilst in Exodus we see an artificial 'human' intelligence behaving badly as the other AIs try to minimise its influence. Even Arty shows leadership and compassion.In Artis Prime, the introduction of RIGA a human Mark II seeks to show the trend towards artificiality as a means of future human development. A merging of the best of both into a new lifeform, one that retains the values of humanity without the frailty. This doesn't come without cost as will be shown in the 5th book of the Pattern Universe series, 'The Transhuman War' which seeks to underline the problems associated with putting artificial intelligence, humanity and transhuman intelligence together and not expecting to spark the flame of war. Today humanity still has choices, but as time goes on these become moribund as technology takes over more and more of our lives. So, when you think about how far we've already come you can appreciate it's really not a matter of 'IF', but 'When' we become cyborgs.
So, the media and IT billionaires would all have you running scared of artificial intelligence, and there may well be a good reason for that. As life becomes more intricately entwined with technology will we see those same billionaires fight for enhanced immortality in the only way possible? When they accede to their fear of death and their desperation and cling onto their power and riches will 'they' become the Human Mark II and should we then be afraid?
At that point should we then bow to our new masters, or should we instead ensure that they hold no power over any but themselves? If we don't fully understand what is to come, then we will assuredly be unprepared for its arrival. Perhaps, artificial intelligence is one way to balance the digital power shift that would occur if just one person achieves immortality through transfer into digital format.
The other is to ensure that the digital transhumanism becomes widespread and checks and balances form to create a workable future for all. Imagine what a world would be like where minds and technology were forged into a new and amazing lifeform where nothing is impossible and the universe itself is there for the taking.