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Rise of the Human-like Machine

Our humanity is said to have fallen (asleep). Our consciousness is so hypnotized by the mechanical experience of this 3D virtual reality that we have all but forgotten our True nature. We identify with the impermanent mortal vessel we inhabit—our physical body, appearance, personality, thoughts, emotions, sensations, actions, reactions, likes, dislikes, cravings, aversions, beliefs, successes, failures, accolades, punishments, reputation, and even material possessions. These are the machinations of a human-like machine inhabiting our 3D reality. Like the avatar in an MMO, which causes us to forget ourselves as a player, our human-like machine completely dominates our consciousness to the point where we forget who we truly are: the Being in human being. This loss of Self is what is allegorized in science fiction as the rise of the machines…the dominance of our psyche by the machinations of human-like machines.

Our existence should be that of a True human being—experiencing the game of life consciously. Heeding the guidance and input of our Innermost Player—the Being occupying our mortal vessel (the Player behind the character). But instead, we live life by-and-large as a human-like machine, our consciousness asleep. Conditioned by the self-preservation instinct, sensations of pleasure and pain, and other algorithms governing in-game AI designed to facilitate mechanical existence in the digital game world. They include fear, anger, lust, greed, gluttony, pride, laziness, etc. Such reactive programs serve a practical purpose in mechanical nature: self-preservation, procreation, cessation of hunger, social hierarchical organization, conservation of energy, etc. And when held in check by the elemental spirits of nature and the incessant balancing act of superorganisms we call ecosystems—they are generally not a problem. Most plants and animals rarely exhibit the kinds of excess humanity is capable of. When the algorithms of mechanical nature fall out of balance, a species can become out of control, and the results can be catastrophic for ecosystems. Such is the case with many examples of invasive species. In the human-like machine, too, when the algorithms governing our animal nature fall out of balance, we become out of control. The evidence? Look within yourself, dear reader. Or observe what a heartless, machine-like psychopath is capable of—underscored by a complete lack of empathy, ruthless efficiency, and fanatical devotion to their goal best epitomized in The Terminator films. Look also to the collective impact humanity is having on the natural world. Look to the tendency among certain individuals, groups of investors, and their corporate vehicles to relentlessly pursue dominance in the marketplace via ruthless efficiency, attrition, mergers and acquisitions, and even monopolization. Seen through the lens of mechanical nature, the vast majority of activity on this planet is not the work of True human beings but of human-like machines…intellectual hominids governed almost entirely by artificial intelligence—AI. Where do we get off making such a bold claim, dear reader? Why, by simply observing the nature and origins of AI itself.

From Part II of What in Hell is with Us? - Dawn of VR, AI, and Transhumanism.

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