Much science fiction can be viewed as cautionary tales about the dangers of technology, space aliens, and the hubris of humanity. There are movies like the Terminator series, the Matrix trilogy, and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, which have explored the potentially perilous results of emerging tech. In the 21st Century, the Internet is the most readily available tool we have, but if we start to get careless, could the Internet “rebel” against its creators and become self-aware?
How realistic, if at all, is that idea? Is it something walled off firmly in the world of science fiction, or could it someday become science fact? In the Big Think video series, American Theoretical Physicist and Professor at City College of New York Michio Kaku dispels notions of Internt self-awareness.
Kaku contends the next progression of the Internet is not self-awareness but rather human interaction via the brain, that this so-called “Brain-Net” will do away with computers and connect humans to the Internet directly. Think of it like the Na’vi “tree network” from James Cameron’s Avatar. Humans will always control the Internet because even our most advanced computer systems are merely sophisticated adding machines, according to Kaku. Rest assured, the Internet is not after you.
We should probably be more concerned with Internet censorship from corporations and the government than we should about Skynet suddenly popping into existence and deciding we need to be dealt with. The Internet should always be a free-flowing source of information, content, and opinions. The people are the Internet, and maybe we should promote the idea of more people becoming self-aware to help fight against the real problems of the world.