Wozniak: Humans to become like dogs as machines take over the world

At a business event on Friday afternoon, Steve Wozniak (Co-founder of Apple alongside Steve Jobs) claimed that humans would "become the pets, the dogs of the house." Wozniak was speaking to an audience of over 2000 business people at the Australian Chambers Business Congress on Australia's Gold Coast.

Steve Wozniak (often affectionately known as simply 'The Woz') has long been known as an eccentric character and his latest claims certainly back that up. In what must have sounded like a speech from Sarah Connor - an apparently fictional character in the Terminator movies and The Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series - The Woz went on to claim "We're already creating the superior beings, I think we lost the battle to the machines long ago".

Fortunately he did slightly temper comments about a SkyNet like problem by stating "My comment about the machines winning the war is partly a joke, but we've accidentally already put so much in place that we can't get rid of from our lives." And then strangely, he ranted again by stating "Once we have machines doing our high-level thinking, there's so little need for ourselves and you can't ever undo it - you can never turn them off."

The comments came to light in an article by Tony Bennett published in the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday. We certainly look forward to hearing what The Woz will rant about next and many of us will secretly be wondering whether, he is, in fact correct. Are we at the brink of a new age where machines will rule the world - and we'll simply sit back with nothing to do?

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What we will have in twenty years is a really, really fast calculator with a lot of storage, and many interconnected systems. You likely will have more computing power in your wireless phone then we have in many corporate computer networks today. We will not have high level AI which has reached the level of human consciousness, and it is doubtful that we ever will.

The only way his argument works is to take it into the abstract. We becomes slaves/dependents of our technology (which is not conscious). If that is the case, it already happened... about a decade ago. Many, many tasks are simply impossible without "machines." A lot of tasks have been automated by machines. So in this sense, he is correct.

This, however, does not mean a SkyNet, but rather our ability as humans to become dependent on the tools that we manufacture. An example on a small scale... how many really enjoy doing complex math or writing a paper by hand. The same can be said for much higher tasks like the actually manufacturing of tech.

Computers have evolved at a blazing speed. Quantum computing is getting close. Maybe the idea of SkyNet is LOL right now, but think about it, in another 10-20 years.... Look how much things changed in the last 10-20 years.

Reality ofthen comes from Science Fiction.....

The actual problem is, I think, not that machines will do the thinking for humans but that humans will give thinking over to the machine companies.

Reading the comments, it seems that a lot of humans would be happy being like dogs, not having to think for themselves, as long as they get their treats, like to dogs in concentration camps back then.

Are we at the brink of a new age where machines will rule the world - and we'll simply sit back with nothing to do?

It's not an as "out there" thought as one may think. Machines are replacing numerous people's work by the day. I think one reason we haven't seen many effects of this yet besides a more efficient economy, is because we've so far still been able to find new venues, as humans. But as machines and robots become all the more proficient, this will become harder and harder.

Wozniak is speaking of a development that IS only going in one direction today. We aren't replacing machines with humans. We are ONLY replacing humans with machines. Only. Not one machine is switched back to one human.

So, yes, the argument has merit, and the question is not whether we'll be marginalized in an industrialized world, but at which point we can say "stop". And which politician will want to do that, when saying "stop" means less efficiency as a country, and less competivity, less profits, and less welfare? They will hesitate before doing that. Perhaps even refuse.

The core problem here is that our economy has to keep developing. That's the foundation of a functional economy. It's not good enough to be "profitable", the profits has to increase over time as well. Otherwise there shall be stock market crashes...

What we are today is even worse. Encapsulated in our own little anti-social bubble; with no care as to what's going on around us. Human beings are long overdue for extinction, and good riddance to thee.

I think most people who are working on Artificial Intelligence projects understand the risks of having a rogue AI. I'm sure that many fail safes would be put into place on such high-level thinking devices to prevent it from going rogue. And in addition I'm sure there would also be an override to shut off an AI, something that the AI isn't capable of accessing. I would also hope we would train our AI's to understand that violence is wrong and those who do not obey the law are processed by the legal system and not by AI's ...

there is always a human error factor
and demented terrorists.. an AI by itself is not dangerous per se if precautions are taken, but what is dangerous is a knowledge how to create an AI.

what an idiot. machines and robots will take a long time if ever till they are autonomous and dynamic enough to even have a conversation with...let alone consciousness... we're talking at least another 1000+ years till they get there. evolution of human knowledge and thought is far quicker so we'll never be subservient to any robot or machine.

Digitalx said,
what an idiot. machines and robots will take a long time if ever till they are autonomous and dynamic enough to even have a conversation with...let alone consciousness... we're talking at least another 1000+ years till they get there. evolution of human knowledge and thought is far quicker so we'll never be subservient to any robot or machine.

Agree 100%.

Digitalx said,
what an idiot. machines and robots will take a long time if ever till they are autonomous and dynamic enough to even have a conversation with...let alone consciousness... we're talking at least another 1000+ years till they get there. evolution of human knowledge and thought is far quicker so we'll never be subservient to any robot or machine.

"Evolution of human knowledge and thought" is not necessarily quicker. We haven't been able to compare ourselves yet, because we haven't built an equivalent machine version of ourselves.

What we do know, however, is that a computer with far less of a brain than a human will easily beat the human at chess. That a robot with a "brain" of the capacity of a mouse will easily beat the Rubik's cube.

The theory of the technological singularity describes what may happen once we get to this point, and if it happens, why these "1000+ years" will be significantly shortened.

I swear my iMac becomes noticeable cranky and fickle when I start yelling at it. Once I threatened iMac to replace it with a PC and for two days straight it would throw random error messages in my face, until I apologized.

RAAAA. ILL BE BACK.

no, but seriously...its questionable what this would do for us in terms of being good, or bad.. If i were to be a dog...it seems that my life would be extremely easy...its just that... well...i think their would be too much control over me..

auziez said,
RAAAA. ILL BE BACK.

no, but seriously...its questionable what this would do for us in terms of being good, or bad.. If i were to be a dog...it seems that my life would be extremely easy...its just that... well...i think their would be too much control over me..

correction - if u were a pet/domestic dog.. not a wild one!

styxrtp said,
I think Woz has been watching too much Terminator movies.

Because he speaks the truth?

You've been watching too many terminator movies, bucko!

Yawn... High level thinking is a long time away. Machines cannot be creative and think outside their programming yet, they are only good at collecting and sorting data.

I think a 'ghost in the shell' future is more plausible where machines are grafted around the brain than replacing it. I wouldn't turn down a robotic shell if my body was impaired or diseased.

Eventually all biological barriers will be removed, it's just a matter of time.

imachip said,
Yawn... High level thinking is a long time away. Machines cannot be creative and think outside their programming yet, they are only good at collecting and sorting data.

I think a 'ghost in the shell' future is more plausible where machines are grafted around the brain than replacing it. I wouldn't turn down a robotic shell if my body was impaired or diseased.

Eventually all biological barriers will be removed, it's just a matter of time.

We already are machines. Biological machines.

imachip said,
Yawn... High level thinking is a long time away. Machines cannot be creative and think outside their programming yet, they are only good at collecting and sorting data.

I think a 'ghost in the shell' future is more plausible where machines are grafted around the brain than replacing it. I wouldn't turn down a robotic shell if my body was impaired or diseased.

Eventually all biological barriers will be removed, it's just a matter of time.

I await the singularity with baited breath.

imachip said,
Yawn... High level thinking is a long time away. Machines cannot be creative and think outside their programming yet, they are only good at collecting and sorting data.

I think a 'ghost in the shell' future is more plausible where machines are grafted around the brain than replacing it. I wouldn't turn down a robotic shell if my body was impaired or diseased.

Eventually all biological barriers will be removed, it's just a matter of time.


It's easy to say this is a "long time away", but I find it very hard, if not impossible, to predict when technological leaps will happen. Did anyone really foresee in year 1900 that in just the next decade, the perception of the universe would forever change? Did anyone during World War I think that we'd stand on the moon in 50 years? A human's lifetime? The space race wasn't even thought of, back then. Did anyone think that, at the start of WW2, that we'd end it by wiping out two cities by using thermonuclear weapons?

We can answer "no" on all these questions, so we need to not speek too bodly about large time scales ahead. Especially not when technological developments can be said to follow an exponential curve. See more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerating_change

I remember my youth, when I tinkered with computers like the Amiga and the Atari during a few years. The difference to now is that during "a few years", we go from 0 mobile applications to millions. We go from no Facebook, to Facebook with 600 million users. Accelerating change? You bet...

Northgrove said,

It's easy to say this is a "long time away", but I find it very hard, if not impossible, to predict when technological leaps will happen. Did anyone really foresee in year 1900 that in just the next decade, the perception of the universe would forever change? Did anyone during World War I think that we'd stand on the moon in 50 years? A human's lifetime? The space race wasn't even thought of, back then. Did anyone think that, at the start of WW2, that we'd end it by wiping out two cities by using thermonuclear weapons?

We can answer "no" on all these questions, so we need to not speek too bodly about large time scales ahead. Especially not when technological developments can be said to follow an exponential curve. See more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerating_change

I remember my youth, when I tinkered with computers like the Amiga and the Atari during a few years. The difference to now is that during "a few years", we go from 0 mobile applications to millions. We go from no Facebook, to Facebook with 600 million users. Accelerating change? You bet...

you remind me of this book.
http://books.google.com.bh/boo...v=onepage&q&f=false

it claims that in 100 year , we would replace/augmented large part of our body

we would become Super-humans!

FMH said,
He's right! Humans will become more like dogs, and dogs will become more like humans.

Dogs are already a lot like humans: They're stupid, have bad breath, and won't shut the hell up.

Actually, I'm extremely envious of my two dogs.

I friggen bust my ass for them. They just lounge around and nap all day. I hope Wozniak is right .

Shadrack said,
Actually, I'm extremely envious of my two dogs.

I friggen bust my ass for them. They just lounge around and nap all day. I hope Wozniak is right .

Bingo. People say we are the masters as we pick up their poop. Here in Cali I see women push them around in baby strollers.