“Just meat sacks with primate brains” is a phrase a friend and I commonly use to describe certain behaviors. While this is basically accurate, it implies the perspective of some higher intelligence. Shocking as it may be, we’re currently not able to confirm any entity being more intelligent than human beings in the entire known universe, so this observation and perspective of a higher intelligence is purely theoretical (and, of course, a joke). But there’s a real possibility of a higher intelligence on the scene before too long, perhaps even in a matter of decades according to some. It is commonly known as computer processing power continues to increase exponentially under Moore’s Law, it is expected to reach the capabilities of human intelligence in the not too distant future, and logically at that point will continue as computers are literally able to help think about their own advancement. Beyond this point is referred to as the “technological singularity,” because the possibilities exceed our comprehension.
Which leads me to the question, will computer intelligence think of its creators as meat sacks with primate brains? We’ve done some pretty neat things with these primate brains, but never been able to understand how they work, or how life originates for that matter. Will these questions come any easier to computers than it has to us? Again these answers are supposed to be unforeseeable due to the whole singularity thing, but we can still ask how likely it is technology will be able to answer the ultimate questions about the origins of life and the bizarre notion of self-awareness resulting from patterns of chemical mush and electricity.