We Are Headed For An Intelligence Gap; A Gap Within Our Own Human Species
Once we start moving beyond Mars, there will be a huge intelligence gap between the explorers and us.
Hey there. My name is Sameer. I’m a software developer, writer and an occasional speaker on tech related topics. Some things that I’m about to say here may be controversial. First the disclaimer:
“This disclaimer informs readers that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.”
With that said. Let me start by saying that I had this thought for a while in my mind. It’s been playing over and over; as if like this is how things will play out. I’m no prophet or a fortune teller, but I am pretty sure some of these things will happen in one way or the other. Take it as my version of the “What will happen in the future”, if so you may.
Aaand, time to put it down into words. Let’s do this. :)
So the title might startle you a bit. You may be thinking “What on earth is he talking about?” No worries. I’ll explain it all one by one. Yes, in my opinion, most of us will be left behind.
Now you may say, “Oh, come on. We all know that. Skynet. or in general term: Artificial Super Intelligence.” Well, yes but that is a bit of unknown for now. ASI could be achieved within just 20 years or could take us another 50 or 100 years. Also we are basically merged with robots already. We rely on technologies like mobile phones, GPS and other technologist to live our daily lives. So in future, we’re likely to just merge with robots and become AIs ourselves. What I want to do is take AI out of the equation for now. We can’t control an ASI anyway. It will be doing what it wants. I want to talk about the side we know will happen, and happen soon.
The main point is that we still will be left behind by humans themselves.
“What kind of humans?” You may say. The ones that venture out of our planet and beyond.
Let’s take an example right here on earth. Are all humans equally intelligent? Of course no. There is an intelligence gap. There are people like Einstein and other scientists that have exceptional mental capabilities. Rest of us are average. And there are some that are underprivileged, i.e the poor. The ones without education. And finally there are the ones that never interacted with the modern world. “Examples?” You may say. And rightly so. Check out the 10 tribes mentioned here in Listverse: https://listverse.com/2013/01/24/10-tribes-that-avoided-modern-civilization/
Another example that comes in mind, are the Bushmans in Kalahari Desert. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushman. The movie series “God Must Be Crazy” shows how primitive they are in their thinking. It is a fantastic movie to watch, and I recommend you do so. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080801/
Another good example from my own country; Nepal, is The Rautes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raute_people . They are basically hunters with very primitive language; the Raute language. As written in the wiki “Rautes emphasize that they wish to remain full-time foragers and not assimilate into the surrounding farming population.” We can see that they’re not interested in actually moving to the modern civilization.
Many other such tribes can be still seen today all over the world. Some are behind because they had no contact with modern civilization, where as like the Rautes, they simply refuse to do so by their own choice.
In the coming decade or two, people will move to Mars. Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and other billionaires are already working on the problem. SpaceX is planning to send humans to Mars by 2030s. NASA is also planning to do it by 2040s. At first only the daring ones will go. Then the scientists and others. Then the tourists will arrive to Mars. The demand for new inventions will rise for making life comfortable on Mars. That means demand for scientists and engineers. And the brain drain will start. No longer will America and the Silicon Valley be the brain drain. It will be Mars.
Similarly people will move to Europa, and beyond. And the further humans go, the more innovations and new technology is required. Going to another solar system or beyond will be a massive leap.
With this we come back to the intelligence gap. Humans from Earth will be the most primitive form. Mars a bit different but most tech will easily be imported to Earth, so no major issues. Just around 20 minutes communication gap. Problem comes once we move to another solar system, the distance will be great enough that messaging back and transfer of knowledge will be less and less feasible. To be exact, we do not even have the technology to do this right now. The fastest information can travel is the speed of light. As we know, nothing can move faster than light. It seems to be the cosmic limit. (At least for now).
Some interesting links to check out:
This communication gap will cause big divide and the ones that venture far enough will be the ones with the most advanced technologies. These people when they come back, they’ll be Gods to us. Their technologies will be so advanced that they can manipulate anything on Earth if so they desire.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” -Arthur C. Clarke
Will they be good Gods? Will they spare us? What will they do to us? We don’t know. One thing we know is, it is still early. Or are we even sure about that? What if aliens are way ahead of us? What if ASI has already been created? We’ll have to leave those questions aside. As there is no evidence of that till now. Forget the conspiracy theories and all that stuff. I call bluff on those. If things were real, we’d feel its effect one way or the other.
Another compelling explanation is the Zoo hypothesis. It basically says that advanced alien civilization are avoiding us, so as not to disturb our natural evolution and development.
I believe there is one obvious solution to this issue. Venture out as far as we can, so we know the truth. So the crazy technologies won’t seem magic to us. If not, you know what I’m going to say. “We’ll be stuck between the intelligence gap.”
It’s inevitable though, most of us will not be able to move beyond Earth. For various reasons:
- Financial (It’’ll be expensive to move, at first anyway)
- Satisfied with what one has here on Earth
- Not interested: No life goals to do so
- Social reasons: (Family, friends)
I’m not saying any of the decisions are wrong. It’s our choice to be where we want to be. But if we want to go down the rabbit hole, we better start preparing our bags to Mars and beyond. Never settle, will be the motto in that case. :)
What do you think of the intelligence gap? What are your thoughts on the future? Let’s discuss them on the comments section below. I’m keen to hear your take on it.
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