How far are we really away from a world that mirrors that of the Terminator franchise -- one where machines become self-aware, turn on their human creators and wreak havoc on earth? According to Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computers, we're really not far away at all. Speaking at a business congress in Australia over the weekend, Wozniak said that in the near future "we're going to become the pets, the dogs of the house" so long as we continue along the same path. The more and more we use computers for our high-level thinking, the closer we'll be to a day where we may become "less meaningful, less relevant," according to Wozniak.
"Every time we create new technology we're creating stuff to do the work we used to do and we're making ourselves less meaningful, less relevant. Why are we going to need ourselves so much in the future? We're just going to have the easy life," he said. You don't realise it's happened until it's there and I think that awareness of machines is getting very, very close and we're getting close to where a machine will really understand you. 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. 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."
So ... do I buy the iPad 3 then, or will it kill me in my sleep? Do you think it's inevitable that we will reach a day where we'll be fighting for our lives against self-aware machines?