Programmable humans?

13 of February of 2016

Rumours of a new version of the movie Blade Runner have been confirmed. We still don’t know if it will be a sequel or a prequel, of whether Harrison Ford will be the star, but the project is under way. This is indubitably very good news for lovers of good films and science fiction.

Blade Runner

The story, based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, unfolds in Los Angeles in 2019, where clones (“replicants” in the film) have been created to carry out dangerous work. A group of replicants in an off-world colony rebel against their manufacturer, which leads to a battle between creator and creature.

After watching this memorable scene, the question arises… Are human beings programmable?

In futurology, the technological singularity refers to the hypothetical future situation where technological progress and social change accelerate due to the development of superhuman intelligence, changing our world in a way that no pre-singularity human would be able to predict or understand.

Meanwhile, the arrival of the singularity is being sped up by the use of machines to design or improve the design of new inventions.

Although it sounds crazy, you could argue that, in today’s day and age, social networks are contributing to this hypothetical process, in the sense that we are part of the software, as VC Bryce explains in Bionic Software and Programable People.

That is to say: we programme the internet every day, but that relationship is reciprocal, since we also form part of the internet. VC Bryce calls this idea “programable people”: the interplay of humans and computers augmenting each others’ actions and amplifying one another’s understanding.

According to Erick Schonfeld, there has always been “tension on the internet between humans and algorithms. The internet is not just billions of linked pages, databases, and mobile apps. The internet is people. The internet makes us smarter, but we also make the internet smarter.”

Some futurologists maintain that, one day, computers will exceed human intelligence. But for the time being, what will we learn about the Web 2.0 world from the new Blade Runner movie?

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