Darius Nikbin discusses his book The Universal Subject of Our Time (Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Machine).
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In the dialectic of man versus machine, can machines ever become more than glorified number crunchers? How would we know if a machine was actually beginning to think? If it did, might it eventually develop self-awareness and if so, might it also develop self-interest? What if its interests conflicted with ours? In the context of scientific optimism versus post-modern pessimism, we ponder whether artificial intelligence can deliver on its promise of tackling social and economic problems and enhancing our lives, or whether its ultimate threat of a subjugated or even annihilated humanity could one day come to pass. Machines are doing more and more of what used to be the work of the human mind, reducing us to shallower thinking and understanding. In the drive to develop the ever more complex and autonomous technological matrix within which we are increasingly subsumed, is the human race being lost?
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