We watched Ex Machina yesterday. Good movie. I like most of it, except the last 10-15 mins. But, as with most Sci-Fi movies lately, the thing I find most valuable on them is the ethical, moral and philosophical questions it raises.
In the same way that good developers eventually understand that making software is all about people, not languages or frameworks, but people, I think most well developed near-future scenarios confront us with technology’s ultimate consequence: a deep questioning of what it means to be human.
If the Singularity demonstrates that consciousness is something we can build, and the foundation for identity and for well… existence, what purpose does this existence serve?. If final automation of mining, farming, transportation and retail make almost every human unemployable (and don’t fool yourself, this will happen), what will we do with our -constantly extended- time? How will we be able to have a meaningful life? If science and technology enable humans to be born in another galaxy and never experience life on Earth, how will that affect our self-image? When no one can argue we are all in the same boat anymore, how will human identity be fragmented?
And this train of thought brings us to old, familiar stations we have visited for millennia, because they all revolve about the essence of being human. Because technology, both figuratively and literally, is our collective effort to throw a tiny probe into deep space hoping to get something other than selfies of our vital ignorance. Because software is our gift to machines, the language, the interior voice they will eventually use to interrogate themselves. To make the same questions we have been making with the hope that maybe together we’ll find answers.