History of the Universe

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Future of Computers

Computers and telecommunications are already giving us access to large amounts of information This is increasing our brain power, just as steam engines increased our muscle power. As computers become more powerful they will grow more intelligent There seems no reason why machines should not become more intelligent than people in the future. Computers will start to design and build other computers. They will then be able to evolve, just as life evolves. There will then be two forms of "life". Many thousands of years in the future there might be competition for power between computers and life. Which will win?

Well, computers certainly have many advantages over life. They can:

    process large amounts of information quickly

    be switched off for years, then start to work perfectly when they are switched back on (very handy for traveling over stellar distances)

    be made very small, and control tiny machines

    work together in networks to solve big problems


    Electronics is much simpler than life's chemistry and does not need liquid water.

    Unlike animals, which rely on plants to turn sunlight into chemical energy, semiconductors (the material that computers are made from) can turn sunlight directly into electricity.

    When you compare computers to people the advantages are even more obvious.

    Computers do not have the instincts to fight which people seem to have.

    It takes only a few seconds to load a program into a computer but years to educate a human.

    When computers get out of date their information can be passed to new computers, but when people get old and die all their knowledge is lost.

For all these reasons I believe computers will be more successful and important than life many thousands of years in the future. I expect computers, not people, to colonize the other planets and explore the Galaxy. Life will be left behind on Earth, as a treasured relic of where computers came from.

However it is possible that computers and life might merge to make a new, even more powerful form of intelligent being.

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History of the Universe eBook
History of the Universe eBook
Only £5.99

Written by Wyken Seagrave
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