In this post we will explore the evolution of consciousness and by extension the Metaverse and get a sense of how close we are to Judgment Day.
The evolution of the Human species has be intimately tied to the adaptive advantage of tool use. Tool use has been eminent in the rise and fall of civilisations and in some cases, reached an evolutionary dead end where, we as a species have forgotten how we used technology more advanced than our own.
In our current iteration of technology, the internet has been going through a stage of infancy since its invention in 1983. We are only now reaching a stage where the moving parts are mature enough to do what we imagined half a century ago.
The question must be asked – why is the human species co-evolving with technology rather than Nature
We invented tools for the adaptive needs of our survival, yet we now find ourselves at the mercy of the very tools that we invented. The introduction of the Metaverse alongside the pandemic has thrown humanity off balance. We are now facing an Inflection point, a stepping stone towards hybrid-cognition. A nexus between the biological and the digital at a time when Humans are becoming more artificial, machine is becoming more intelligent.
As a species, we are caught up in day to day existence, trying to make ends meet, we fail to contemplate the very real existential threats that we may not be biologically prepared for .
For the first time in recorded history, we are look at a separation of intelligence and consciousness. The optimistic descendants of the Great Apes – last generation of true biological Homo Sapiens.
The step towards hybrid cognition is an inflection point in biological inequality. Instead of simply harvesting behavioural data such as the analysis of preferences by social platforms, AI can now biohack human beings using biometric data available from the recent explosion in wearable tech .
In my previous role at the University of Sydney, I lead my team to design and deploy an end-to-end AI infrastructure to diagnose disease progression in multiple sclerosis from 150 clinics across 38 countries. The technology we developed is able to generate an automated medical report on the most complex organ in our body, within seconds with far greater accuracy than neurologists with 35 years experience. Despite the fact that neurology is among the highest paid profession in medicine.
Technology is evolving faster than our Prehistoric Brain.
We are heading head first towards brain-machine interfaces, but we are yet to develop a healthy relationship with Brain-Body interface.
The brain is a primordial filter of consciousness but does not generate consciousness itself. The distinction between consciousness and intelligence is that: AI does not breathe – herein lies the paradox of moral reasoning.
Throughout the history of scientific endeavours – we have striped the universe of experience and talked only in the manner of quantitative properties. The fundamental building blocks of science excludes consciousness by design.
As a man of science, I have deliberately avoided talking about consciousness for this reason. But I couldn’t resist writing about it. I wrote my book Hidden World while living in a cave devoid of mental chatter in order to contemplate consciousness. As such, the Hidden World is borderline fantasy – blurring the lines between the real and the imagined. Because, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
One of the most common question I get asked is about the nature of consciousness, as if neuroscientists have some divine insight on the subject matter. The truth is – we couldn’t be further from the truth because we overthink consciousness and use overly convoluted explanations that sounds impressive but rarely are.
If I asked you – did you dream last night? If the answer is yes, how can you prove it to me? Sure we can measure surface brain activity in rapid eye movement sleep – yet I will never be able to experience what you did. Every explanation of consciousness is challenged by this very predicament. At least, up until now.
Allow me to take back what I said before – Did you dream last night? If the answer is yes – show it to me in the Metaverse.
Virtual reality can not only mimic our imagination, it can make it far more immersive. The possibility of experiencing all that you ever dreamt of is an alluring one. What happens when everything you want comes to life in an extraordinary way. What happens to the ordinary when we are conditioned to be stimulated by the hyper-ordinary? What happens when the intermediate step between the digital and real is bridged by augmented reality? What happens when an avatar replaces the very connection you feel with your own body? Regardless or what your avatar looks like, the questions remains – are you loved by the person you face in the mirror?
When you looking into a mirror in VR, you will see nothing unless you see yourself as an Avatar.
Evolutionarily speaking, the development of our cerebral cortices are overpowered – far more than what is necessary for survival in nature. Without nature providing a challenge for our survival – the human species become fundamentally flawed. Fear began to preoccupy the mind to invent imaginary challenges to drive away real ones. Fear became a biological lie.
The moment we began to believe in a biological lie, the evolution of Humankind was hijacked by the human mind and we have now lost touch with this body and therefore with Nature.
~ Hidden World – Dr. Kaushik Ram
The body has an intelligence that no AI can compete with. Without access to this intelligence we seek outside ourselves. A desperate cry for answers from a guru, government or God.
If you want to know what I mean by the intelligence of the body – watch my talk on the Cost of Captivity.
The question remains – why have we co-evolved with technology rather than Nature? Perhaps because we could not find an answer so we created one and called it – innovation.
Yet, the answers to the most important questions in your life never come from somewhere outside, for that you have to listen to the heart.
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