2018 – The year of ghosts and spirits


A recent quote by Master Yoda of Star Wars: “The future is difficult to predict”. He is right – the future is not determined, even if futurologists and esotericists would like it that way. Everything that has been predicted for us in the last few days for the year 2018 may or may not come and, moreover, things may turn out quite differently.

Some things that were unthinkable recently may well happen in the near future – responsible for that is the zeitgeist. Unfortunately, we also know very little about mind – it’s obviously something that spreads across several people and is located somewhere. One says every now and then: “There is a good or bad spirit in there”. A more tangible form is already a ghost. Wikipedia describes it like this:

“As a ghost, popular belief refers to a spirit that is usually equipped with supernatural abilities, but at the same time possesses human qualities, that” haunts “- in other words” appears “to man in some way. His temporary appearance often occurs in a misty transparent, implied human or non-human form.”

We have arrived in 2018.

Humanity is capable of developing machines that are similar to humans and have capabilities that exceed humanity – for example, a person dressed in an exoskeleton can muster superhuman powers and move loads that were previously only machines.

In the late Middle Ages, the “ghost” was the order of the day, although obviously no one has ever seen it. It was an invention of the human spirit. One could say that the spirit gives birth to the ghosts. The ghosts of today – the robots, self-driving cars, language assistants, etc., also come from the human mind – have become reality. This is certainly a very special spirit and we call it “natural sciences”. Beginning with modern times, people have learned the skill of experimenting. So to start a process in which a previously inexplicable process is so often changed and measured until it is accessible to human thinking. The most outstanding of these were relativity, quantum mechanics and evolution. Equipped with this spirit of discovery, inventions as small as transistors were made. Their further development brings artificial intelligence to us today. AI with high-precision mechanics enables us to create humanoid beings. The Medieval would undoubtedly call this a ghost. Today’s rationalist says, a machine with a built-in computer. Here are the ghosts. If some still believe that it is a determinate machine, then the others are already talking about their becoming aware of it.

The topic of consciousness in machines was already taken up in 1982 in the Japanese anime (Ghost in the Shell). For many at that time inaccessible and too futuristic. We are already looking at the film adaptation from 2017 with a possible chance of realization. In terms of content, a machine being is created that has two brains. Once it is the artificial intelligence that is responsible for all logical and knowledge-oriented functions. In addition, this being “Major Kusanagi” is implanted the brain of a human being. There are all emotional and empathic abilities. In interaction with mechanics, artificial and natural intelligence, the main character of the film emerges. The ghost is this implanted, human, neural part. It is called a “ghost” because it is unpredictable, chaotic and accidental. So Major Kusanagi develops his own will and does not do what the Creator has planned for them.

This is what scares us about the future – that machines develop their own minds and thus become a ghost. Because we humans like to have everything under our control and under our own control, the TV series “Westworld” has developed its own beings, the Hosts. A host is also a humanoid robot with a bicameral spirit. This two-chamber system works so that one chamber is responsible for the vital functions and intelligence of the machine, and the second is the commander, who is in touch with his creators and receives the orders from there. Even in human existence, there are such bicameric systems. Whenever a society is very uniform, people have two spirits in it. Once the one who is required for self-sufficiency and the other the command recipient. For example, one therefore speaks of the “ghost of North Korea”.

As digital technology evolves in a similar way as before, it will also establish a spirit based on it. Technological change has always been the cause of cultural change in human history. Mind is therefore a consequence of technology and matter. The natural sciences have prepared the soil for this. The humanities scholars are now in search of the spirit. It used to be very simple – spirit has taken root in the minds of people and was sometimes written down in books and gospels. In today’s highly networked world, it is no longer certain whether the mind is just sitting in the human brain or even wandering into the cloud.

The mind as a result of technology is in turn the cause of the emergence of ghosts. In 2018, we will see many inventions and developments that are spooky – that is, have human appearance and supernatural powers. So we have to adapt to these roommates in time, accept their existence and start living with them.

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