The Boundary

The quest for Artificial Intelligence is proceeding apace, despite the warnings from some very eminent scientists of the risks that AI may result in the creating of demons, that there is a boundary that should not be crossed. There was no talk of a possible boundary between the Newtonian world and its successor, because a successor to Newtonian physics was inconceivable. Yet there was a boundary and a successor, a successor that was discovered serendipitously by Max Planck in 1900, who was simply trying to develop a more efficient incandescent light bulb. It took some years to tease out the rules of quantum physics, but when it was even partially understood, as it is only partially understood today, it changed the world. If history is a guide, and it often is, then the boundary between the Quantum world and its successor will likely be discovered by serendipity, as quantum physics was, in the form of research into Artificial Intelligence. That being the case, there can be no predicting what that Quantum world successor will be or what effects it will have. I would disagree slightly with those who say we will unleash demons, for it is just as likely we will unleash angels. The problem is we won’t know which until it arrives.

The world once seemed a simple place
Where gravity and time and space
Controlled the cosmos as it seemed
To be for no one could have dreamed
That atoms were too large to be
A part of worlds we could not see
The Quantum world where spirits lay
Where even Heisenberg can’t say
The boundary when once it’s crossed
Into a world no longer bossed
By Quantum physics we have known
And once again the gods have shown
That man is angel, demon too
And when the Quantum world is through
And Newton is but applesauce
And demons now are mankind’s boss
The endless boundaries will still
Be there as mankind climbs the hill
Only to find the valley bare
And in the distance Grendel’s lair
Where, resting, man will one day cease
To look for demons in the crease
Between the hills and fix his gaze
Upon the angels and their ways

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