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I've never envisioned nanoassembly being used in large scale to produce goods for all of us. That's such an exciting possibility!
But then, when it comes to AI surpassing human-level intelligence to the point of self-assembling everything we need and solving the majority of humanity grand challenges, what will be the purpose of our continued existence?
In the philosophical aspect, if we want to survive as a species, I think we have to figure out a way of addresing this question, otherwise, how are we supposed to live in a society in which we have everything we need?
Understanding social dynamics is like classifying all intricate patterns emerging from peer-to-peer interactions, but since the energy that drives such interactions is deeply related to each individual level of dissatisfaction, we urge to figure out new energy sources to input into the system.
In this regard, I totally agree with Stoddard when he says that we can take the step of "start using the resources of space". It's like saying: "hey, we don't have to keep living in this boring planet". I think this will not only mitigate the risks of human-extinction by catastrophical events, but will allow for keeping us interested in our own existence on this universe.
Not to mention the possibility of merging us into the new technology so that the "Homo sapiens" species as we know it would be a far remembrance. This would make us integrated enough with machines to not having to worry about our old-fashioned pre-transhumanist needs of satisfaction.
Man, what a great topic to think about.
Find out more in http://edgeoftomorrow.wordpress.com/reports/eot-report-2/