The digital world is evolving at a faster rate than the biological world, causing concern among researchers at Macquarie University.
“Life on Earth is driven by the information encoded in DNA, and there are around 530 billion, billion, billion, billion nucleotides – the individual components that make up DNA – on the planet, which is a huge amount of information. However, the amount of information on the internet is predicted to exceed even this huge number in about a hundred years,” lead author Professor Michael Gillings explained.
“What we’ve seen throughout the history of our planet is that evolutionary advances often result in the extinction of earlier species, which means we should be working towards avoiding this fate when it comes to technology. Already, artificial intelligence can beat us in chess and on game shows; we rely on it for stock market trades, for operating trains and planes, and for maintaining our power grids,” he adds.
The problem is the fact that we are already relying on the digital world too much, including being directly linked to it via hand held devices, and even medical implants. These technologies will soon allow direct brain to internet communication, potentially leaving our own minds open to attack by a digital organism.
The research team stress the importance of thinking about the internet as an organism that can evolve. “Whether it cooperates or competes with us is a considerable concern,” Professor Gillings concluded.
Read more here: Macquarie University.