Some scientists are concerned that man will some day relinquish his intellectual supremacy to computers – monster artificial super-brains with an intellectual power far beyond anything we can now comprehend.
Another fear is that through genetic engineering, man will be capable of growing artificial intelligence to order. Or there could be a combination of both, where super-grown organic brains can “plug in” to a super-computer; or computer super-chips can be implanted into brains.
Would such super-computers or super-brains be capable of taking man on a quantum leap, cutting our deadly connections with the past, or would they too be unable to escape man’s idiotic conditionings?
Anando, the question may not appear very serious, but it is one of the most serious questions possible. The first thing to remember is that it is going to happen. There is no possibility to avoid it; neither is there any need to avoid it. Perhaps I am the only one in the world who is in absolute support of mechanical brains taking over the work of human intelligence. The reasons are very clear, why I am in support of such a strange thing.
First, what we call human mind is itself a biocomputer. Just because you are born with it does not make much difference. A better computer can be implanted in your mind – far more efficient, far more intelligent, far more comprehensive.
There are always people who are afraid of every new thing. Every new thing has been opposed by religions, by churches vehemently, because every new thing changes the whole structure of human life. For example, the computer can change all the stupidity that man has shown through the whole of history. I don’t think that computers will like to create war, or computers will exploit people, or computers will discriminate between black and white, between man and woman.
Moreover, you are always the master, not the computer. You can always change the program of the computer. The computer is simply a tremendous instrument, which gives you immense possibilities that are not available to you biologically. You can do things which man has never dreamt of. The computer can be a thousand times more superior than Albert Einstein. Naturally the computer can produce a science far more fundamental, far more real, not changing every day because new discoveries go on happening and the old discovery becomes out of date. The computer can reach the very centre of reality.
It can reveal to you whatever you want.
It is an instrument in your hands.
It is not a danger.
And because it will be doing all the intelligent, intellectual, mental work, nobody has seen the possibility which I am telling you, that you are left very simply to relax into meditation. The computer can be put to the side. The computer can do all the thinking; you need not go on continuously chattering unnecessarily. And the computer is not Christian, is not Hindu, is not Mohammedan. It is simply a mechanical device created by human consciousness. And in return it can help human consciousness to reach to its highest potential.
But every new thing will be opposed, because every new thing will make old things out of date. Old factories will close, old industries will close. There are many inventions which are never marketed in the world because the people whose business will be affected by them purchase their patents. And the scientist has not the money to make his own conception into a reality.
[…] Now robots are working; they have already come into existence. And particularly in Japan, which is far more advanced in technology than any other country today, many factories are run by robots. They never tire, they never retire; they don’t ask for a salary or for a raise; they don’t make unions, they don’t go on strike. They are the nicest people you can find. And they work twenty-four hours, day in, day out. Their efficiency is perfect, a hundred percent.
But it is a danger because people are becoming unemployed. Now these unemployed people are going to create trouble; they don’t want robots. But I am all in favour of robots. Everybody should be unemployed and paid – paid for being unemployed. Robots are doing the work, you get the pay. And life becomes sheer joy.
Then you can meditate, you can dance, you can sing, you can go for world trips. The problem arises because we cannot think of the solution. The solution is simple. You were paid because you were producing. Now the robot is producing more, many times more, and he is not being paid. There is no need for you to remain unemployed, hungry, poor. It is such simple arithmetic: you should be paid, paid more, because now you have vacated the place for a robot which produces a hundred times more. So if your salary is doubled there is no loss.
Robots are doing the work,
you get the pay.
And life becomes sheer joy.
And if the whole world is unemployed and has enough money to enjoy, do you think anybody is going to join the army? People will join carnivals, circuses… All kinds of celebrations will happen, but there is no need for war. And even if war is an absolute necessity, robots are there, just let them fight. Nobody is going to win. Both sides are robots; nobody is going to be killed. Just, every day they come back with a few parts missing; repair them and send them back. Even war can become a great joy – no question of defeat or victory.
[…] Anando, it is a great blessing. And what man’s intellect has done is very small. Once the computer takes over, so much can be done that there will be no need for anybody to be hungry, no need for anybody to be poor; no need for anybody to be a thief, no need for anybody to be a judge, because these all belong to the same profession – judges and thieves, criminals and law makers. There is no need for anybody to be poor and no need for anybody to be rich. Everybody can be affluent.
But perhaps no government will allow this to happen. No religion will allow this to happen, because it will go against their scriptures, it will go against their doctrines. Hindus believe that you have to suffer because in your past life you committed evil acts. Nobody knows about past lives. They cannot accept an invention which can remove misery, poverty, sickness, because then what will happen to the theory of reincarnation, and rewards and punishments of good and bad deeds? The whole doctrine of Hinduism will be simply meaningless.
If the computer can make your life as long as you want, if a computer can manage for you always to be young – no need for old age unless you want – then who cares about… So many people will be affected. The medical profession will be affected, pharmacies will be affected, people who are living on your sickness will be affected.
[…] But if computers can manage, then many professions will be affected. And these will be the professions that prevent it; they will make a thousand and one excuses: God never created a computer, computers are dangerous because they will take all intelligence away from you. What are you doing with your intelligence? – being miserable, being jealous? At least computers will not be jealous and will not be miserable. What are you doing with your intelligence? Destructiveness, all kinds of wars, all kinds of violence.
Everybody has his own
computer in his pocket
and knows that
it is separate.
And one is free
from thinking –
the computer is doing it.
Computers can give you a complete holiday for your whole life. You can relax. You will have to learn how to relax, because you have all become workaholics. For thousands of years, work, work, work hard! Computers will go against your whole conditioning about work. Laziness will become for the first time a spiritual quality: Blessed are the laziest, for theirs is the kingdom of this planet. And in their laziness, if they want, they can make beautiful gardens. It is just out of joy, for no purpose. They can paint, not to sell, but just to rejoice in the colors, the mixing of colors, the dance of colors. They can play music, not for any monetary reason, not as a business, but simply as a playful joy.
What man has dreamt of in paradise, life can really become here on this planet. There is no need to go that far. And nobody knows the way and nobody has ever gone there. And those who have gone have not even dropped a card: “We have arrived!” Such miserly people – just a Christmas card… But paradise has to be created; there is no paradise in existence. It has to come out of man’s awareness, consciousness.
The computer is also part of man’s creativity. There is no need to become a competitor; you are the master. And for the first time the computer and you are separate. That’s what all the teachings of the mystics have been telling you, that your mind and you are separate. But it is difficult because the mind is inside your head and your consciousness is so close to it, so thousands of mystics have been teaching, but nobody listens. The distance is not very much. But with computers, the distance will be very clear; there will be no need for any mystic to tell you.
Everybody has his own computer in his pocket and knows that it is separate. And one is free from thinking – the computer is doing it. You want to think something, tell the computer. If your old habit of chattering arises tell the computer, “Chatter,” and it will chatter. But you can be for the first time what the buddhas have been saying: just aware, silent, peaceful, a pool of consciousness.
A computer cannot be aware. A computer can be intellectual, a computer can be knowledgeable; a computer can be so knowledgeable that it can contain all the information of all the libraries in the whole world – a single computer that you can keep in your pocket.
It will relieve millions of people from memorizing unnecessary things. It will keep millions of people from teaching and torturing students. Examinations and all kinds of stupid things will disappear. The computer can be one of the greatest phenomena that has ever happened.
Anando, it can become the quantum leap. It can break away from the past and all conditionings of the past.
Osho, Hari Om Tat Sat, Ch 25, Q 1 (excerpts)