In the beginning
we came from Africa, dreaming,
traversing the savanna and desert,
imagining the bright light on the hill.
We migrated through the heartlands of Europe,
traversing the mountains and plains.
We settled down,
tending our animals and crops,
and our learned men invented science
ignited by the bright light on the hill.
They gave us energy and machines,
and the gods and kings were pleased.
We’ve walked on the powdery moon
and cured almost every ill
as we followed the bright light on the hill.
DNA and AI both threaten and glitter
as the populations roil and simmer.
and the gods and scientists began to slumber.
Ever more me-people buzz in their urban hives,
and curiosity and hope and imagination are dwindling.
Oh! The light is wavering! The dreams are fading!
And the rich become the refugees
escaping to another land,
and Nature will regain the upper hand.
(c) 2018 Larry Kilham
See all of Larry Kilham's poems on this site here.
Could robots be the fourth great socioeconomic revolution in modern American Life? First, automobiles replaced horses, enabling suburbia. Then along came television which brought the world into our living room. What sneaked up later was television's child, the video camera, which became the all-seeing eye, following us everywhere. Then there were smartphones which serve as our portal to the Web and to our friends.
If we combine the mechanical genius of the automobile with the sentience of television and the connectedness provided by the smartphone, we find ourselves among the robots. They can be alive enough so we can love them, and they can revolutionize our economy.
Like cars, television and smartphones, mass adoption of robots will depend on mass production to reduce their cost, and people-oriented packaging so that they can be be as attractive and simple to operate as smartphones.
See more in my new book, Winter of the Genomes which can be purchased at Amazon.
Larry Kilham is a Sloan School of Management graduate from MIT, received three patents, and has founded two high-tech companies. Many of his product designs required innovative use of computers, and as early as the 1960s he was researching artificial intelligence (AI).