Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Crops - the post apple-calypse.

"Why do they still do it?" asked Rajesh.

"Dnng oog?" said Pete Priyananda Shenoy, former aspiring Canara bank branch extraordinaire.

"Uh? What are you saying, man? Stop gorging and talk properly" - R.

"Doing what?" - P

"Agriculture, you dimwit. Growing crops, also known as the spectacularly tedious process involving tilling land, planting seeds, watering the saplings, applying fertiliser and whatever the hell not. Why do they do it? What is the bloody point?" 

"I mean, they do not even need food. It is not like they have to eat or anything. But they still do it. And if this is what they wanted to do, why didn't they ask us nicely? What was the bloody point of killing every human in sight if this is all they wanted to do? Aaaaaaaaaaaah!"

"Do you have some salt?" - R

At this point, it might be worthwhile to mention that the year when this conversation is scheduled to take place is 2050 A.D and we are currently getting through 2030. I say scheduled because it has not happened yet. But it will and it is so documented in the recently published addendum to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter. That, by the way, is a nice and accurate way of using scheduled.

Around the turn of the millennium, a novel science called Machine Learning started dominating the computing world and a lot of things that were mere fantasy until the late 1990s started becoming real and in particular, for the first time in recorded history, trainable robots with what the scientists like to call "Artificial intelligence" became cheap and easily accessible to common people. At first, it was vacuum cleaning robots, but soon the roads were flooded with self-driving cars and such. Initial responses to these developments from the public were mostly positive, often garnished with wonder, in spite of warnings from luminaries like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking.

The truth of the matter is, and I can say this with the benefit of both hindsight and foresight, with a little bit of plebiscite thrown in, we should have listened to those fellows. As I write this, the world is getting run over by robots who are brutally massacring any living thing that moves, including us humans who created them. And it is not even clear why they are doing this. They started off by bombing countries with oil resources with absurd accuracy, but that will soon lose its draw. Being the agents of efficiency that they are, they will soon turn their attention to agriculture. And get really good at it.

The only problem would be that they cannot reap the fruits of their labour, quite literally. But that is what the future holds, no humans, lots of robots growing crops extremely efficiently that they cannot consume.

1 comment:

The God Of Tall Things said...

The objective function is to maximizing efficiency!