Disclaimer: I am a college student sitting in a library with no qualifications greater than my ability to think. This is just to say that my thoughts are my own and I feel no need for you to agree with me. So I hope you feel confused, disturbed, intrigued, but not offended because this is simply what I think and I am not attempting to assert it as truth.
The loose definition of evolution is to develop gradually. The scientific definition of evolution, according to Oxford Dictionary, is that “organisms or biological features develop over successive generations as a result of natural selection.” And natural selection is the process in which organisms that are better fit for the environment are the organisms that will survive and produce more offspring, ultimately furthering the feature that helped them survive. So, to put it simply, evolution is a change over time, in this case of a species, that is a product of a genetic change that sustains and enhances the species ability to reproduce.
So, my answer to the aforementioned question is no. No, we will not evolve into machines because a human will never experience a genetic change or modification that results in mechanistic features. However, like many species of our past, humans will be picked out of the food chain by natural selection and replaced by machines. Humans will develop machines to better ourselves, help us, and push our capacity. However, we don’t need to create a machine smarter than us -- we simply need to create a machine that operates more efficiently and is not affected by basic human things such as emotions and sex drives. Eliminating the innate human sex drive, desire to belong and other basic human composites will allow machines to out-operate us and ultimately supersede us.
According to the National Institutes of Health, “[The U.S.] is gaining about one year of longevity every six years.” This is a product of advances in medicine, technology and other fields that extend life expectancy. These advances are happening because people are generally interested in sustaining and maintaining a healthy life.
I offer an alternative to the death of your great, great, great grandchild. Upload his or her consciousness to the cloud and replace the body when the original grows old. I’m not saying this is in our near future; however, as advances are made in technology and artificial intelligence, it certainly seems more feasible to prolong human life by “uploading” our consciousness. I acknowledge that not all agree on what makes one themselves. However, for the sake of this article, let us momentarily agree that what makes me is my mind, not my body or the two in conjunction.
Parts of plastic surgery and other cosmetic industries suggest that not all humans are tied to their natural body, and more and more are becoming willing to make alterations for the purpose of enhancing his or her body. Now we seek aesthetic, functionality and uniformity, but in the future we will want more -- we will seek efficiency. As I see it, we are headed towards a full prosthetic body which replaces our own. Perhaps not everyone will be on board with the progression, but they will be pushed to conform to human enhancements so they can have a chance at keeping with the pack, and eventually being the future’s consideration of what it is to be human.
Alright, if you’ve followed me this far, then there is a copy of your brain in the cloud and your body is a highly efficient piece of machinery. At this point, it is certainly plausible that we are operating amongst other thinking things that have taken our place in undesired rolls or position in society that machines are better fit for. Now this is the jump towards human extinction. A human mind, hindered by desires for love, sex, companionship and belonging, would certainly be overhauled by a construct of efficiency and functional operation. We will not stand a chance in a civil war, coup or revolution against ultimate operators. I will not say how, when or why, but there will come a time in which humans are replaced by our own inventions, and we fall victim to natural selection.