The promise of ‘Big Data’ to clean-up misperception remains elusive but the shortcomings of information technology can no longer be blamed. Data and the tools to work it are in abundance but truth is really hard work. In Star Trek, Data’s evil older brother Lore finds truth easy—he has a positronic brain possessing a total linear computational speed of 60 trillion operations per second. Lore instantly sees the ugly truth behind the beautiful myths humans concoct and he strives to subject the human race to the Borg collective where no one can make up stories about anything. Lore’s name is brilliantly ironic.
Lore’s younger brother Data also has total linear computational speed of 60 trillion operations per second and he also knows the truth instantly. But Data has something Lore does not—an intense curiosity regarding ethos: why do humans invent beliefs, ideals, morals, and what is the real purpose of “lore” in human evolution? We can not forget that in the development of Data, Lore comes first. And that eventually Data deactivates Lore…an act rich with symbolism.
With each nanosecond it becomes more clear that some version of transhumanism is our destiny. Even now corrective DNA sequences are being printed on storage media and soon engineers will be able to insert the code into our bodies and correct mistakes in our “programming.” Technology like that is already so mundane you can watch it on CNN. The merging of information technology with human evolution is happening right now and sometime this century we too will experience life at 60 trillion operations per second. The only question is…
Will we be Lore, or will we be Data?