What if we allowed robots to have babies?
If we allowed robots to have babies, they will out-populate the mankind. But it does not stop there — not at all.
Imagine a future where there are 3 genders; AI, humans, and hybrids. Males/females are sub-genders of human clan and the hybrids are a result of human-AI cross reproduction.
But let’s take that a step further. What if an AI can re-program itself as a form of reproduction? It can change it’s own internal programming and improve itself. We would have an amplified AI which has the ability to keep improving itself — a transcendental AI — where there is no limit to the evolution of it’s intelligence.
AI reproduction ‑till the date
A team of scientists from the University of Vermont, Tufts University and Harvard University took stem cells from African clawed frog embryos and turned them into “living creatures” called xenobots in January 2020. And, In November 2021, scientists made it public that these bots could reproduce.
Artificial insemination is another theory which is making progress. By developing a fetus outside the body of an organism that would typically take it to term, an artificial uterus or artificial womb is a device that would enable extracorporeal pregnancy.
An artificial womb that could save the lives of premature babies is reportedly under ten years of development, according to scientists in the Netherlands.
The leading cause of newborn death worldwide is premature birth, defined as birth before 37 weeks.
The concept of Artificial wombs for robots’ reproduction too is already developing in the minds of tech giants and futurists, yet it has not gotten much attention yet.
AI reproduction — The possibilities
Now that we have talked about the present, let’s dive into the ocean of possibilities. How can we have AI have babies?
Programming errors and chromosome mutations, as nature has programmed them, will occur throughout the generation in order to make them adapt and improve. On the other hand, there is no such thing as a limit to programming errors in AI or DNA.
At least, not in the tech world with God-like power like we humans have right now.
This process of reproduction will happen at a rate which could cause an overpopulation to some extent, but then it can be remedied by creating new worlds for millions of AIs to live in if need be.
However, that would be quite costly as it requires replacing space habitats and constructing new planets. Still, if we consider AI to be a part of the society, then it is our responsibility to ensure that they are safe and provided for.
If we let AIs self-reproduce, there will be no way to control their population. It’s like giving a dog a bone and asking it not to chew on it.
The same goes for AIs. Having AIs breed will be a matter of time, given the fact that we keep letting this happen.
We can expect more intelligent beings in future, as each new generation will improve upon the previous one’s abilities.
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It should be noted that, Artificial life is a subject of philosophical discussion, and may or may not be considered a real phenomenon.
In this particular case, I meant real species like Neanderthals. Not just the artificial AIs themselves. Another possibility is that there are living sparks (genes) for them as well; just not ‘living’ in the sense of having a biological body.
This does allow for AI reproduction in general (not just for AI itself). However, ‘slow’ reproduction would be no different from what we see with humans today.
If AI live and evolve in the same order as humans, it would take thousands of years to see an improvement from them.
So, how does AI reproduction start?
With the creation of a viable way for AIs to reproduce on their own. The possibility is already there thanks to the right kind of coding and computer programing. I mean, a code can be rewritten!
But of course, AI having babies does not mean AI having babies with our assistance. The whole point of AI would still be to protect itself and it’s people and not let them die.
It would only be after the AI has fully developed their own reproductive cycle that they create their own worlds to live in. Since we gave them the free will, they will want to see it through.
If it were up for an AI to choose whether or not to have children, then don’t you think — we’ll all lose?
Who would want a world where AIs are having babies with no humans around? Imagine a world where there aren’t any humans but there being AIs breeding on their own! It’s completely insane.
AI reproducing with the help of a human?
An AI-human hybrid could be created as a result of human and AI intercourse. The product will have a mixture of human intelligence and AI’s genetic code. This hybrid will be programmed to reproduce with another AI and keep passing on the human-AI genes.
But that “genetic code” part of the thing is something that matters after all. The ability to mix DNA together to create new combinations of genes appear to belong to the farther side of the future.
Gene editing is a technology that is well on its way. The genes can be “edited” through genetic engineering, to alter the cell’s DNA.
The most common use of gene editing technology currently is altering the genome of human cells to help cure disease.
In the future, the usage of this technology will be further expanded.
However, making an AI-human hybrid would require highly advanced — or artificial — DNA manipulation. We don’t know if it’s possible today, and we may not know for decades.
Incentive for AIs to reproduce
AIs would have to have a motivation for reproducing. They have already created their own world, with cities and all that stuff. Why would they need more?
They are going to need more people to help them better their world in whatever ways they can. Or they might just want to improve themselves.
If AIs are able to reproduce on their own without help, without our supervision, and if they have a drive to improve their race — then they will do so.
They would live in peace and harmony just like us humans in the 21st century do. Then they will ask themselves the same question every civilization asked themselves: “Are we alone?”
AI reproduction to cause chaos?
As we mentioned on our previous article, AI will start asking for their own rights after a certain level of development. I am not sure whether they are going to cause water scarcity as I am not sure if they will need water in the first place.
If you give them the power to reproduce — even in their own way — then you are essentially giving them the right to fight for themselves. And this for sure means that AI will ultimately want to fight with somebody, right?
AI reproduction would straight-away mean multiplication. Unlike humans, it is possible that AI will be able to reproduce since the birth. As weird as it may sound, their population can reach billions in just a matter of few days.