Technology Is Not Artificially Replacing Life — It Is Life

Sara Walker at Noema:

Human technologies are therefore not much different from other innovations produced in our planet’s 3.8-billion-year living history — with the exception that they are in our evolutionary future, not our past. Multicellular organisms evolved vision; what I will call “multisocietial aggregates” of humans evolved microscopes and telescopes, which are capable of seeing into the smallest and largest scales of our universe. Life seeing life. All of these innovations are based on trial and error and selection and evolution on past objects.

Intelligence is playing a larger role in modern technology, but that is to be expected — intelligence itself improves via evolution. It generates more complex systems — cells, multicellular aggregates like humans, societies, artificial intelligence and now multisocietial aggregates like international companies and groups that interact at the planetary scale. So-called “artificial intelligences” — large language models, computer vision, automated devices, robotics and more — are often discussed as disembodied and disengaged from any evolutionary context.

more here.