The Cost of Artificial Life

Essay by creative1984College, UndergraduateA+, April 2004

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Advancements in science over the past two centuries have brought mankind to the pinnacle of existence. Progression in architecture, medicine, exploration, technology, and communication have led to countless inventions and improvements that have immensely changed the world. People no longer die from polio, live in mud huts, travel cross-country on horseback, or wait months to receive a message from a foreign country. The solutions to these problems were intended to better society, but with the manifestation of so many good things, it was inevitable that some would endure malicious results. With every new improvement it seems a little piece of humanity is lost. The more society becomes electronically connected, the more reclusive it becomes. This leads to the question, at what point does too much scientific advancement become a problem? Ridley Scott's Blade Runner paints a surreal picture of what the future might hold for the human race if these advancements continue at their current torrid pace.

If these advancements cross the line of creating artificial life, the essence of life will diminish and the survival of the human race will be threatened.

In Blade Runner, mankind has created artificial life that is so human like, it is impossible to differentiate between the two without performing a series of tests. These creations were designed to carry out work too boring, dangerous, or distasteful for humans. The last phase of Nexus 6 replicants were so advanced because of memory implants, designed to provide a cushion for their emotions, they were completely unaware that they are even replicants (Blade Runner FAQ). The most glaring difference between a replicate and a human is the limited four year life span that every Nexus 6 is given. This inherited deficiency is the cause of the major conflict in Blade Runner. The four...