We are a product of the organic world and are sculpted by our existence in it. Synthetic “life” stands outside this environment and is shaped by physics alone. It might simulate and even appear to be life like but it is not. This gives us an advantage in that we are pre-disposed to operate in the ‘real’ world. What we do not have is the speed, durability and novelty of synthetics.
As the dominant species we tend to see all advantages and problems through a pretty closed aperture of self interest. Some may have a more inclusive outlook but generally it is all about us. Although this may seem very selfish, we have fought tooth and nail to be where we are today. It is inherent in all DNA and all it stands for to expand itself through co-opting resources and multiplying at a rate only controlled by such resources. We therefore see A.I. and mechanised entities as an extension of this need to move forward into a new world.
Yann LeCun is one of the godfathers of A.I. and has been quoted as saying that the highest level of A.I. at present is the equivalent of a six months old child. Children do tend to grow up as we all know. The terror of killer robots pouring through cities and wiping out civilisations without any remorse is the essence of many dystopian films. This of course assumes that they would ever be allowed to get to that position [cite: mad scientist] or even have reason to do so. Of course, we have not made such a good job of things ourselves and a lot of high echelon folks think it is our world to trash after all. Personally I think we are more likely to be extinguished by a death of a thousand job cuts.
Some pundits say that we will pull through the next epoch because we always have in the past. Machine beings will be an advanced tool that we can learn to live with and will offer many new advantages in medicine and the general uplifting of living. Others as an egotism that will kick us in the ass (English:arse). There is no doubt that the adoption of mass A.I. will be a new cycle that will affect us all, for better or worse. Societies are not too good at accepting fast change and there could be many losers and few winners in the near future. Also state control or the so called intelligent security might try to dominate us all.
Some of us are preparing for a dystopian future and are having a convincing outfit manufactured, that will allow us to pass as robots. If you cannot beat them, join them will be the cry of the twenty first century.