The age of humans being the ‘top dogs’ on this planet could soon be at an end - and the next people to take over won’t be people, an expert has warned.
Instead, a new generation of cyborg-humans mingled with technology will be witnesses to an age known as the ‘Novacene’, according to scientist and author James Lovelock.
In his new book Novacene, Lovelock writes, ‘Our supremacy as the prime understanders of the cosmos is rapidly coming to an end.
'The understanders of the future will not be humans but what I choose to call “cyborgs” that will have designed and built themselves.'
The crucial stage in the evolution of our replacements may already have happened, Lovelock told NBC.
He referred to ‘self-teaching’ algorithms, such as Google’s AlphaZero AI project, which has beaten humans at board games.
Lovelock says, 'The crucial step that started the Novacene was, I think, the need to use computers to design and make themselves.
'It now seems probable that a new form of intelligent life will emerge from an artificially intelligent precursor made by one of us, perhaps from something like AlphaZero.'
Lovelock says that it’s possible that the ‘cyborgs’ will no longer have any bodies - and could be radically different to us.
He says, ‘I think of cyborgs as another kingdom of life. They will stand to us in much the same way as we ourselves, as a kingdom of animals, stand to plants.'