When British futurist James Lovelock looks to the future, he doesn’t see humans ruling the Earth.
“Our supremacy as the prime understanders of the cosmos is rapidly coming to end,” he wrote in his new book “Novacene,” according to NBC News. “The understanders of the future will not be humans but what I choose to call ‘cyborgs’ that will have designed and built themselves.”
Lovelock believes we are already living in the early stages of what he calls the Novacene, an era in which self-sufficient cyborgs, vastly more intelligent than today’s humans, will dominate the Earth.
“The crucial step that started the Novacene was, I think, the need to use computers to design and make themselves,” he wrote in the book. “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.”
Eventually, the cyborgs will modify the Earth to better suit to their needs, Lovelock told NBC News, which might lead to the extinction of humans.
However, Lovelock doesn’t think the cyborgs will actively attempt to destroy the human race. In fact, he believes we’ll be so inferior to Earth’s new dominant species that they’ll view us the same way we currently view plants.
If we’re lucky, they might even come to appreciate us in the same way, Lovelock posits — not-so-reassuringly comparing the situation to how today’s humans might enjoy a visit to an arboretum.
READ MORE: Cyborgs will replace humans and remake the world, James Lovelock says [NBC News]