Excellent article by Michael Ventura [“Letters at 3AM: What Are Human Beings For?
,” Jan. 25]. I have been making many of the same points. What is amazing is how fast it is happening. Five years ago, driverless cars were still a joke. Now they are being programmed with the capabilities of the best race car drivers. There is hardly anything necessary for our existence that machines won't be able to do better than we can. And this reality could be with us within a decade or two. I think Big Brother (all-powerful government) is inevitable. What we have to ensure is that Big Brother is benevolent, that we control him, that he is strong enough to defeat malevolent contenders, and that we are allowed as much freedom as possible without threatening our collective well-being. We will probably have a choice between some form of controlled reality (like "reality" TV), or virtual reality (with virtually limitless possibilities). The important point is that we have to start giving serious consideration to this looming possibility now, before our options disappear.