Sweat your assets

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How have you been coping with this hot weather? The saying goes that horses sweat, men perspire and ladies merely glow but I’ve been sweating throughout (as have most of the ladies that I know!). Don’t knock it though as the ability to sweat has been a significant evolutionary advantage for our species. 

Sweating, shivering and wearing clothes have allowed us humans to regulate our body heat which helped us to become ruthless hunters. Most animals aren’t so good at heat management. They can run for short bursts but then have to stop, rest and cool down.  This meant that humans could pursue animals over long distances, not allowing them to rest, until the point that they either keeled over gave up. Hunting for humans was more of a marathon than a sprint, with the tortoise eventually beating the hare.

Sweating has been instrumental in making humans the most dangerous animal on the planet.

Yet this gives me hope as I think about the inexorable rise of technologies and especially artificial intelligence. As computing power increases the future of our species seems more and more tenuous. AI may be an existential issue that we will face in the near future, but heat management is going to be a huge issue for machines.

Anyone who has tried listening to the conversation on a Zoom call over the whirr of their PC fan or has felt the back of their phone after the battery is rinsed on a WhatsApp call will know that computing generates a lot of heat. As far as I am aware devices don’t sweat and that puts us still in the evolutionary lead. It’s something they’re going to have to work out if they want to be top dog.

If you’re worried about artificial intelligence then and are being chased by dangerous looking computers, make sure you head for somewhere warm and sweat it out! It’s worked out well for us over the last million years.

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