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Another point raised was the fact that as our civilization progresses, our society and culture will become so complex that only a computer ,robot, or what have you, will be able to sort through the tons of information and reach a logical solution, again rendering us somewhat obsolete

I think self-replicating nano-machines are definitely possible. Nature did it using nothing more than the natural tendencies of certain elements.

Continuing on the science fiction vein, anybody read Iain Banks Culture novels? Civilization is dominated and run by intelligent artificial Minds, however they keep humans and other species around because they can never quite replicate "natural" creature's somewhat random ability for insight to a problem. Whether you like scifi or no, the books make a great read.

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