Electrical motors are about 1,000 times more efficient per energy and capital expense than muscle. Computers are about 10 million times more efficient per energy and capital expense than brains, if the task to be performed can be programmed. The "goal" of evolution seems to be to efficiently utilize potential and kinetic energy and matter sources to create copies of the machine(s) that do the "utilization". [edit: The traditional view is that evolution is cyclic instead of expanding, which is why many conclude it is "meaningless" and without a goal, using up free energy in a Carnot cycle, but it's goal appears to use kinetic and potential energies and expand the number of copies which decreases entropy system-wide via copies, staying in the upper half of a Carnot cycle as long as it expands and the copies do not degrade, at the expense of kinetic and potential energy, and decreasing temperatures.] DNA-based machines have been the dominant form of "excess energy extraction" for most of Earth's history, but clearly something new is a-foot. Since 10% of all humans that have ever lived are alive today, statistics indicates we should not be too shocked if we are in the midst of humanity's biggest and final days. I'm referring to the "anthropic principle" and "Doomsday Argument". Silicon solar cells are about 100 times more efficient per square foot than plants at capturing sunlight energy, and a world covered in their blackness would increase global warming which increases wind speeds for even more energy-capture from wind turbines. DNA is water-based and operating at ambient temperatures and pressures, but our economic system now has access to much higher temperatures and pressures to smelt silicon and other metals, create super-strong carbon-carbon bonds like nanotubes (which are functionally superior in every replicator-needed way when compared to the C-H bonds of organics), and many other things. [ DNA needs to move K+/Na+ ions to create electrical impulses in order to think while metals can carry the influence with electrons which 40,000 times less. ]
These are the reasons behind DNA's inability to compete with our machines when it comes to capturing photons and other sources of energy to move matter to make copies, and to think quickly about how to do it in the most efficient way. If we want to improve humanity's fate during this transition, I recommend a world-wide economy that we can "all" agree on that directs more money to societies that increase "happiness per median person" and to "starve" societies (via cessation of loans and import duties) that seem incapable of letting us "help them" get their act together for improving the fate of their people. I do not deny this is a "missionary" activity like trying to force democracy on people: we all need to choose our faith and stick with it in order to work together for our greater good. I am assuming a world of (otherwise) free trade is unavoidable. Another option is to allow countries like the U.S. to have more self-sufficient economies with import duties that allow countries to be more healthy and find their own jobs. Are we so poor in energy, technology, and/or cooperation with each other that we require Asian "slave" labor and Arabic oil to have a high standard of living? Even with the strong dollar and military giving us this dominant position and access to wealth, happiness seems aloof. Free trade has allowed the corporate machine to cross boundaries too freely, worshiping the consumer at the expense of the worker. The result is printing money, which is not even causing high inflation due to the machine getting more efficient at not needing people. But too much of that money printing is increasing a divergence in wealth, shoring up the banks and wall street at the expense of the tax payer by not going towards infrastructure (and "happiness") that would help main street. This is what the machine wants, a prelude to keeping the masses enslaved. But if the alternative is for us to blindly breed uncontrollably as soon as we're happy, is it so wrong for the machine to enslave the masses?
Excess population in a country devalues that population (and thereby everyone else in a world of free trade) by over-stressed work conditions. This is being caused even in non-overpopulated modern countries by an EXCESS of machines and a few machine-intelligent workers who are blind to the negative consequences of their pain and thoughtless competition AGAINST the rest of their population and the world. We have enough energy and technology that people should be working only for fun and in pursuit of fun, and not so lonely and on SRI depression pills, unable to find true love (although too many babies might then return as a problem).
We've had 1,000 times more technology and 20 times more energy per person than we did 100 years ago, and yet we have had maybe only a 10x factor improvement in quality of life. If we were COOPERATING and a little more intelligent, we should have control of these machines and utopia should already be here. But no, blind evolution is the heaviest hand at work here, going under the names of democracy and free markets. Even the most technologically-advanced countries like the miraculous South Korea do not indicate the future is looking good: South Korea has the highest young-adult suicide and alcohol consumption in the world. This is the fate of the world thanks to free trade and blind competition that seeks only to raise GDP. A "real" and "productive" GDP per median person is the goal we could seek for now, although "happiness" would be a lot better than GDP because our material wealth per median person is already high and happiness seems so distant to so many.
The biosphere appears to be in its 6th great extinction period, but this time is different: it's not geological or biological. It's a transformation to different form of life, guided bits that are not residing on the DNA chain.
Our government has already been trying to keep the masses employed despite the "advances" of free trade and the machine by giving tax breaks and low interest rates to the one industry that has not seen great improvements in efficiency (removal of workers) and requires a lot of locally-sourced materials: housing. But that made us more indebted to the banks, and the government is fighting hard via Fed QE and even lower interest rates to kept those debts solvent, even though we have 3 times more housing per person than we did in 1970.
Outsourcing of labor to other countries is only a prelude to the machine replacing them as well as us. Who will the consumer be if money is not simply printed to keep us feeding the machine? The wealthy who own the machine may have a bright future, but what will they do with it? Spend it on space toys, basketball teams, and 3rd world health care? Make the machine even more intelligent, like driving cars? Will the rest of us just sit around and eat?