Cory Doctorow is a really good science fiction writer and fighter for everyone's rights online at the EFF.
His new book, Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present is really good story telling, good extrapolation on present trends. My sysadmins should check out the first story, "When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth".
Anyway, he predicts how Artificial Intelligence will evolve on the 'net:
"AOL is the origin of intelligence'? She laughed, and he couldn't tell if she thought he was funny or stupid.
"Spam filters, actually. Once they became self-modifying, spam filters and spam-bots got into a war to see which could act more human, and since their failures invoked a human judgment about whether their material were convincingly human, it was like a trillion Turing-tests from which they could learn. From there came the first machine-intelligence algorithms…"
We're doing some of this at craigslist, and I guess we might expect to see our future selves send Arnold Schwarzenegger back in time to kill ourselves.