One lens to understand the possible threat of super-intelligence

This excerpt is found in the epilogue of the Robert Cialdini's Influence (The Psychology of Persuasion). In the original text, Cialdini is attempting to summarise why the autopilot behaviours that generate compliance (and is thus sometimes abused by confidence tricksters of various kinds) are an evolutionary trait, emerging organically in response to the increasingly complex world around us.

"Because technology can evolve much faster than we can, our natural capacity to process information is likely to be increasingly inadequate to handle the surfeit of change, choice, and challenge that is characteristic of modern life. More and more frequently, we will find ourselves in the position of the lower animals—with a mental apparatus that is unequipped to deal thoroughly with the intricacy and richness of the outside environment. Unlike the animals, whose cognitive powers have always been relatively deficient, we have created our own deficiency by constructing a radically more complex world."

By the sheer fact that we have engineered such a complex world, there may come a time when a super-intelligence can make better sense of it in a consistently rational way compared to human beings, some of whom are already balking in the face of "information overload". Reading this made me understand how a machine super-intelligence - with none of the biological limitations or behavioural biases of human beings - could eventually come to look at us the way we look at bacteria, ants, chickens or dogs. 

Of course, this may only come to pass if human evolution proceeds at speeds slower than that of machine intelligence. As Elon Musk has begun to suggest, symbiosis with the machines (a best of both worlds strategy) might be one way out; the technological equivalent of ancient kingdoms using marriages to build alliances.