Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Friends and family make fun of me for my thoughts on the future of humanity. Most of them don’t believe me when I say they could literally be alive when the ability is made to have super intelligence or the ability to live forever (or at least 5x the current lifespan of a human). It doesn’t hurt my feelings one bit (probably because I don’t have many feelings), nor do I really care what others think anyways.

When I look into the year 2045, 30 years from now, I will be a 56 year old man. At that time, being in your 50s might be the new 30s. I will still be young, probably with a growing family, and if I am lucky, retired (right?).

But there will be one difference between the present me and the future me: I will be wiser, more intelligent, and more experienced. That’s a given, and that would happen whether or not I had the ability to gain super intelligence. My question for myself is how will I communicate and interact with those around me?

Social media has already destroyed the need for family or high school reunions. Who needs to go through the trouble of all that work when we can just shoot a quick Facebook message over to someone we probably don’t want to see anyways? We don’t even need to call them anymore. I’m confident, that if I survive between now and then, I WILL have the ability to be super intelligent AND live for a couple hundred years, if not forever.

My issue is will we lose what makes us human? Will we lose the feeling of happiness, if the feeling of stress, pain, and loss is no longer an issue. Humans who feel pain understand the difference between that and happiness. How can you be happy if you do not know how to be sad?

As part of the last generation that remembers what it was like without the Internet, I can see why kids have disappeared from the streets. They are inside in front of screens downloading games and stalking their enemies and friends on social media without any real interaction. I’m completely against social media for the purpose of being close to those you know. It’s ridiculous.

When I’m 56, I hope the abilities we will have will only bring us closer. And I hope we will still be able to feel pain and suffering. Being human, that’s required.

The Transhumanist Political Party was born on October 7th, 2014.

Putting Science, Health, and Technology at the Forefront of US Politics” is their motto.

Their #1 goal? Overcome death using science and technology.

Aubrey de Grey believes we have a 50/50 chance of being able to bring death and well-being itself to a manageable state in the next 25 years. This means that death itself will no longer be a worry for some. Healthcare costs will decline, as will cancer itself due to technology (along with big data) to predict disease before it arises. Death itself is considered a disease, and a treatable one at that.

Zoltan Istvan happens to be running for President as Transhumanist Political Party member? Ever heard of him? Me neither. But this just means that we are at the beginning stages of what could become a much larger indication of where the world is headed.

When asked why he is running for President:

“It’s not just a political party — that’s a small part of it. It’s a movement, a bunch of activists trying to raise science and technology issues in parts of the country that really haven’t heard of some of these things.”

This party is far from being able to protect our country or deal with real issues like healthcare, gay rights, or immigration. But in a world where technology rules all and allows one to be super-intelligent, will there even be a need for politicians any more?

I had a crazy idea that politicians themselves could be transhuman one day. They themselves will have supreme intelligence and perhaps will have access to that technology before the masses. Will the cost of superior technology and intelligence be available to the masses?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the bad people of the world. They are fighting to retrieve weapons of mass destruction in order to take over certain parts of countries. Information controls all, and once intelligence is made available for brains to upgrade via the cloud, who is to say that cannot be hacked just like anything else? Anonymous could find a way.

Imagine a terrorist getting the ability to become super intelligent. How will we fight that? Clearly if super intelligent good people were fighting super intelligent bad people, this would result in a stalemate. An endless stalemate of warring between countries and political ideas. But we all know language and rhetoric controls people. With the onset of global communication, will someone in Syria be able to control the masses of people in America depending on their outreach to us? Can someone from Asia turn Central American citizens from their governments?

Scientists and politicians are promoting the fusion of humans and computers in order to achieve the next set of technological advancements. These advancements will not only keep us alive and healthy for as long as we want, it will help us get to the next world for us to populate. There are so many implications to think about here. We are already playing chess for the ‘land’ in space (Mars, the moon).

The Transhumanist Political Party (which I will write about in another post) is a way to introduce forward thinking into politics. It’s not only a way to express the members’ thoughts on transhumanism but also introduces a way for the government to stray away from a two-dimensional party system. I’m wondering what sort of drawbacks the citizens will have on this party as time goes on, and especially as the movement itself grows momentum.

Another advocate of the transhumanism, futuristic utopia is none other than David Simpson, author of the Post-Human series.

The first is a story about a world that transhumanists could image: downloadable upgrades to improve muscle strength, intelligence, and eye sight, nanobots repairing any part of a damaged body, and “cellular clocks being reset to stay young”. The series itself is quite interesting and long, but what makes the first one so astonishing is the fact that it speaks to the reparations of having such great technology.

You have to ask yourself: If the world was like the one in Post-Human, is there another super intelligent species out there that would envy our evolution through technology? And thus, would it work to destroy us in order to feel safe. You could say that idea plays well into our current fears of terrorism, and wars in general where we strive to stay the best and be the best the world has even seen (on a geographical level).

The first book finds that humans are being murdered across the solar system and the main character along with companions find a way to fight back and learn what happened to our species.

There really is two sides to the story:

  1. Technology itself is man-made – in order for us to evolve as a species we must embrace technology so that we can supply the demand of faster everything
  2. Anything worthwhile for the human species to pursue is worth looking into the side effects

If being able to stay young forever, repair damaged bodies, and upgrade to superior ways of being human, what if that was made available to people likie Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, Osama Bin Laden, Napolean? These people who have frequently been thought of as the anti-christ could still be alive today and wreaking havoc on the world we know and love.

The more research I’ve done, the more it has been harder to justify the evolution of technology. As in all things, only if the good outweighs the evil of the world will anything ever be relevant and worthwhile pursuing. In the coming days I see a balance of evil getting closer to equaling the good, so perhaps this isn’t the time for humanity to experience such a privilege after all.

One of Google’s leading technology advisers, experts, and cool dude is Ray Kurzweil.

How do you know he’s cool? He’s done remarkable things in terms of how technology can be used to better lives. Also, he’s been able to show us ways in which technology will help us in the future.

Ray first busted onto the scene in the 1960s on a game show, “I’ve Got A Secret“. <– Watch the video here!

What he did was quite astonishing: his secret was that he programmed a computer to play the piano. In the 60s! Hippies, Jimi Hendrix, and Vietnam were hot topics at this time.

From there, Kurzweil became well-known for his views of the future. In 1990 he published his first book, “The Age of Intelligent Machines“, in which he researched on the history of computer artificial intelligence and the future implications of such technology. Along the next few years, culminating in 2004, Kurzweil also writes The Age of Spiritual Machines, and The Singularity. The latter was written in 2004, while the others are pretty much based on the succeeding book.

The same themes are followed, yet each book is more of an update on the progress of artificial technology. In total, he’s written 6 books on artificial intelligence, computers, and biological and technological implication of AI progress.

Google recently hired Kurzweil in 2013 to head their AI division. In 2014, he made an astonishing statement when he said we should get ready for hybrid thinking, which is a concept that our brains will be able to access the cloud and gather information about anything we wanted.

He has been at the forefront of the technology field for generations, and will continue to be. Apparently, he takes so many supplements and vitamins that he truly thinks he will live to the point of time that he termed the Singularity, which means that technology will surpass human biology and will begin to mend itself with our biological forms.

Crazy? Or not? This isn’t Ripley’s, people!

A couple that I know had their second child, a baby boy. They already have a little girl, and I am proud to see them have a chance at being even greater parents by being challenged by the number of children.

The child is healthy, actually quite on the road to going home as soon as humanly capable. At times like this, I think of life and death. The poor guy was born and now has been sleeping ever since, the birth being too much of a workout: first breath, bright lights, noise not disguised by amniotic fluids!! Something so small and innocent, yet so capable of being something great.

Something that the world has never seen. Human life mirrors that of a flower. It is cultivated and grown from a sprout to a fully grown flower to withering and dying out, like a bell curve. We are nothing more than a freak of nature, something that went right with nature that provided a species with intelligence and reason. We can see it happening with apes, chimpanzees, or whatever ones are the smartest.

We evolved. We were born during evolution. A mutation allowed intelligence.

Or was it God? What do you think?

How will that intelligence evolve? How will future human beings give birth? Will it be like the Matrix where human beings are grown?

I love kids, mainly due to their innocence and not knowing the horrors that their fellow human beings are capable of making. I seen some things that I shouldn’t have when I was a child, but I am here today as someone that never regretted his actions or his beliefs. Life and death to me, are just cycles bound to never meet an end, with no means to an end.

I know that I am a thinker, one that thinks all the time. I drive a lot, for long durations, with thought-making music blasting. I think about love, evil, work, art, the future, past, and present, among other things. Sometimes I think about puppies running in the wind. I like the ones on the Viagra commercials. Or is it Cialis? I have a dry sense of humor, but it depends on my mood.

What will philosophers think in the 22nd century, less than 9 decades away? How will they produce logic with human biology and man-made technology influencing their thoughts from the beginning of their birth? Exponentially, we are achieving the one goal man has searched for since the beginning: the route to God, or whatever you want to call him regarding your own beliefs. But hey, what do I know, it’s 2013!

I think about myself, too. But I’m not selfish. I just like to think, and analyze, and determine, and conclude.

Anyways, as for the future, whether one second into it or one century, things will be different. More words will have been written, more years will have passed. More faces becoming wrinkled and more children losing their innocence to the effects of adulthood. But it has happened forever since we have existed, and will continue until we are extinct.

I’m excited for the 22nd century. You know why? Because Ray Kurzweil thinks anyone will be able to live forever. In a machine!

Hehe, maybe I can continue this forever! And Ever! AND EVER!!

Whether I live forever or not, the fact of the matter is that one day people WILL live forever if they choose. Enough of that “we live forever because of God…” stuff, we really will live long enough to become Gods. Too soon?

When trying to keep the momentum alive for the transhumanist movement that many fear could mean despair, it is important to know what to measure when figuring out the ideas, emotions, and behaviors of both sides of the field.

What kinds of people don’t believe in your movement? Who does believe in your movement? What’s their age, race, level of education? What’s their level of income? Profession?

All of this information is needed when determining or pinpointing the reason for someone’s belief or non-belief in your movement. But this is just the start. There’s a lot that goes into why or why not someone is or isn’t a transhumanist.

One aspect to analyze is education. Not just formal schooling…but how much does this segmented group of people actually know about transhumanism? Do they fear or not believe because of ignorance to what the movement entails? This makes me think of Will Smith in I, Robot, where his reoccurring dream is due to a robot saving him, and not a drowning girl, ONLY because he had a better chance of surviving. Of course, in the movie, the robots were programmed to kill eventually. But there was one good robot that made a human connection with the audience….another subject!

Is someone a follower of transhumanist thought because they’ve already been affected by the movement? Some people in the world are already benefiting from transhuman technology, such as Lisa Kulik, who went blind slowly over 15 years. When opthamologist Mark Humayun created Argus, Lisa’s world became bright again.

Getting a sense of why someone thinks of transhumanism the way they do is what will help form a strategy on convincing people that transhumanism is the future. Unless the world is destroyed by humans, asteroids, aliens, or whatever, technology will take over the world and be integrated within human biology. Technology already controls us and is a apart of us on the outside. But at the rate we are going technology will be within us, and not just in our hands. Persuading the world that this can be used for good is hard, so here are some things to ask when researching public perception of transhumanism. Using a Likert scale, ask the respondents their agree-ability with the following intial statements:

  • Future technology will create 100% clean energy
  • Humans will one day be super-intelligent
  • Technology will speed the evolution of human beings
  • Technology will be used against humans to control populations
  • Nanotechnology will one day cure cancer
  • Nanotechnology will one day be used to assassinate public figures
  • Humans will need future technology to survive

The above questions offer good and bad sides of technology transhumanists believe the world will experience. This initial set of questions focuses on the beliefs of what technology will do, and not necessarily the opinions of why or why not transhumanistic thought is bad or good. This gives the researcher insight into what people think technology will offer in the future. Follow-up or additional questions may be presented in the future, either on the same survey, or on a follow-up survey (again, a Likert scale) to find opinions on those initial questions:

  • Biotechnology should be controlled by the government
  • Humans should be super-intelligent
  • Private companies should be in control of nanotechnology patents
  • Humans should be able to live forever
  • Parents should be able to choose the traits of their children
  • The most important part of future technology is ethics

Using the answers to the initial questions and follow-up questions, running tests on what types of people (demographics) consistently answer similarly will offer insight into how the leaders of transhumanism can cater to the needs of believers and non-believers. Most people who fear future technology, may fear it because of that technology getting into the hands of evil humans, which is generally a well-accepted concern. Saddam Hussein started wars due to the use of chemical weapons on his own people. Prevention is key, so being proactive is a major part of the transhumanist movement as it becomes larger.

With technology, humans will become more than human. But what about those skeptics out there who believe that robots will eventually take over the world and kill off humans? Could they be right?

I’m not sure, but I’d rather become half-robot than dead-human!

To transhumanists, technology will be the key to the survival of human existence and ultimately our immortality. But technology is also which caused today’s current epidemics in the world. Technology spurred overpopulation, if you follow the chain, and caused disease and greed and wealthy economies and poor economies and wealthy families and poor families and more!

Without technology, however, I wouldn’t be able to communicate with you via this blog post. I wouldn’t even exist in your memory. Maybe I’m blabbering, but the future of technology can only go in one direction, and that is UP!

Transhumanists need a way of relaying information to skeptics as to inform them of its benefits. Many of these skeptics believe we shouldn’t mess around with God’s plan for us to die eventually. But many transhumanists are also atheists or agnostics (not all). Transhumanists take their fate into their own hands and make a choice on whether to utilize the technology at their disposal for the good or bad of humankind.

Many technologies transhumanists look forward to can be used in evil ways. Nano-bots are looking to be used to cure cancer by inserting them into the body. These nano-bots would be programmed to “search-and-destroy” all cancerous cells. But….nano-bots could also be programmed by terrorists to spy on governments. Even worse, mass quantities could be programmed to wipe out a country’s entire ecosystem by destroying agriculture, poisoning water supplies, and even infecting specific populations with diseases.

This causes a major problem with speaking about the ethics of transhumanist thought.

With that being said, transhumanism needs help when it comes to the perception of its intentions. How can we make this experience better for the world to understand?

For those Ray Kurzweil’s, Aubrey de Grey’s, and David Pearce’s of the world, I would recommend aiming to change the perception of what transhumanist life could be like. You’ve already got some of us hooked, but let’s go for the skeptics.

First, those pushing a transhumanist agenda need to reach those skeptics by finding them. To do this, research needs to be conducted. Push surveys on websites with transhumanist, biotechnology, or subjects alike. Record demographics, record their views on humanity, record their views on transhumanism. And then find the groups of people based on that data that are skeptical of the intentions of transhumanists.

Second, start reaching out to those people that belong to the demographic you’re targeting as “non-transhumanist” and ask them why they don’t believe transhumanism to be a “good” thing. Ask open-ended questions to receive real responses. Find out their past experiences to understand why that aging and death should not be tampered with, or why humans should not have super-intelligence. Are they afraid that these abilities will get into the wrong hands?

Finally, analyze the data and figure out a way to address the concerns of these skeptics of transhumanism. Companies with technologies of a transhumanist stature should establish programs and processes not just for ethical reasons but because the concerns of skeptics are real and true concerns. We don’t want terrorists to have super-intelligence or access to world-destroying technology. Once there is a plan in place, stress and publicize this plan to those skeptics and the rest of the world on why we can still utilize the power of transhumanist tendencies and still be moral human beings.

Since technological advancement is inevitable (minus the world reaching the apocalypse), these are ethical dilemmas that governments should begin dealing with. But governments do already deal with technology and ethics, correct?

Take for instance the nuclear bomb. We have international governments that routinely make sure that countries with bad intentions do not acquire this technology. We have technology in place to protect our electrical grids from cyber attacks.

All of this is possible with any new technology that is born. The future is scary, but if you won’t have a future and decide to waive your immortality, then should you care about the future of those that do?

Twentieth-century American writer Ray Bradbury was a science-fiction creator who was best known for his dystopian novels of the future world. He truly believed that science fiction was the “history of our species birthing itself“. David Simpson, author of the Post-Human series, agrees that we’ve “entered a moment in history where science has outstripped the fiction in most instances, with most visions of the future in popular science fiction being way too conservative“.

In the coming decades there will be a degree of separation from what we currently perceive as reality, and what we will experience as technology exponentially advances past its current state. Transhumanism is a cultural movement that states humans are on the path to becoming more than human by fusing advanced technology with human biology. A technological singularity is approaching, which is a point at which technology is advancing so rapidly, that on a line graph, there is a point where that line is “practically vertical”, according to Ray Kurzweil in his book “The Singularity is Near“, and the subsequent video shown below.

Super longevity, super intelligence, and super wellbeing are three aspects of transhumanistic thought. Which means we will live forever, be impossibly smart, and have the ability to control our genetic code.

There are a growing number of transhumanists on the planet that believe the first people to take advantage of living forever and super intelligence have already been born. Given technology’s advancement in only the last decade, the next set of advancements are truly too powerful for society to ignore.

Aubrey de Grey does not typically enjoy the label of “transhumanist” but he is the front-runner in the war on aging. he believes that aging is a disease, and a preventable one at that. A disease that can be stopped, and even reversed, to lengthen the human lifespan to that which has never been seen nor expected in our own lifetimes. Society’s focus on managing individual illnesses in elders is a mistake since he believes that we should act at the cellular level which would prevent those illnesses in human beings in the first place. In an interview with Motherboard.com, Aubrey de Grey states that he does not “work on longevity, I work on health. And it just happens that, historically, the main thing that kills people is…not being healthy“. However, he denies that he works on immortality, since he can’t “stop people from being hit by trucks”.

But what if we could take Aubrey de Grey’s idea one step further and not just focus on extending life, but taking measures before a person is even born? Can we edit our genes so that we can control our personality before we have even formed one? David Pearce, who thinks that transhumanism is “the use of technology to overcome biological limitations”, believes we can usher in an era of super wellbeing by minimizing and/or abolishing suffering by “rolling the dice in our favor” and birthing human beings who will one day have a personality without anxiety, without aggressiveness, and without jealousy or envy among other characteristic traits that can cause suffering on oneself or others. Instead, we can use gene therapy to create happier, healthier human beings, as well as finding and removing genes that are known to cause diseases later in life. In other words, parents will not only choose their child’s personality, but also choose their gender, their eye and hair color, how short or tall they will be, how prone they will be to obesity, and other things we have yet to know about gene therapy’s benefits.

Living forever and preventing the suffering of the human mind is all fine and dandy, but what about being super intelligent? Ray Kurzweil, who has more recently been employed by Google, is almost certain that will become a reality for human beings in the next couple of decades due to the enormous advancement of technology. Artificial intelligence will one day be created. Humans will first create an ultra-intelligent machine, so intelligent in fact, that it will create a super ultra-intelligent machine which will then be able to grasp the knowledge of all things possible and may be even conscious of itself. When this happens, Ray says, we will have reached the  “technological singularity”. Technology innovation will no longer be limited by the human brain, but aided by super intelligent devices. Imagine implanting a chip in your brain that is wirelessly connected to the Internet. It is believed by Ray Kurzweil and many others like him that without super intelligence, all other beliefs held in super longevity or super wellbeing are impossible. The 21st century will be the time in which humans are no longer held back by their biological weaknesses, as long as we don’t destroy ourselves first.