Superheros or Superhumans? By Jacqueline Briggs

‘Humans will have what seems to be superhuman capacities through real-time ability to network with the Internet and artificial intelligence.’

q

Who would have thought that when I asked the question, where do you think technology will have advanced to in the next hundred years, to my work colleague that I would get the exact same opinion that I have been basing my current assignment around.

My colleague Colin Fabig, who is a serial entrepreneur and also the creator of the new art form of New Imaginism has an optimistic, utopian ideal for the future. Transhumanism, artificial intelligence, and superhuman capabilities are all something he recounts, with much enthusiasm, as the way of the future. I find it very interesting that the first person I decided to talk to about this matter with had the same alignment in views as me. Is it because this is a common belief throughout society? Is it pure luck? Or is it the fact that I subconsciously chose him as I somehow knew his beliefs would match mine due to his erratic and interesting personality.

I continued to ask my fellow friends and family members that same question, however only briefly and in passing conversation so I could come to some sort of accurate conclusion. Interestingly eight of the ten people said something along the lines of:

‘Do you know the movie Her? Yeah the one about the artificial intelligence? It will be something like that.’

I briefly touched on Her[1] in my last blog post and do not wish to delve into a deep analysis of the movie, I think if you watch the film you can get a pretty good grasp on the whole thing, however I thought it was interesting that firstly a movie is so powerful we can base our whole future on a two hour entertainment skit. And was it actually just a really well made movie that we have now become convinced of an unrealistic future?

Her

The importance of Her is that it is a realistic view of the future. We are already heading towards a personalized OS system and then furthering from that computers will become apart of our personal identities, which ultimately leads to the notion of transhumanism. It all seems like a natural progression, therefore maybe I was wrong, the future might be easier to predict then we think.

Lets take a step back and get the proper definition of transhumanism, ‘It is an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.’

‘The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology,’[2] is a book written by Ray Kurzweil who ultimately describes this future whereby people will augment their minds and bodies with genetic alterations, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence by 2045. And he is not far off. Bertolt Meyer’s bionic hand can be controlled by an iPhone app.

Bertolt Meyer who has an i-limb bionic handBertolt Meyer- Bionic Hand

This is a perfect example of the genetic alterations are already occurring. However Andy Miah, a director at the Creative Futures Institute and also a Professor of ethics and emerging technologies at the University of the West of Scotland, believes that people will want to enhance themselves even when they are healthy. “What’s crucial about these technologies is they don’t just repair us, they make us better than well. The human enhancement market will reveal the truth about our biological conditions – we are all disabled. This is why human enhancements are here to stay and likely to become more popular.”[3]

[1] Jonze, S. Her, 2013.

[2] Kurzweil, R. 2005. The Singularity is Near. Viking, United States.

Bibliography

Bostrom, N. 1998. “How long before superintelligence?” International Journal of Futures Studies, 2.

Drexler, E. 1988. Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology. Fourth Estate. London.

Moravec, H. 1998. Robot, Being: mere machine to transcendent mind. Oxford Univ. Press.

Transcript- Colin Fabig

Where do you think the world would be in 100 years technologically?
Technology will be hybrid of genetic and software technology with lots of embedded chips etc in our bodies Humans will have what seems to be superhuman capacities through real-time ability to network with the internet and artificial intelligence. We’ll speak to voices our head like Samantha and they will tell the answers to whatever we need to know.
Their will relative abundance compared to now. Even the poorest countries will have lifestyles that match todays working class western lifestyles, but with way more technology at their disposal.
Rich people will hardly work at all as technology will do most of the mundane manufacturing and food etc. creation
Animals will be able to speak through implanted technology and will be fighting for more equal rights
Some humans will be so embedded in entertainment and the technology thereof they’ll choose to hardly every relate to the world outside of it
You’ll be able to change the color of other peoples clothes in your own mind/reality  just by imagining it J photoshop of the mind

What does transhumanism mean to you/ how do you think it will come about
Its great and will allow the world to move toward a utopian future where resources will be more abundant and we can focus on the bigger reality behind the mundane day to day struggle for physical survival

What characteristics would associate with transhumans?
Superintelligence
Almost telepathic / supernatural connectedness with others and knowledge of everything from today’s perspective . i.e. if we had Captain Cook here today and we met someone who arrived at the harbour on a boat from England and we’d spoken to them  by mobile the day before – we could then tell CC what the boat trip was like before the guy got off the boat, he’d think we were using magic.  If we met him at the airport and he heard it took the guy two days and he’d flown on a big metallic bird he’d think its supernatural. We’ll have same amazement at technology in 100 years as the pace of growth of tech is speeding up even faster than ever before.

How has the world changed in response to this, new political/ economic developments?
It has no clue what’s coming
It’s hardly coping with the industrial revolution eg climate change

[3] Honigsbaum, M. 2013, The Future of Robotics, The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/jun/16/future-robotics-bionic-limbs-disabled>.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s