“When you talk to a human in 2035, you’ll be talking to someone that’s a combination of biological and non-biological intelligence.” Ray Kurzweil
It is interesting that science fiction like Star Trek and even Star Wars depict a future with all sorts of highly advanced machinery, but humans essentially being…well, essentially human. There are exceptions of course; I remember back in college a friend calling and asking if I would like to go with him to see “Blade Runner.” I replied that it looked to be kinda boring, but he insisted and what I saw was a very intellectually stimulating film depicting a dystopian world of humans and bioengineered creatures called “replicants.” If I were to guess the future I would say that this film touches on where we are heading much more than most science fiction.
Currently we have three fields of science still in their infancy, but developing at a staggering rate: Bio-technology, robotics, including artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology. And while these fields of science and engineering are currently separate, in the coming years they will converge…and that will be the ultimate game-changer for humanity.
Today we take for granted the area of reproductive technologies that would have been considered science fiction a few decades ago. In my first book, “Freedom from Conscience – Melanie’s Journey” the main character at the end pays for her college education by donating eggs; of course with a certain satisfaction of spreading her genes. I will note that in a sequel I anticipate will be published, this will become central to the plot that will involve eugenics as well as a dark organization similar to what many might feel describes the “Illuminati.” Strange…most people assume such an organization would be headed by men…a faulty assumption. http://finest.se/jasmincroft/ Well anyway, technologies such as egg and sperm donation will become far more accepted and account for many more births in the future. And as more people are conceived in the lab we will become far more accepting of gene alterations to enhance beauty, health and intelligence – a rebirth of eugenics in a sense.
As we begin to see ourselves as in charge of our biological destiny we will also begin to see the advantages of applying robotics to ourselves – the ultimate next stage in the industrial revolution. Robots will replace many, many workers in the next 10 – 20 years, and as we advance in robotics so too will artificial intelligence. People will desire to enhance themselves both to compete in the workplace of the future as well as for personal reasons – imagine being able to connect with the future “internet” telepathically with brain implants or having one or more limbs replaced with perfect, human-looking, but incredibly strong synthetic creations.
Everything in regards to how we make babies to who, and what, we give human status and rights to will be the societal challenges of the near future. Of course if it becomes a dystopian nightmare, or a Utopian dream, is all up to us.
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