Where will the world of science and technology lead us by 2030? Companies today are investing in exciting innovations, such as brain-machine interfaces and artificial intelligence, that will guarantee that our lives will transform exponentially in the future.
Companies such as Elon Musk’s Neuralink, Facebook, and DARPA are investing into how artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things, and other technologies can better our lives. Such exciting technology makes not only for a more humanistic future, but also a trans-humanistic future.
1. Body Augmentation
The coming years will see various body augmentation capabilities, enabling humans to be smarter, stronger, and more capable than we are today. This includes better abilities to learn. Insofar as general intelligence comes more from genetics, IVF will be better. Genomes and the abilities of organisms will be better understood. There could be selective gamete, egg and sperm, cell selection for different traits. Parents would have unparalleled control in child selection. Genome manipulation techniques are working on this.
Again, it will become cheaper, more precise, and better over the next 5-15 years. Not only wearables and implantables, we could have whole-body suits. For the military, there could be exosuits to augment physical strength and endurance. Or the military could become for the most part autonomous.
Lifespans, by one metric, will go beyond normal human averages. In the next 5-15 years, the rich will take advantage of technology revolutions around us. Fortunately, the cost will decline, meaning that more of us will have access to it. This includes things such as wearable technologies.
People thought about chips implanted in the body, which sounds super futuristic. But think about heart pacemakers, Parkinson’s pacemakers in the brain, and so on. There are artificial insulin pumps in place of pancreases. Simple hearing aids too. These improve the lifespans of human beings. These wearables and implantables, let’s call them, are now and will be more user friendly in the future, better and at a lower cost.
What if we understood the operations of the human brain and we make it a computer code? It is not a person, but something like a personality without a body. That means the ability to replicate and transfer the brain’s computations to computers. That means a safeguarding of mind into the far future. The business models will change. The wearables, the implantables, the augmentations, and the replications will change us. How will we relate to one another? Not only now in our speculations, but also in the coming future. However, are we wise enough to wield this power? Do we have an ethic to help us navigate these possible futures?
2. Faster, Transferable Thought Processes
One of the most exciting technological advancements is wearable and implantable brain-machine interfaces (BMIs), such as Elon Musk’s Neuralink, Facebook, and DARPA. These promise to radically transform the ways in which we communicate with one another. BMIs will change the way we type, the way we speak, etc. Providing us a means of communication that is at the speed of thought, it promises to relay our thoughts in truly unbounded ways. Facebook founder and SEO Mark Zuckerberg has described the following scenario: Today, when we share our vacation experiences, we upload photos and videos. With BMIs, I can share my full sensory and emotional vacation experience with my friends and family
3. Changing Societal Values
With huge advances in technology impacting almost every facet of our lives, there will be increased philosophical debates concerning how we should be shaping our lives. What should we be striving for? Is it a more happy society, a more intelligent one, or something different?
Given that we have the power to enact such realities, some ideals will take priority over others. An example: if the US decides to use technology that makes it citizens stronger and more intelligent, will other countries follow suit? These debates tap into the fulcrum of what it means to be human and what we should be valuing. Suffice to say, there will be considerable repercussions depending on what ideals are prioritised over others.
Are you ready to be a superhuman? Would you be willing to have your brain’s computations replicated and transferred to computers? If technology promises one thing in the future, it is that fundamental questions about what it means to be human takes centre stage.