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Tag: Transhumanism

Humans Will Achieve Digital Immortality by 2045 and Our Bodies Will Be Machines Within 90 Years, Says Google Futurist

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

For anyone who has seen Ex Machina — an independent science fiction psychological thriller — the idea of transhumanism is nothing new. Ava, a humanoid robot, far exceeds expectations of what we normally associate with a machine. She displays an intelligence and adaptability to changing circumstances with the emotional sophistication of a real person — which, in turn, blurs the line between what we consider human and what we consider to be a soulless mechanical imitation. While Ava is a true robot — meaning she doesn’t possess any human material — the film depicted her in a way that was so totally adaptable to human emotions and logic, that it was easy to forget she wasn’t at least part human.

I found the timing with the release of the film in 2015 interesting — largely because, over the last five years or so, we’ve been bombarded with subtle imagery in advertising and the media of people who are half-human, half-machine. Examples can be seen in films like TranscendenceAvatar,Nexus and The Transhumanist Wager. Futurist video game developers, visual artists and techno-musicians have also jumped onto the transhumanist bandwagon in recent years, celebrating the idea of technologically upgraded human beings, who enjoy immortality and are free from all the annoying human maladies that we experience today.

Jason Silva, founder of Shots of Awe, is one of the most well-known futurists and has a large following of younger generations. Here’s one of his most popular films, viewed over a quarter of a million times on YouTube. Notice the sweeping, emotional music — as well as the quick moving imagery, which overlays photographs of humans with some form of technology. Silva also speaks with a fast, convincing and confident style.

“To Be Human Is To Be Transhuman”

These transhuman “amalgams” are portrayed as “super-humans” that will solve all our health, psychological and physical problems. Personally, I find the whole sales-pitch and movement towards transhumanism to be exceptionally disturbing. Many, however, suffer no qualms about it. In fact, they are enthusiastic supporters. One such person is Ray Kurzweil, an inventor, futurist and current director of engineering at Google.

A Brave New World of Transhumanism

In just over a three decades, we will be able to upload our entire mind into computers and become digitally immortal — a process classified as “singularity” — according to Kurzweil. He also predicts that biological parts of our body will be completely replaced with mechanical parts as early as 2100.

What exactly is singularity and where did the idea originate?

Journalist Victoria Woollaston explains in the Daily Mail:

Technological singularity is the development of ‘super-intelligence’ brought about through the use of technology.

The first use of the term ‘singularity’ refer to technological minds was by mathematician John von Neumann.

Neumann in the mid-1950s said: ‘ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue.’

The term was then used by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge who believes brain-computer interfaces are causes of the singularity.

Ray Kurzweil cited von Neumann’s use of the term in a foreword to von Neumann’s classic The Computer and the Brain.

Kurzweil predicts the singularity to occur around 2045 while Vinge predicts it will happen before 2030.

In Kurweil’s book, The Singularity Is Near, he explores the journey that is leading us in the direction toward transhumanism. Recent advancements in neural engineering and brain modeling, as well as technologies that replace biological functions, will make it possible.

Already we’re seeing examples, like an implant that is attached to the brain’s cochlear nerve and elect…. Other technologies are being developed that re-establish motor skills after the nervous system has suffered damage. 3D printing is also making strides in creating human body parts, such as the prosthetic ear created at Cornell University.

Kurzweil goes on to say that “we’re going to become increasingly non-biological … [where] the biological part is not important any more.” He adds, “We do need a body, our intelligence is directed towards a body but it doesn’t have to be this frail, biological body that is subject to all kinds of failure modes.”

He believes that we will also have a variety of non-biological bodies in the future.

‘We can create bodies with nano technology, we can create virtual bodies and virtual reality in which the virtual reality will be as realistic as the actual reality. The virtual bodies will be as detailed and convincing as real bodies.

‘But in the future it’s not going to be a little picture in a virtual environment you’re looking at. It will feel like this is your body and you’re in that environment and your body is the virtual body and it can be as realistic as real reality.

‘So we’ll be routinely able to change our bodies very quickly as well as our environments. If we had radical life extension only, we would get profoundly bored and we would run out of things to do and new ideas,’ he said.

Sounds like progress. Or is it?

The Dark Side of Transhumanism

Whenever I hear about a new technology that increases longevity, I have a mixed reaction. On one side, it gives those who are struggling with life-threatening illness hope. But let’s face it, even when we’re in the prime of health, our attena perk up whenever we hear about any discovery that might extend our health and lengthen our lives. On the other side, I feel that all the advancements in medicine over the last hundred years or so have contributed to many of the problems facing humanity today, mainly because of overpopulation. However, when we venture into the realm of transhumanism — which has the potential to extend human life indefinitely — we open a whole new Pandora’s box of ethical questions.

Transhumanism: a Pandora’s box of ethical questions.

Kyle Munkittrick, Program Director for the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, gives us some good food for thought to mull over before we race headlong into a transhumanist future:

Transhumanists are trying to escape aging — and its inevitable symp…… Death and aging are why we value children. … I would add it’s also why we value our own life. Moreover, death sweeps away the old and allows the new to emerge.”

Then there is the question of overpopulation. Already there are 6.7 billion of us, “ever-hungry and all want SUV’s and flat screens and will do whatever it takes to man or beast to get them … and are stripping the earth”, according to Munkittrick.

Massimo Pigliucci, Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York, agrees.

“There are several problems with the pursuit of immortality, one of which is particularly obvious. If we all live (much, much) longer, we all consume more resources and have more children, leading to even more overpopulation and environmental degradation,” he said. “We simply don’t have space, water and other prime materials to feed a forever exponentially increasing population [regardless of the advances in agricultural technology].”

For myself, as someone who has delved deeply into Buddhism for almost two decades, I can’t help but believe transhumanism is nothing more than a way to deny what it means to be human: birth, aging, death. Think about all the time monks around the world meditate on their own death, the fleeting nature of life and the irrefutable truth of change.

From a Western perspective, you would assume this kind of orientation creates a very dour, depressed, “why bother?” kind of person. But it actually does just the opposite. Contemplating these facts of life actually make one more appreciative and aware, while lessening the auto-pilot habit most of us are in each day. Life is treasured as the precious thing it truly is, something to be honored. All the major religious traditions acknowledge the brief nature of physical life and how we should value it accordingly. I, for one, believe they’re onto something.

Maybe the question shouldn’t be how to extend life indefinitely through technological advancement, but rather how do we fully embrace our transient humanity to the fullest.

Article sources:

About the author:

Carolanne Wright enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years.

Through her website Thrive-Living.net, she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. You can also follow Carolanne on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

https://wakeup-world.com/2017/06/05/humans-will-achieve-digital-imm…

Transhumanist Madness: Chinese Man Marries Self-Built Robot.

Zheng Jiajia carried his robot wife – with head covered in red cloth in accordance with local tradition

© Provided by Guardian News

Zheng Jiajia carried his robot wife – with head covered in red cloth in accordance with local tradition A Chinese artificial intelligence engineer has given up on the search for love and “married” a robot he built himself.

Zheng Jiajia, 31, decided to commit after failing to find a human spouse, his friend told Qianjiang Evening News.

Zheng had also become tired of the constant nagging from his family and pressure to get married, so he turned to a robot he built late last year, who he named Yingying.

After two months of “dating”, he donned a black suit to “marry” her at a ceremony attended by his mother and friends at the weekend in the eastern city of Hangzhou.

While not officially recognised by the authorities, the union had all the trappings of a typical Chinese wedding, with Yingying’s head covered with a red cloth in accordance with local tradition.

China has one of the worst gender gaps in the world, mainly due to sex selective abortions after the introduction of the country’s widely criticised one-child policy, which for decades controlled how many children each family could have.

There were 113.5 men for every 100 women in China, according to the latest figures published by the World Economic Forum. The gender imbalance, coupled with changing attitudes towards marriage among the country’s middle class, means many men will never find wives.

For now Yingying can only read some Chinese characters and images and speak a few simple words, but Zheng plans to upgrade his “bride” to be able to walk and do household chores. Until then he has to carry the 30kg robot to move her.

Reaction in China to the union has been mixed, with some social media users mocking Zheng and others wondering if it is all a publicity stunt.

“You won’t have her mother looking down on you, you don’t have the pressure to buy a home and you get to save money and energy,” one user wrote on WeChat, a popular social network.

“He’ll slowly get old, his face will become wrinkled and his hair will grow white – but will he upgrade her to grow old, or just to be prettier?” another user asked.

Stories of robots replacing humans is commonplace in China, most notably in a smattering of restaurants where the waiters are automated. However, the machines rarely live up to expectations.

Zheng previously worked at Huawei, the Chinese smartphone company, before quitting to focus on an artificial intelligence startup.

 

It was only a matter of time I guess. Sigh….!

Data stored on a single atom for the first time

Data stored on a single atom for the first time :

 

Innovation in electronics manufacturing is driven by a desire to make devices ever smaller but increasingly powerful. Moore’s Law has seen the power of computer chips double every two years without them growing in size, while data storage plateaued somewhat.

But in a breakthrough that could revolutionise the way information is stored, researchers have managed to store data on a single atom.

Researchers at IBM successfully coded an individual atom with a binary value of 0 or 1 in what is a major step forward for information storage. Experts in the field have described the research as a “landmark achievement” and said it could be used to increase hard-drive storage density by 1,000 times.

“It’s a landmark achievement,” Sander Otte, a physicist at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, told Nature.  “Finally, magnetic stability has been demonstrated undeniably in a single atom.”

Close-up of cables and LED lights in a data centre
Data is currently stored in vast centres that require masses of computer power Credit: Phototek

The researchers were able to imbue two Holmium atoms with separate binary values using a magnetised scanning tunnelling microscope. They then connected them to make a miniscule hard drive with four possible combinations.

With the majority of the data ever produced having been created in the past six years, atomic storage could be vital for reducing the space and energy used in keeping information.

If the system was scaled up it would be possible to store an iTunes library of 35 million songs on a credit card sized device, according to IEEE Spectrum.

To date, the smallest matter to have stored data was a magnetic grain with a diametre of 5 nanometers. A Holmium atom has a radius of 0.2 nanometres.

The researchers plan to further explore if the atoms of other elements, clusters of atoms and small molecules could also be used to store data.

It could also be used eventually to replace an electrical current in devices as the atoms could move information within a device, according to Otte. This could make for more energy efficient computers.

Brian Krzanich said Moore's law was not ove
Brian Krzanich said Moore’s law was not over Credit: Getty

The breakthrough indicates that there are still steps to be made to create more powerful, smaller and efficient computers.

Intel, whose founder was behind the Moore’s Law maxim that the power of chips doubling every two years without them growing in size, recently announced that the company will release a 10 nanometre chip in 2017. The news allayed doubts that manufacturers had reached a crunch point where it was no longer cost effective to uphold Moore’s Law.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/03/09/data-stored-single-atom-first-time/

 Another step down the Transhumanist path……..

Image result for star trek borg you will be assimilated