Titles About Transhumanism
Transhumanism is a movement pushing the limits of our bodies—our capabilities, intelligence, and lifespans—in the hopes that, through technology, we can become something better than ourselves. It has found support among Silicon Valley billionaires and some of the world’s biggest businesses. ‘To Be a Machine’ explores the staggering possibilities and moral quandaries that present themselves when you of think of your body as a device. It uncovers an underground collective of biohackers, implanting electronics under their skin to enhance their senses. It introduces a team of scientists urgently investigating how to protect mankind from artificial superintelligence. Where is our obsession with technology leading us? What does the rise of AI mean not just for our offices and homes, but for our humanity? Could the technologies we create to help us eventually bring us to harm?
Transhumanists advocate for the development and distribution of technologies that will enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities, even eliminate aging. What if the dystopian futures and transhumanist utopias found in the pages of science journals, Margaret Atwood novels, films like Gattaca, and television shows like Dark Angel are realized? What kind of world would humans have created? This title considers the promises and perils of using genetic engineering in an effort to direct the future course of human evolution. It addresses scientific and ethical issues without choosing sides in the dispute between transhumanists and their challengers. However, Transhumanist Dreams and Dystopian Nightmares reveals that radical forms of genetic engineering could become a reality much sooner than many people think, and that we need to encourage risk-management efforts. Whether scientists are dubious or optimistic about the prospects for directed evolution, they tend to agree on two things. First, however long it takes to perfect the necessary technology, it is inevitable that humans will attempt to control their evolutionary future, and second, in the process of learning how to direct evolution, we are bound to make mistakes. Our responsibility is to learn how to balance innovation with caution.
We may be living on the brink of a technological Singularity — a time when machines will become vastly more intelligent than humans. In such a scenario, death, disease and everyday material scarcity will be radically diminished, and life will be dramatically different in many other ways. But what will the path to this amazing future look like? How will human life grow and unfold as technology advances and Singularity approaches? The chapters in this book approach this issue from the perspectives of multiple authors from around the globe, covering topics such as the impact of life extension, the future of money and exchange, the future of human psychology, biological self-modification, intelligence enhancement, automation and escalating unemployment, the possibility of global war between pro and anti technology forces, the impact of future technology on Asia and Africa, the emerging Global Brain, the future of surveillance and privacy, and much more. There are no easy or definite answers here — but lots of fascinating questions to explore.
What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful – possibly beyond our control. Will it be possible to construct a seed Artificial Intelligence, to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation?
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