Transhuman: Advances in Longevity Medicines
Transhumanists believe that we should augment our bodies with new technology.
In the last two to three decades, Artificial Intelligence has revolutionized our lives and the world around us with its astounding perks and impacts. Now, AI making its way out to produce a combination of our body and metal that will enhance our strength, intelligence, and life span, that eradicates the concept of aging as a cause of death.
Scientists are aiming to eradicate the concept of natural selection where it takes hundreds of years for one species as we found them nowadays. Technology has been used for the benefit of humankind for a long but transhumanism is replacing the concept of Biotechnology. In the past, scientists modeled devices like corrective lenses, false teeth to aid human, whereas transhumanism is based on the concept of replacing the damaged body organs completely with an enhanced one to overcome the biological deficit or to augment senses of human so that they can detect things they are not built to sense.
Transhumanism involves the evolution of three basic pillars of humanity: our body, our thoughts, and behavior.
Our Bodies will be augmented
scientists are planning to escort such body augmentations that will enable humans to be more strong, smart-having enhanced life span; a near embodiment of God. We can expect the arrival of contact lenses that can take pictures or video, universal language translator earbuds that allow us to communicate anywhere in the world, and powered clothing that mimics the biomechanics of the human body and increase user’s physical strength with the help of Transhuman.
Implants will be used to improve cognition, ranging from brain microchips to prosthetic cyber-brains and subdermal RFID chips. Our senses will be augmented with the help of implants so we can detect infrared or ultraviolet radiation. Cochlear, optic implants, bionic limbs, and artificial organs will be used to overcome biological damage, though these techniques are already in use.
The most powerful of all will be the biological augmentation, that will enable humans to select the most intelligent embryo using IVF technology. We will also be able to eliminate all heritable diseases using the powerful CRISPR gene-editing technology.
All these advancements will enable humans to live a longer and healthier life. When the old concept of treating aging as an inevitable cause of death will be replaced by taking it as a pathology, we will be able to treat and prevent it. People will get older slowly and will progress towards longer life spans than expected.
We will brainstorm at a faster pace
Implantable brain-machine interfaces, in the process of development, will alter the way of our communication. BMIs will surpass the barrier of speed with which humans deal while communicating. Humans will communicate at the speed of their thought in its full, unfiltered state.
Mark Zuckerberg has described this scenario as: 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.
Our behavior will be enhanced as a species
Artificial intelligence and Augmented reality will be integrated into our behavior in such a way that it will alter our interactions. The transhuman technique will improve human functioning, make him more active, dynamic and productive. It will also influence how we interact with society and traditional ethical values. Even these tactics are widely in use and several Governments of the first world such as the US and UK are utilizing them for social benefits.
Transhumans would raise a host of ethical problems and dilemmas
Advocates of Transhumanism believe that going beyond the natural barriers of an ordinary human being, will remarkably revolutionize the world but not everyone agrees with the idea.
In the modern world, technological advancements are not merely used by patients or sick people, healthy people are also using them to boost their powers. The drug erythropoietin (EPO) that was used by the patients of anemia to increase their red blood cell production, is now in the use of athletes to improve their bloodstream’s ability to carry oxygen to their muscles.
Blay Whitby, an artificial intelligence expert at Sussex University says“We are now approaching the time when, for some kinds of track sports such as the 100-metre sprint, athletes who run on carbon-fibre blades will be able outperform those who run on natural legs,”
The debates give rise some critical questions such as if ethically justified for a surgeon to replace the normal limbs with the carbon-fire blades just so they can win the race? Who will own it: wearer or NHS? Who will be responsible if any of this technology is used to carry a crime? These issues need to be debated before it’s too late.
According to Cybernetics expert Kevin Warwick, “What is wrong with replacing imperfect bits of your body with artificial parts that will allow you to perform better – or which might allow you to live longer?”
The position is also summed up by Whitby in the words,
“History is littered with the evil consequences of one group of humans believing they are superior to another group of humans,” he said. “Unfortunately in the case of enhanced humans, they will be genuinely superior. We need to think about the implications before it is too late.”
Future of Transhuman
Transhumanism, the burgeoning field of science, is aiming for a future of more developed human beings with extraordinary minds, ageless bodies having immense physical strength. It is paving its way to a world where terminologies like “disabled” and handicap” would be obsolete. Aging will lose its “virtue of necessity” aspect and life span expected to be enhanced to 120.
Not everyone is an advocate of transhuman, as it has raised certain issues both in an ethical and evolutionary phase. Many are afraid that advancements in technology will supersede the need for humans in the future.
Now, the time has come, scientists have to decide the dimensions, where they exactly want to drag humanity? Transhuman may be superior but will they possess emotions, empathy, and ethical values, we do need to live a happier and healthier life?
Sabeeka Zafar is a Bioinformatician-to-be with a passion to be a significant part of the great revolution in the near future in the field of Bioinformatics specifically and that of Science generally. Sabeeka is a social activist, enjoys working with people for the betterment of the society and loves to read and to write.
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