Is the next step in human evolution for mankind to become one with the machine?
What is Transhumanism? According to the Oxford Dictionary the definition of Transhumanism is,"The belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology."(oxforddictionaries.com). What does this mean? Simply put that we will use technology to enhance our lives to a degree that we couldn't achieve with out the means of this technology.
Look at how closely we have already integrated technology into our daily lives. We use technology for everything, think about it for a second. How many times a day do you text, call or send an email from your phone. What do you do if you need to find a new restaurant for dinner? Where do you turn to find who won the game last night? Robots have ushered in a new era in the operating room. They are able to perform procedures which greater precision and accuracy than human hands alone could achieve. Super computers are modeling weather, finding better ways to make medicine, looking for cures for cancer and other diseases and even making their own cook books. Robotics have been a huge help in the manufacturing industry, they can automate processes, speed up production and lower quality issues. Google has become a common household word. We turn to Google to help us with everything from homework, navigation, to cooking and anything in between. Just to give you an idea of how much data Google is processing each day, here's the figures found on Internet Live Stats,"Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide."(internetlivestats.com). That's pretty crazy, huh? We have become a society that is completely dependent on technology. Most of us wouldn't know how to actually survive without it.
The trend has begun where people are beginning to incorporate technology into their bodies. These "Bio Hackers," are hard at work trying to push the boundaries that are inherent to being human. People have had implanted everything from magnets in their finger prints, electronic transponders embedded in their arms, to artificial eyes. Kevin Warwick is a well known bio hacker. As he began experimenting with implanting electronics into his body way back in 1998, he continues to pursue his dream to become the worlds first complete cyborg. He has been on the forefront of bio hacking for a long time and is world renowned for his many works and achievements. Kevin Warcick also founded Project Cyborg. Neil Harbisson was born with an extremely rare form of color blindness that only enabled him to see the world in black and white. He overcame this obstacle by outfitting his body with an electronic eye. He can now experience colors beyond the normal scope of what most humans can see. He founded the cyborg foundation. Since then, many others have followed suite. Robotic prosthetics have given people who've lost a limb, back their normal abilities of function and motion. Artificial organs are now being grown in laboratories, which could one day be the answer to the unfortunate ever growing organ donor lists. The line between what separates us from our technology, is becoming blurrier over time.
Kevin Warwick Neil Harbisson
What if there were a way to upload your consciousness to a robotic body, would you do it? Think about the benefits of this decision. You would essentially become immortal because if something happened to the present robotic body that your mind inhabited, they could transfer your mind to a new body. No more illness, injury, super human strength, are amongst but a few in a myriad of tantalizing pro's of this situation. Is this the ultimate step in human evolution? The moment when we shed our biologic bodies for shiny new robotic ones? What do you think?