Radical New Technologies will Make People “Super Human” and the Government More Efficient
We are standing at the doorstep of a new world and experience, says futurist and best-selling author Zoltan Istvan. Humans and their advancing technology will create paths and designs of our universe that will transform us into super humans
Everywhere around us a “super human” future is rapidly appearing. Sometimes called transhumanism, scientists, programmers, and engineers everywhere are working on radical technologies that not only become a part of our everyday reality, but also fit directly into our bodies.
Some examples are contact lenses that see in the dark. Others are endoskeletons attached to artificial limbs that can lift a half ton of weight. Still others are brain chip implants that read your thoughts and instantly communicate them with others. Sound like science fiction? Indeed, it does. Nevertheless, it’s coming very soon. In fact, much of the technology already exists. Some of it’s being sold commercially at your local superstore or being tested in laboratories right now around the world.
We’ve all heard about driverless test cars on the roads and how doctors in France are replacing people’s hearts with permanent robotic ones, but did you know there’s already a multi-billion dollar market for brain wave reading headsets? Using electroencephalography (EEG) sensors that pick up and monitor brain activity, some headsets can attach to Google Glass and allow you to take a picture and post it to Facebook and Twitter just by thinking about it. Other headsets allow you to play video games on your iPhone just with your thoughts too. In fact, it’s been about four years now since the first mind-to-mind communication took place. A researcher in India projected a thought to a colleague in France, and using their headsets, they understood each other. Telepathy went from science fiction to reality. And now entrepreneurs like Elon Musk have companies dedicated to bringing the technology to market.
The history of transhumanism—the burgeoning field of science and radical tech used to describe robotic implants, prosthetics, and cyborg-like enhancements in the human being and its experience—has come a long way since scientists began throwing around the term a half century ago. What a difference a generation or two makes. Today a thriving pro-cyborg medical industry is setting the stage for trillion-dollar markets that will remake the human experience. Five million people in America suffer from Alzheimer’s, but a new surgery that involves installing brain implants is showing promise in restoring people’s memory and improving lives. The use of medical and microchip implants, whether in the brain or not, are expected to surge in the coming years. Some futurists surmise millions of people worldwide will have implants by 2020. I already have one in my hand. It’s truly a new age for humans.
Rich Lee, a leading biohacker—also called a grinder—told me, “Implanting magnets in your fingertips gives you the ability to feel magnetic fields. Your fingertips have lots of nerve endings jammed into one area and they are really sensitive to stimuli. Magnets twitch or move in the presence of magnetic fields, and when you implant one in your finger you can really start to feel different magnetic fields around you. So it is like a sixth sense. You can now perceive an otherwise invisible world.”
While magnets may just be something fun, much of the new transhumanist tech can be used to enhance and improve government services. Imagine how AI-based holographic technologies could be used to beam in life-like government employees needing to lead citizens through applying online for driver’s licenses or passports. Other tech, like robots, can replace police officers and military soldiers so humans don’t need to do such dangerous jobs. And tiny implants injected into he hand could be used as far more efficient ID and payment systems. Imagine never carrying keys or your wallets again.
Another important technology upon us are drones. Some companies already are attempting to deliver pizzas and supplies via their drones. Government might join the fray and deliver medical supplies and documents via the same method. But, then again, why deliver things when you can make them in your home? Soon 3D Printers will be so good that they print nearly anything in your home or office. A person needing something will no longer need to leave their location but will simply order their 3D Printer to make it. In the future, some people and employees may even chose to spend hours of their day in virtual reality, where programmers have already created online worlds with their own economies, real estate, and social activities. It’s a brave new world.
Of course, the challenge with such progress is the question of whether we’re leaving behind our humanness and humanity. It’s a good question. However, we shouldn’t forget our sense of being a human is ultimately based on being kind and just with one another. Science and technology have historically shown that they always improve the world and the standard of living, so it’s likely more tech in and around us will make us even more “human.”
Whatever happens, along the way humans and their advancing technology will create paths and designs of our universe that transform us into other entities—into super human beings. We are standing at the doorstep of a new world and experience, and I am looking forward to embracing the future.
Zoltan Istvan is a bestselling author, professional speaker, and a world-renowned futurist. He was the 2016 US Presidential nominee of the Transhumanist Party.