As we move into the late 2030s and 2040s, the most salient scenario is that we will merge with our technology gradually, not overnight. We may not experience a single great leap like a “Singularity;” instead, we could see many small steps as we slowly become more machine-like.
AI/Robots will eventually surpass human levels of intelligence and develop ability to self-replicate, increasing intelligence with each succeeding generation. This will produce an information explosion almost beyond imagination.
Our bodies will also evolve during this time. We will use nanobots to kill pathogens and cancer cells, then go into our brain and do benign things like enhance memory. Slowly, these nanobots will become more sophisticated.
We will direct these ‘smart bots’ to convert biological neurons into powerful non-biological ones, and rewrite our brain’s ‘software’. This will allow us to connect with machines and share their super-intelligence.
Eventually, every cell in our body will become non-biological, and our silicon-based minds will not only be able to interface seamlessly with machines, but will also easily connect with one another utilizing thought communications.
As robots develop new abilities, we will incorporate those abilities into our makeup. As the years unfold, we will become more machine-like and robots more human-like, the difference between human and machine will blur.
By century’s end, the merge could be complete; we would become a single species. And although our minds and bodies will be considered non-biological, our consciousness will forever preserve our definition as a human being.
The journey into this human-machine future will take place one benign, safe change at a time, beginning in late 2030s and ending sometime during the last half of this century.
Are you ready to live in a ‘cyborg’ world? I’ll admit it would certainly take some getting used to, but should this octogenarian writer survive the decades ahead; I say welcome to our human-machine future!
Dick Pelletier was a weekly columnist who wrote about future science and technologies for numerous publications. He passed away on July 22, 2014.
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