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IEET > Security > Biosecurity > Life > Access > Enablement > Innovation > Implants > Health > Vision > Futurism > Contributors > Dick Pelletier

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The singularity: merging human/machine to achieve immortality


Dick Pelletier
Dick Pelletier
Ethical Technology

Posted: May 21, 2013

  By around mid-century, many future followers predict the pace of technological progression in genetics, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence will become so fast that humans will undergo radical evolution. Advances that provide a forever youthful and healthy state of being could be realized.

    "The year is 2032. You have just celebrated your 80th birthday and you have some tough decisions ahead. You can keep repairing your current body or move into a new one. The growing of 'blank' bodies has become all the rage, and by using your own genetic material, body farmers can even recreate your own face at age 20." This scenario is from a blog by Google's top-rated futurist, Thomas Frey.

 

    Frey believes within 20 years, breakthroughs will eradicate, or make manageable most diseases. And shortly after, we will replace frail body parts with stronger non-biological tissues. Using stem cells, we have already re-grown bladders and throats, and "printed" new bones and arteries with 3D bioprinters.

    In short, Frey says, with the help of future technologies; no human should ever need to die!

    Most positive futurists agree with Frey. Nobody wants to experience the pain and agony dished out with today's healthcare. Tomorrow's medical care promises a much brighter and happier life. For example, using advanced technologies, burn victims would simply toss their charred skin and re-grow a new body.

    This forward view of the future is not too difficult to imagine when you consider our past.

    Humanity's merge with its technology began shortly after the taming of fire, and is still happening today. Many predict that the fine-tuning of our DNA-based biology aided by advanced artificial intelligence promised by the impending singularity will spark a powerful nanotech revolution that will redesign and rebuild our bodies and the world we live in.

    Nanotech will change our physical world much the same way that computers have transformed our information world. Existing products that are now expensive, such as photovoltaic solar cells, will become so cheap in the decades ahead, that it may one day be possible to surface roads with materials that would also gather energy to power cars, ending much of the world's dependency on fossil fuels.

    In addition, imagine machines that create low-cost clothing, medicine, food and most essentials, with only your voice needed to command the action. By early 2030s, home nanofactories will arrive.

    Now bring on the most amazing impending revolution – human-level robots – with intelligence derived from us, but with redesigned bodies that exceed human capabilities. These powerful android creatures expected by late 2040s, will enable us to tap their minds to increase our intelligence.

    Author Ray Kurzweil in "The Singularity is Near" explained how the human body might evolve. Today's frail body, version '1.0' has unacceptable failure rates (more than 50 million people are expected to die in 2013, most from age-related damages). Biotech and molecular nanotech advances from 2013 to late 2030s will produce a more durable version '2.0', immune to most, but not all of our killer diseases.

    This brings us to version '3.0'. By 2040, people will add more non-biological parts to their bodies: robotic blood cells, cell repair machines, strong bones, muscles and skin; even new neurons made from carbon nanotubes. These changes will not take place all at once; they will occur gradually with market demands; but by 2050, most people will enjoy life in a non-bio body boasting a zero failure rate.

    Even if a destructive accident were to occur, nanorobots guided by tomorrow's artificial intelligence will quickly make repairs, or when necessary, format a new body with the patient's original consciousness and memories intact, allowing life to continue. By mid-century, living in a '3.0' body will render death no more disruptive than a brief mental lapse. Most disaster victims would not even be aware they had died.

    Free from concerns over dying, humanity can now grasp the true meaning of humanness while enjoying the benefits of an indefinite lifespan. Many experts believe that as the future unfolds, we will become a space-faring society scattering our populations to the stars. And a few bold space exploration proponents predict that by mid-22nd century, more humans could live in space than on Earth. Comments welcome.


Dick Pelletier is a weekly columnist who writes about future science and technologies for numerous publications. He's also appeared on various TV shows, and he blogs at Immortaltech.
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COMMENTS


This transhumanist Utopian pipedream will never happen UNTIL you deal with a critical issue: HOW DO YOU STOP THE GLOBAL-CORPORATE-FASCIST-MILITARIZED-CONTROL-GRID who are using the SAME tecnologies you advocate (nanotech, biotech, cognitve science, A.I,ect) to ENSLAVE mankind???>>>> The Elites see humans as obsolete by 2045..Will millions self-exterminate to upload their consciousness into a virtual reality “heaven” of their choosing? (the CAPRICA scenario).





Boy, do you have your timeline wrong.  This is an emerging clean energy (it will probably hit the market this year) that, according to Forbes.com will make energy “too cheap to meter:”

Check out this third-party verification of a LENR reactor that will soon hit the market: http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.3913
“Given the deliberately conservative choices made in performing the measurement, we can reasonabley state that the E-Cat HT is a non-conventional source of energy which lies between conventional chemical sources of energy and nuclear ones.” (i.e. about five orders of magnitude more energy dense than gasoline, and a COP of almost 6).

“A volume about the size of a #2 pencil eraser of water provides as much energy as two 48-gallon drums of gasoline. That is 355,000 times the amount of energy per volume – five orders of magnitude.” ( http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/New-LENR-Machine-is-the-Best-Yet.html ).

This phenomenon (LENR) has been confirmed in hundreds of published scientific papers: http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJtallyofcol.pdf

“Over 2 decades with over 100 experiments worldwide indicate LENR is real, much greater than chemical…”—Dennis M. Bushnell, Chief Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center

“Total replacement of fossil fuels for everything but synthetic organic chemistry.”—Dr. Joseph M. Zawodny, NASA

By the way, here is a survey of some of the companies that are bringing LENR to commercialization: http://www.cleantechblog.com/2011/08/the-new-breed-of-energy-catalyzers-ready-for-commercialization.html

For those who still aren’t convinced, here is a paper I wrote that contains some pretty convincing evidence: http://coldfusionnow.org/the-evidence-for-lenr/





@renegrade666, neuroscience will not lag behind as ‘Singularity’ technologies advance exponentially into this future. As scientists’, learn more about how neuron interactions dictate human emotions, thoughts and actions, therapies will surface that could prevent much of today’s radical-thinking religious zealots, criminals and terrorists, resulting in a more peaceful humanity. That’s the dream, anyway.

@dobermanmac, I am aware of the enthusiasm for low-energy nuclear reactor (LENR) technology, and I realize it offers great hope, but I can’t help but compare this enthusiasm with UFO advocates. There’s a lot of hype, but not much hardcore science to back it up.

On the other hand, solar energy is progressing much faster, and with molecular nanotech’s help, this legitimate option to fossil fuels has an excellent chance of providing amazing energy levels by mid-century when the Singularity could be in full swing.

These are only my opinions, comments welcome.





Dick ... and respectfully, If I had a buck for every time I’ve heard “by mid century”, then I’d have a hefty down payment for my transcendence silo. Perhaps you could deliver your positivism with a tad more conservative estimation, to make it the more believable? You make Star Trek look remarkably luddite by these estimations?

However, keep up the good work!

@ renegade666

Would say that the planning for “Caprica” styled VR absorption-consumerism-escapism-enslavement is already well under way and will hit the free market long before the arrival of interstellar space travel? And that is why Humanity is doomed to it’s inevitable apathetic extinction, (however, the few elitist narcissists that do suffer the misgivings of Selfish gene and rational fear for survival, and moreover have enough money, may find hope in search of “New Earth” so all is not lost?)

 





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