Posted by: bravo22c | 13/02/2010

Futurology

I wrote in a comment a while ago that, given the pace of the advance in medical knowledge, the odds of someone my age, yet alone those younger, living to a healthy and productive age of 150 or even more are significantly greater than zero.  Looking at the pace of advance in technology brings some even more exciting prospects – though the time lines for development may be longer than even an optimist like me can expect to see.

Artificial life:  it is likely that in the reasonably near future we will be able to design, and tailour to specific purposes, life forms from scratch, or re-engineer them from existing forms, or even resurrect extinct forms.  At the same time, the development of artificial intelligences – and their eventual emancipation – and the availability of sophisticated engineered vehicles, (robots doesn’t quite cover it,) into which AIs could be downloaded, or choose to download themselves, will mean that a third kind of life form might exist.

Advances in human engineering – direct brain/computer interfacing, optical engineering – replacement lenses with electronic interfaces giving all kinds of enhanced vision plus direct data injection for ‘reading’ electronic images and electronic circuitry printed directly into the subcutaneous layers of the skin for enhanced senses and portable computing might begin to blur the boundaries of the man/machine interface.  it is also likely to become possible for human beings to upload parts – or even all – of their consciousness into electronic storage and even to download into other engineered vehicles.

I quote from the journal of the Institute of Engineering and Technology. ‘By the end of this century, it is likely that (physical) death will be thought of merely as an inconvenience and no longer as a major career problem.

I’m a little piqued that I’m probably going to miss out.

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