Coffee Talk: Transhumanism
This week's discussion deals with the concept of transhumanism. This is the theory that humans can transition to a higher level of thinking, living and general well being through technological enhancements. The link above takes you to a website that has much more information on the subject, but basically they "foresee the feasibility of redesigning the human condition, including such parameters as the inevitability of aging, limitations on human and artificial intellects, unchosen psychology, suffering, and our confinement to the planet earth."
A cybernetics professor at the University of Reading, UK, Kevin Warwick, has started a project called Project Cyborg. He first had an RFID implant into his wrist in 1998, and in 2002 "a one hundred electrode array was surgically implanted into the median nerve fibers of his left arm". These electrodes have been able to control an electric wheelchair and an "AI" hand. The ultimate plan for this technology, in conjuction with the internet, is the ability for humans to communicate mentally.
1. When someone becomes posthuman are they held to the same society structure as humans?
2. As you intelligence is enhanced does your moral code change as well?
3. What will be the effect on the human race as the posthumans or transhumans increase in number and technological capability?
Warwick put it like this "What we need to ask now is, will such an individual exhibit different moral and ethical values to those of a human and what effects might this have on society?"
Talk amongst yourselves.