Transhumanism, a relatively new philosophical concept that deals with various ways in how different technologies could enhance humankind. Into what kind of species can we transform, and how can we become more than we are now? Those are the questions that remain a driving force of this movement, which rethinks us as human beings.
Transhumanism was a term first used by a philosopher and a biologist from England - Julian Huxley. In 1957, writing an essay that had the same title, Huxley was wondering how we can improve the experience of life itself.
Although Huxley initially thought about how change should come if we embrace different social and cultural movements, the transhumanist movement used it but put technology as a driving force.
Important Thinkers Of Transhumanism
Most prominent thinkers in the field of transhumanism are American scientists and computer techs from the US, Ray Kurzweil, James Hughes, and Eric Drexler. Also, the Canadian expert Hans Moravec and the Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom, significantly contribute to the field.
An Improved Human
Transhumanism explains how technology can be used to improve our cognitive capacities, expand all of our senses and ultimately, lead to a healthier life. Even a complete transfer of our thoughts to another device is imagined in transhumanism.
Transhumanists’ vision of a future ahead of us, the one that they refer to as post-humanity, can go in one out of two ways. The first case scenario is that we will embrace the advancements in technology and genetics and become an enhanced version of humankind. The other possible future that awaits is the one where a machine, which trumps a human being in every way, replaces us.
Artificial General Intelligence
An idea of powerful artificial intelligence is almost always present in transhumanist theory. Transhumanists discuss Artificial General Intelligence, or AGI, like the one that will offer an adequate base for any artificial being actually to learn.
No matter what you want to call it, a breakthrough, an epistemological cut, or just change - the idea of an AI that can learn all the abilities humans have is mind-boggling. The transhumanist theory refers to this as ‘’Noetic Renaissance,’’ addressing the fact how the notions of intelligence and experience would change forever because of AGI.
Empathy Is Key
Based on this theory, something like Skynet does not seem that impossible. The key to preventing doomsday and T-1000’s coming back from the future is one little thing that people should never forget about: empathy.
Transhumanism was closely linked to extropianism when it started to develop as a theory that discusses the future of humankind. Extropianism, similar to transhumanism, is a philosophy that explains the idea of human transcendence.
With the latest advancements in the field of cybernetics and cryogenics, scientists can start creating prosthetic brains. They even managed to create an artificial copy of the hippocampus.
Who coined the term transhumanism?
Transhumanism was a term first used by a philosopher and a biologist from England - Julian Huxley.
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