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#601179 - 05/20/10 08:20 AM Re: What Happens When We're No Longer the Smartest Inhabitants of Earth? [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
Mike Offline

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Originally Posted By: Middle-Aged Man

It would take a different kind of mind to do those things, something beyond what it means to be simply human. We're making computers better/faster/smaller, and I expect we're going to start seeing transhumanist cyborgs in the future, with brain implants that enable those sorts of things.


Interesting. When I first read your comments, I was skeptical about these possibilities, thinking that people would be reluctant to alter their bodies. But, when you think about it, makes perfect sense. Many of us alter our bodies for purely aesthetic reasons--facelifts, implants, tattoos, and piercings come to mind--so it seems likely that many people would jump at the chance to make themselves smarter, stronger, or in some way "improved."
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#601183 - 05/20/10 08:25 AM Re: What Happens When We're No Longer the Smartest Inhabitants of Earth? [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
Polo Offline
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Edited by Polo (05/20/10 08:26 AM)
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#601205 - 05/20/10 09:03 AM Re: What Happens When We're No Longer the Smartest Inhabitants of Earth? [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
VinnyR11 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Middle-Aged Man


.....Why stop there? What about implanting computers in your brain that let you mentally manage four hands with twenty fingers, each finger with six U-joints?


I think BMW would stay ahead of this technology and manufacture an RT headlight where we still wouldn't be able to easily swap bulbs without popping a blood vessel. I'll bet they're working on it already. smirk
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#601208 - 05/20/10 09:08 AM Re: What Happens When We're No Longer the Smartest Inhabitants of Earth? [Re: Mike]
Joe Frickin' Friday Online

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Originally Posted By: Mike
Interesting. When I first read your comments, I was skeptical about these possibilities, thinking that people would be reluctant to alter their bodies. But, when you think about it, makes perfect sense. Many of us alter our bodies for purely aesthetic reasons--facelifts, implants, tattoos, and piercings come to mind--so it seems likely that many people would jump at the chance to make themselves smarter, stronger, or in some way "improved."


It started centuries ago with eyeglasses. Now we have PRK, LASIK, and even intraocular lenses - artifical lenses surgically implanted within the eye.

We also have srtificial knees, hips, and finger joints. I was pleased to see the other day that artificial elbows are available: my right elbow is getting extremely crunchy, and I predict I will have one of these within the next twenty years.

Polo's picture of the Borg queen plays upon our worst fears, something akin to reanimating dead flesh and imbuing it with evil intentions. Hollywood is good at that. The more optimistic outlook sees things described in my previous post, and more. We can now replace parts of our body as they become damaged or worn, it would be nice to be able to do so with parts of our brain. Have Parkinson's disease? Just head to Amazon and pick up a new motor control unit. Or maybe instead of a physical unit that has to be surgically installed, it's a fleet of nanobots delivered intravenously at the doctor's office, which then migrate into your skull and work to stabilize the malfunctioning network of neurons. Voilą: now you can hold your grandson without fear of dropping him.

Have Alzheimers? Imagine transfering your memories (or even your whole identity) to a flash drive and then substituting that flash drive for the parts of your brain that are being destroyed by the disease. Voilą: now you can spend another 10, 15, or 20 years enjoying life.

The healthy among us might react fearfully to the idea of tampering with the seat of our consciousness, but if you're faced with the slow and certain destruction of your mind by disease or old age, you might feel differently. As these technologies are beta-tested by the desperate and become more and more common place, the revulsion expressed by most might start to fade just a bit; the transhumanists will rejoice.
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#601210 - 05/20/10 09:11 AM Re: What Happens When We're No Longer the Smartest Inhabitants of Earth? [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
VinnyR11 Offline
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This is a very interesting thread. As many have noted, technology is flying along at an astounding pace. The military is working on thought controlled input to flight mechanisms and other controls, the semiconductor industry has been working on biological semiconductors, an announcement was recently made about a tiny robot made from DNA strands.... It goes on and on.

We're living in amazing times. Maybe as Arthur Clark claims, magical times, because as he said, "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

As far as the cyborg/human debate, we already augment humanity with prosthetic limbs, insulin pumps, and brain implants are in the early stages.

An interesting debate, and maybe "the" debate when it comes to the question of no longer being the 'smartest' is, where is the crossover point going to be? How much of a human do we have to "replace" before we become something else?


Edited by VinnyR11 (05/20/10 09:13 AM)
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#601216 - 05/20/10 09:26 AM Re: What Happens When We're No Longer the Smartest Inhabitants of Earth? [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
Mike Offline

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Originally Posted By: Middle-Aged Man
Originally Posted By: Mike
Interesting. When I first read your comments, I was skeptical about these possibilities, thinking that people would be reluctant to alter their bodies. But, when you think about it, makes perfect sense. Many of us alter our bodies for purely aesthetic reasons--facelifts, implants, tattoos, and piercings come to mind--so it seems likely that many people would jump at the chance to make themselves smarter, stronger, or in some way "improved."

The more optimistic outlook sees things described in my previous post, and more. We can now replace parts of our body as they become damaged or worn, it would be nice to be able to do so with parts of our brain. Have Parkinson's disease? Just head to Amazon and pick up a new motor control unit. Or maybe instead of a physical unit that has to be surgically installed, it's a fleet of nanobots delivered intravenously at the doctor's office, which then migrate into your skull and work to stabilize the malfunctioning network of neurons. Voilą: now you can hold your grandson without fear of dropping him.

Have Alzheimers? Imagine transfering your memories (or even your whole identity) to a flash drive and then substituting that flash drive for the parts of your brain that are being destroyed by the disease. Voilą: now you can spend another 10, 15, or 20 years enjoying life.

The healthy among us might react fearfully to the idea of tampering with the seat of our consciousness, but if you're faced with the slow and certain destruction of your mind by disease or old age, you might feel differently. As these technologies are beta-tested by the desperate and become more and more common place, the revulsion expressed by most might start to fade just a bit; the transhumanists will rejoice.


Fascinating speculation. I think it could happen, but I also wonder if people 20 or 30 or 100 years from now will look back at the conversations and laugh, much as we do when we look at Popular Science covers from the 1950s, proclaiming that we'd all be in flying cars by three or four decades ago.

As interesting as the potential technology may be, even more interesting is how our social, moral and legal institutions might adapt if these things come to fruition.
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#601218 - 05/20/10 09:30 AM Re: What Happens When We Are No Longer the Smartest Inhabitants of the Earth? [Re: Mike]
Killer Offline
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Intelligence is useful and productive but very limited without creativity - creativity is often illogical - machines will have to conquer that problem before they become a threat.
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#601219 - 05/20/10 09:31 AM Re: What Happens When We're No Longer the Smartest Inhabitants of Earth? [Re: VinnyR11]
Joe Frickin' Friday Online

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Originally Posted By: VinnyR11
We're living in amazing times. Maybe as Arthur Clark claims, magical times, because as he said, "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."


I've always enjoyed the inverse:

"Any technology which is distinguishable from magic is not sufficiently advanced."

grin
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#601220 - 05/20/10 09:46 AM Re: What Happens When We Are No Longer the Smartest Inhabitants of the Earth? [Re: Mike]
AviP Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mike
However, beyond this, what are the other implications? Will humans become a second-class species? Will machines dominate intellectual thought? Will they develop and manifest emotions? Will computers overrule their simple creators? Will they come to dominate civilization?

I think the human species will split in two:intelligent and dim-witted.


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#601225 - 05/20/10 09:52 AM Re: What Happens When We Are No Longer the Smartest Inhabitants of the Earth? [Re: Mike]
tallman Offline
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Your premise is flawed.
We are not the smartest inhabitants of the Earth.

That said, the problem I see is that throughout history technological advancements have always been converted to military applications.

Carried to the logical conclusion, there can be only one...
and life as we know it will cease.

Science fiction is replete with examples.

Science fact is even stranger.
Seeing with teeth.
Hearing with implants.

Cloning.
Growing tissue/organs.

May 11, 1997


Unmanned aircraft, extra and terrestial.

HUD integrated in advanced avionics.

ABS

Traction control

Most of these deal with reaction/response time so it may not be creative.
I wonder when we will be allowed to live without all of this technology.
My concern isn't with the new trchnology, it is with the era that follows the end of technology as we know it.
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