Transhumans: Technology Powered Superhumans

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TranshumansTechnology Powered Superhumans

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Transhumanism is the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations by means of science and technology.

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Cryonics is the high-fidelity preservation of a human body, particularly the brain after death, in anticipation of possible future revival. Cryonics is an important Transhumanist technology not only because it is available today, but also the technology is relatively mature where we can reliably stop cells from decaying.

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Virtual Reality is a computer simulated environment where reality simulations become so immersive in high-resolution that they are indistinguishable from the real thing. Simulations become the preferred environments for work and play. The main obstacle to truly immersive virtual reality is not the visuals but thehaptics,i.e., our sense of touch.

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Gene Therapy is replacing bad genes with good genes, and RNA Interference can selectively knock out gene expression. Together, they give an unprecedented ability to manipulate ones own genetic code. Like many Transhumanist technologies, gene therapy is exciting because its just beginning. No scientist has yet performed gene therapy on germ line cells (sexual cells) due to the ethical controversy of producing genetic changes which are heritable, but, as with many of these things, its only a matter of time.

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Space colonization is closely related to Transhumanism through the mutual association of futurist philosophy. It is believed that embrace of transhumanism will be necessary to colonize space. Human beings arent designed to live in space as our physiological issues with it are manifold. E.g., we could melt on the surface of Venus or could freeze on the surface of Mars. The only reasonable solution is to upgrade our bodies.

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Cyborg is a cybernetic organism, constructed of mechanized and organic material. The trend of Cyborgs started with mechanized body part implants for the handicapped, e.g. Prosthetic mechanized body parts, but many human beings have embraced voluntary infusion of technology with their physical bodies. Many Cyborgs today have capabilities beyond human beings which include hearing and vision enhancement, metabolic enhancement, artificial bones, organs, and even brain-computer interfaces that can be implanted beneath the skin, invisible to the casual observer.

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Self Replication in Robots According to a NASA study for Advanced Automation for Space Missions, self replication in robots is a matter of engineering and no fundamental theoretical breakthroughs are needed. By creating autonomous replicating procedures, colonization in space also is possible.

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Molecular Nanotechnology is the ability to build structures to complex atomic specifications from distinct materials. This leads to a concept called Nanofactory. In practical terms, the creation of Nanofactory would mean that practically everything could be made out of Diamond. Motors would becomeso powerfulthat a cubic centimeter would provide enough torque to propel a car.Medical Nanodevicescould heal wounds and repair organs without the need for surgery, and air-suspended Nanodevices could be configured to simulate practically any desired object on demand.

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Megascale Engineering refers to building structures at least 1,000 km in length in one dimension, e.g., ASpace Elevator or Green Skyscrapers. The production of such large structures could be done with emerging technologies like Self Replicating Robots and Autonomous Drones . Megascale Engineering goes hand-in-hand with the grandiose Transhumanist vision: intelligent beings spreading across the cosmos, and eventually shaping the very structure of the universe itself.

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Mind Uploading is the process of copying or transferring a conscious mind from a brain to a non-biological substrate by scanning and mapping a biological brain in detail and copying its information and computational state into a computer system or another computational device. By incrementally replacing each neuron with a synthetic neuron-equivalent, the whole process of uploading the data from a brain can go down painlessly and seamlessly. The transfer could be as slow or as fast as we want; from the information-processing perspective of the brain itself, nothing ever changes.

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Artificial intelligence(AI) is a technology that studies and develops intelligent machines and software. The AI field, a branch of computer science, was founded on the claim that a central ability of humans can be so precisely described that it can be simulated by a machine. It encompasses a systems thinking, feeling, imagination, creation, communication, and thoughtful synthetic intelligences with conscious experiences.

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Singularity is a future period during which the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed. Proponents of Singularity postulate an intelligence explosion,where super intelligence and successive generations of increasingly powerful minds might occur very quickly and might not stop until the cognitive abilities greatly surpass that of any human being.

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Neuro-hackingis the colloquial term for (usually personal or DIY)Neuro-engineering. It is a form of bio-hacking that is focused on the brain andcentral nervous system. It is any method of manipulating or interfering with the structure and/or function of neurons for improvement or repair. The reasons for Neuro-hacking can be improving mental health, information retrieval and addition of information.

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Notable Transhumanism Thinkers

@2013, ICE, All rights reservedRay KurzweilRaymond "Ray" Kurzweil (born February 12, 1948) is an American author, inventor, futurist and a director of engineering at Google. He has written books on health,artificial intelligence(AI),transhumanism, thetechnological singularity, andfuturism. Kurzweil is a public advocate for the futurist and Transhumanistmovements, as has been displayed in his vast collection of public talks, wherein he has shared his primarily optimistic outlooks onlife extensiontechnologies and the future of nanotechnology, robotics, and biotechnology.

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Hans MoravecHans Moravec(born November 30, 1948,Kautzen,Austria) is an adjunct faculty member at theRobotics InstituteofCarnegie Mellon University. He is known for his work onrobotics,artificial intelligence, and writings on the impact oftechnology. Moravec is also afuturistwith many of his publications and predictions focusing ontranshumanism. Moravec developed techniques in computer visionfor determining theregion of interest(ROI) in a scene. The Region of Interest in a 4D dataset is the outline of an object at or during a particular time interval.

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Natasha Vita More

Natasha Vita-More(born February 23, 1950 as Nancie Clark) is an American designer and theorist. She is designer and author of "Primo Posthuman,a future whole bodyprototype. Vita-More is an adjunct professor at the for-profit University of Advancing Technology(2012-current), and a Fellow of theInstitute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. She is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors ofHumanity+.

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Max More

Max More(bornMax T. O'Connor, January 1964) is aphilosopherandfuturistwho writes, speaks, and consults on advanced decision-making about emerging technologies. In a 1990 essay Transhumanism: Toward a Futurist Philosophy, he introduced the term Transhumanism in its modern sense. More is also noted for his writings about the impact of new and emerging technologies on businesses and other organizations.

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Ben GoertzelBen Goertzel(born December 8, 1966, inRio de Janeiro,Brazil) is an American author and researcher in the field ofartificial intelligence. Goertzel stated that he is a founding member of theTranshumanistOrder of Cosmic Engineers and that he has signed up withAlcorto have his body frozen after his death, and that he expects to live essentially indefinitely barring some catastrophic accident. He also promoted theOpenCogproject which aims at building anopen sourcegeneral artificial intelligence engine.

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Nick Bostrom(bornNiklas Bostrmon 10 March 1973) is aSwedishphilosopheratSt. Cross College,University of Oxford, and isknown for his work on existential riskand theanthropic principle. He is currently the director of both TheFuture of Humanity Instituteand theProgram on the Impacts of Future Technologyas part of theOxford Martin Schoolat Oxford University.

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Andres Sanberg

Anders Sandberg(born July 11, 1972, inSolna,Sweden) is a researcher, science debater,futurist,Transhumanist, and author and currently a James Martin Research Fellow at theFuture of Humanity InstituteatOxford University. Sandberg's research centers on societal and ethical issues surroundinghuman enhancementandnew technology, as well as on assessing the capabilities and underlying science of future technologies.

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Notable Transhumanist Organizations

@2013, ICE, All rights reservedSingularity Universityis abenefit corporation (a for-profit entity that wants to consider society and the environment in addition to profit) and learning institution located insideNASA Research ParkinSilicon Valley. Its stated aim is to educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanitys grand challenges. Singularity University is not an accredited university but is instead intended to supplement traditional educational institutions. Its programs range from an annual 10-week summer course intended for graduate and post-graduate students to seven-day programs for senior corporate executives and senior government leaders. Other programs include global outreach and conferences.

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Humanity+is an international non-profit membership organization that advocates the ethical use of technology to expand human capacities. Approximately 6000 people belong to Humanity+ from more than 100 countries. One of the major initiatives is the Humanity+ magazine which covers technological, scientific, and cultural trends that are changing and will change human beings in fundamental ways.

Humanity+ published two articles by Institute of Customer Experience (ICE)on Future of Entertainment. The articles can be accessed here:Ghosts, Resurrections & Fantasy in the Entertainment Industry (Part I) Future of Entertainment Global Community Scenario Gallery (Part II)

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Transhumans among Us

@2013, ICE, All rights reservedJesse SullivanJesse Sullivan, hailed as the world's first "Bionic Man," lost his arms as a result of an accident during his work as an electrical linesman. The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago gave him the opportunity to replace his arms with robotic prosthetics, which, thanks to a procedure that connects his nervous system to the artificial arms, allowed him to lift objects by just thinking about doing so. Sullivan was the first to receive this treatment during a 2005 procedure at RIC's Centre for Bionic Medicine.

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Kevin WarwickKevin Warwick, a professor of cybernetics at the University of Reading is, by his own admission, the world's first cyborg. His first experiment on himself was to implant an RFID chip under the skin of his forearm, in August 1998. His goal was to be able to control lights, heaters and computer equipment without having to physically touch such devices in his vicinity. The room detected he was inside, and it responded accordingly. The second experiment saw Warwick connect the nerve fibers under his wrist to an array of electrodes. These electrodes ran up his forearm and out of his arm near the elbow, allowing him to connect them -- and by extension his nervous system -- to various computer devices.

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Cameron Clapp was a normal, party-loving, beach hugging teen who loved to have a good time. One night when he was fourteen, he got so drunk that he nodded off on some train tracks and was run over by a train! In that instant, his life changed for ever. Luckily for Cameron, he had insurance that covered his accident and provided him with two state-of-the-art legs, costing a $45,000 each. These are controlled with a microprocessor chip behind the knee which is connected to his muscle sensors and adjust and move according to his brains commands.

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Oscar PistoriusOscar Leonard Carl Pistorius is a South African sprint runner. Although both of Pistorius' legs were amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old, he competes in events for single below-knee amputees and for able-bodied athletes. He runs with J-shapedfiber prosthetics called the "Flex-Foot Cheetah" developed by biomedical engineerVan Phillipsand manufactured by ssur.

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Rob Spence

Rob Spence lost his right eye. Rather than simply settling for a glass replacement, he went for high-end technology. With the help from friends he crafted a video camera replacement for his right eye.

Now his eye records video everywhere he goes, in an attempt for Rob to become the first lifecaster.

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Micheal ChorostMichael Chorost(born December 26, 1964) is anAmerican author, essayist, and public speaker. Born with severe loss of hearing due torubella, his hearing was partially restored with a cochlear implantin 2001 and he had his other ear implanted in 2007. He wrote a memoir of the experience, titledRebuilt: How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human. Its paperback version has a different subtitle,Rebuilt: My Journey Back to the Hearing World.

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Jerry JalavaIn 2009, Finnish programmerJerry Jalavareplaced part of one of his fingers with a 2GB USB stick, taking the term "thumb drive" to literal new levels. Jalava lost part of his original digit (the fourth finger on his left hand) in a motorcycle accident.

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Jens NewmannJens Newmann became the first person worldwide to get an artificial vision system. His electronic eye connects directly to his visual cortex through brain implants. Although he can only vaguely see lines and shapes, his vision has technically been restored.

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Stelarc(born Stelios Arcadiou inLimassolin 1946, but legally changed his name in 1972) is a Cypriot-Australian performance artist whose works focuses heavily on extending the capabilities of the human body. As such, most of his pieces are centered around his concept thatthe human body is obsolete. To prove this, hes had an artificially-created ear surgically attached to his left arm. In another show, he hooked up electrodes to his body to allow people to control his muscles through the Web.

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Steve HaworthBody Modders are people who deliberately modify the human anatomy. They experiment with the idea by putting rare earth magnets in their fingertips. Their initial idea was to use the magnets to help them carry stuff, but it turns out that using a magnet in your hand to carry things around kills the skin between the magnet and the object.

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Todd HuffmanTodd Huffman can sense electric fields after implanting a magnet into one of his fingers. Since the implant, he's had sensory experiences at the local library with the walk-in scanner, and could sense the position of the motor inside an electric can opener.

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Transhumanism in Pop Culture

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Address:No. 184, Mission Street,Puducherry - 605001India.Tel : +91 413 4210583/4/5

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Contact for any further queries and feedback.11/18/201346Thank You!

This report has been prepared by the team at Institute of Customer Experience, a not-for-profit initiative by Human Factors International (HFI): Ankush Samant& Prashant Vutha.

With contributions from:Apala Lahiri ChavanAshish Mistry& Rasika Wadodkar.

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