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Transforming Human Race: Human to TransHuman to PostHuman

Is it good to become transhuman and extend life and capabilities beyond normal or it is something which will finally destroy us?

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A transhuman is someone who is human, to begin with, but then with the help of technology enhances his capabilities, which are way more than a normal human. Wikimedia Commons
A transhuman is someone who is human, to begin with, but then with the help of technology enhances his capabilities, which are way more than a normal human. Wikimedia Commons

By Dr. Bharti Raizada

  • A Trans-human is someone who is human, to begin with, but then with the help of technology enhances his capabilities
  • Human Race is changing at very fast pace

Have you ever paid attention to the fact that humans are slowly becoming machines? The number of mechanical and electrical devices, in the human body, are increasing at a fast pace. Even parents of a child need not be humans. They can be agencies, trust, bodies, department etc.

First of all. Lets us figure out, who is a human? Any idea? Think for a minute. What makes us human? Is it our genes, our thinking capabilities, our consciousness, spirituality, physical abilities, look, our erect posture, ability to walk on feet, or something else? As per Merriam Webster dictionary, a human is a bipedal primate mammal.

An extreme form of the transhuman is called posthuman. Wikimedia Commons
An extreme form of the transhuman is called posthuman. Wikimedia Commons
What is a Transhuman?

A transhuman is someone who is human, to begin with, but then with the help of technology enhances his capabilities, which are way more than a normal human. Means more intelligence, psychological capability, strength or physical stamina. There is either extension of life, improved quality of life or more capabilities or all of these. An extreme form of the transhuman is called posthuman. Posthuman is a being made up of artificial parts, with minimal or no human attributes remaining.

In stories or fiction, this type of human is called Cyborg or Bionic human or a genetically enhanced human.

Also Read: Analytic thought developed for children with sight disabilities

Change from human to trans human can be achieved by various mechanical or electrical devices, Gene therapy, Artificial intelligence, Nanotechnology, Genetic engineering, Cloning etc. Are you aware that technology is being developed to upload the mind to a computer and print human organs?

Following are the examples of some artificial things which change humans to Transhumans:

Bionic eyes or visual prosthesis

Intraocular lenses/Contact lenses

Artificial voice box

Artificial limbs

Nails/pins in bones

Artificial knees/hips

Neurostimulators

Penile prosthesis

Artificial heart

Artificial heart valves

Pacemakers

Defibrillators

Ventricular assist devices

Transcranial direct current stimulation

Powered exoskeletons

Ear chips etc.

Also Read: New-gen robots to refuel and repair friendly satellites

The difference between humans and technology is narrowing down. Wikimedia Commons
The difference between humans and technology is narrowing down. Wikimedia Commons

So, what are your thoughts? Is it good to become transhuman and extend life and capabilities beyond normal or it is something which will finally destroy us.

How arrogant will we be if we become eternal? Will there be a population explosion on planet earth? Will we still be eating food and reproducing? What about natural resources? Will there be a need to inhabit other planets? What will happen if we all are very high tech and have equal IQ? Who will rule us? How are we going to interact with each other? Will there still be feelings left? Will we still seek eternal happiness?

So, the basic question is what do you prefer? Stay as a human? Or become a transhuman or posthuman? Or something in the middle? And what is that middle? Where will you stop?

Do share your opinion!

Bharti Raizada, M.D. practices Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Next Story

Microsoft Rejects California Law Enforcement Agency’s Request To Install Facial Recognition in Officers’ Cars

On the other hand, Microsoft did agree to provide the technology to an American prison, after the company concluded that the environment would be limited and that it would improve safety inside the unnamed institution.

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Brad Smith of Microsoft takes part in a panel discussion "Cyber, big data and new technologies. Current Internet Governance Challenges: What's Next?" at the United Nations in Geneva, Nov. 9, 2017. VOA

Microsoft recently rejected a California law enforcement agency’s request to install facial recognition technology in officers’ cars and body cameras because of human rights concerns, company President Brad Smith said Tuesday.

Microsoft concluded it would lead to innocent women and minorities being disproportionately held for questioning because the artificial intelligence has been trained on mostly white, male pictures.

AI has more cases of mistaken identity with women and minorities, multiple research projects have found.

“Anytime they pulled anyone over, they wanted to run a face scan” against a database of suspects, Smith said without naming the agency. After thinking through the uneven impact, “we said this technology is not your answer.”

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Microsoft said in December it would be open about shortcomings in its facial recognition and asked customers to be transparent about how they intended to use it, while stopping short of ruling out sales to police. Pixabay

Prison contract accepted

Speaking at a Stanford University conference on “human-centered artificial intelligence,” Smith said Microsoft had also declined a deal to install facial recognition on cameras blanketing the capital city of an unnamed country that the nonprofit Freedom House had deemed not free. Smith said it would have suppressed freedom of assembly there.

On the other hand, Microsoft did agree to provide the technology to an American prison, after the company concluded that the environment would be limited and that it would improve safety inside the unnamed institution.

Smith explained the decisions as part of a commitment to human rights that he said was increasingly critical as rapid technological advances empower governments to conduct blanket surveillance, deploy autonomous weapons and take other steps that might prove impossible to reverse.

‘Race to the bottom’

Microsoft said in December it would be open about shortcomings in its facial recognition and asked customers to be transparent about how they intended to use it, while stopping short of ruling out sales to police.

Smith has called for greater regulation of facial recognition and other uses of artificial intelligence, and he warned Tuesday that without that, companies amassing the most data might win the race to develop the best AI in a “race to the bottom.”

AI
AI has more cases of mistaken identity with women and minorities, multiple research projects have found. Pixabay

He shared the stage with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, who urged tech companies to refrain from building new tools without weighing their impact.

Also Read: ‘Dirty Cops’ Ahead of Mueller Report Release, U.S. President Donald Trump Takes Stand

“Please embody the human rights approach when you are developing technology,” said Bachelet, a former president of Chile.

Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw declined to name the prospective customers the company turned down. (VOA)