Accelerating Future Transhumanism, AI, nanotech, the Singularity, and extinction risk.

19Sep/073

Forbes Looks at Transhumanism

Forbes.com did a poll on what bodily enhancements their readers would prefer the most. The results are as follows:

  • Smarter brain (403 votes - 29 %)
  • Wings (230 votes - 17 %)
  • Breathe underwater (147 votes - 11 %)
  • Stylish, furry tail (127 votes - 9%)
  • Don't want to be human at all (103 votes - 8%)
  • Night vision (61 votes - 4%)
  • Extra arms (51 votes - 4%)
  • Fur (37 votes - 3%)
  • Eagle-eye vision (34 votes - 2%)
  • Perfect as is (34 votes - 2%)
  • Great speed (29 votes - 2%)
  • Better-protected genitals (26 votes - 2%)
  • More physical strength (17 votes - 1%)
  • Camouflage skin (13 votes - 1%)
  • Stronger sense of smell (10 votes - 1%)
  • Chitinous armor (9 votes - 1%)
  • Better balance (7 votes - 1%)
  • Acute hearing (6 votes - 0 %)
  • Fangs (6 votes - 0%)
  • Eyes on stalks (5 votes - 0%)
  • Horns (5 votes - 0%)
  • Pouch (3 votes - 0%)
  • Stronger sense of touch (2 votes - 0%)
  • Extreme height (2 votes - 0%)
  • Stronger sense of taste (0 votes - 0 %)

So smartness is in the lead. Unfortunately, life extension doesn't seem to have been an option. Regardless, people obviously care a lot about intelligence, and good for them.

I'd like to be able to confidently say that I think intelligence enhancement should be the technological enhancement of primary focus, but it also has the potential to be quite dangerous. Superintelligent wireheads -- highly capable agents caught in a self-perpetuating loop of pleasure center stimulation -- present a massive risk for intelligence enhancement technologies. Rather than disappearing into their own private worlds, such wireheads could become colonial and competitive, competing for more resources to ensure that outside forces would never be able to halt their self-stimulation.

As I suspected, it's pretty clear that most transhumanist-oriented people want to become superintelligent people with wings. Basically, angels. Given the speed with which enhancement technologies are progressing, this should become a possibility in the next few decades.

Forbes also covered the Singularity Summit, albeit not very insightfully or originally.

Does Forbes covering transhumanist issues mean that transhumanism is becoming more mainstream? Yes, of course.

Via Nanodot.

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