Interesting interview with one of the proponents of transhumanism. Here Kurzweil sketches some of his hopes – human/machine integration, longevity, denial of death – in an easy to read interview: Machine Dreams – Interview – CIO Magazine Oct 15,2004
I think it’s important to understand that technology and human civilization are deeply integrated and that that integration is going to become more intimate. We’re getting closer to our computers. I was talking to a woman yesterday who said her 10-year-old son’s notebook is an extension of him. She said it might as well be inside him. Well, soon computers will be inside us. Within one to two decades, we will be able to place nonbiological intelligence inside us, noninvasively. By the 2020s we will be placing millions or billions of nanobots — blood cell-size devices — inside our bloodstream to travel into our brains and interact with our neurons. We will be extending our cognitive capability directly through this intimate merger of biology with machines.
I’ve been reading Alastair Reynolds’ books recently (just got hold of Absolution Gap) which pick up some of the same themes about what humanity might look like when colonized by technology (Conjoiners, Ultras, nanotechnology). Some interesting ideas though his writing style isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Many of the writers like Kurzweil seem to imagine that longevity and freedom from death and disease will bring about a utopian society. As my thesis seems to developing a social justice strand I’ll be investigating these claims in some more detail in the near future. Maybe there will be some relevant articles in Journal of Evolution and Technology (vol 14)?