Transhumanists are interested in the evolution of the human species beyond our current state through the use of genetics, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. Some transhumanists are interested in literally conquering disease and death through scientific means. Some imagine the creation of machines millions, trillions of times more intelligent than we are. Some expect the human species will eventually merge with machines or exist primarily in a virtual environment. Ray Kurzweil imagines the spread of intelligent matter throughout the universe so that God itself evolves (not to mention the re-creation of the dead). Others imagine the 'uplift' of other species with augmented intelligence. So on and so forth...
It's odd and fascinating speculation, and it often reminds me of longstanding human urges to overcome our fallible, limited and frustrated state. Transhumanism seems to have the qualities of a religion, but it begins with technologies (and paradigms like Moore's Law) that are based in science.
I mentioned in the entertainment forum that I just watched this movie:
It's a good overview of the topic. It seems plain, after viewing, that Kurzweil has a notable problem with death and that very possibly a great deal of his optimism about transhuman evolution is simply a neurotic, fearful reaction to death. On the other hand, most of us agree death is a downer, so it's easy to sympathize with his frustration.
The possibilities of artificial intelligence are at turns terrifying, grotesque and wondrous. (Although it seems hard to define intelligence at all!)
Does anyone have any thoughts or reactions to transhumanism, in whole or in some specific part? Are you willing enough to hazard a guess about the future to be an optimist, a pessimist or a skeptic? Would you willingly augment your body or mind with machines? Are you scared of Skynet? How Amish are you?