Tag Archives | Transhumanism

Artist Neil Harbisson Is The World’s First Legally-Recognized Cyborg

harbisson Dezeen writes that the sensory augmentation device worn by the completely colorblind Harbisson is now recognized by authorities as part of his face:

Barcelona-based Harbisson wears a head-mounted antenna attached to a chip at the back of his skull that allows him to perceive colours. Harbisson charges his eyeborg via a USB power cable that attaches to the back of his head.

Harbisson wears the “eyeborg” headset to overcome a visual impairment called achromatopsia, which means he sees the world in shades of grey. The eyeborg turns colours into sounds, allowing him to “hear” them.

After a long battle with the UK authorities, Harbisson’s passport now carries a photo of him wearing his eyeborg, making him the world’s first government-recognised cyborg. In 2010, Harbisson founded the Cyborg Foundation – an organisation whose mission statement is to “help humans become cyborgs, to promote the use of cybernetics as part of the human body and to defend cyborg rights.”

Read the rest

Continue Reading

DARPA To Spend $70 Million Investigating Brain Implants

alzheimersThe ostensible purpose is to better treat mental illness, but I think we all know what the experimental research wing of the military’s real motives are. As reported by the Boston Globe:

The federal Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA, announced Thursday that it intended to spend more than $70 million over five years to jump to the next level of brain implants, either by improving deep brain stimulation or by developing new technology.

The new program, called Systems-Based Neurotechnology and Understanding for the Treatment of Neuropsychological Illnesses, is part of an Obama administration brain initiative that is intended to promote innovative basic neuroscience. Participants in the initiative include DARPA, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation.

DARPA’s project is partly inspired by the needs of combat veterans who suffer from mental and physical conditions, and is the first to directly invest in researching human illness as part of the brain initiative.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Can We Make the Hardware Necessary for Artificial Intelligence?

Eye_iris“Logic is an organized way of going wrong with confidence” Robert Heinlein

This is my opinion of what might be, not What THE FUTURE!!! Will Be!

My POV is hardware driven, I do electronic design. I don’t present myself as “an authority” on Artificial Intelligence, much less “an authority” on sentient artificial intelligence, until they are Real Things, there is no such thing as an authority in that field. That said, if the hardware doesn’t exist to support sentient AI, doesn’t matter how wonderful the software is.

The following is why I’ve been saying in a number of places that I expect hardware to be able to run a synthetic consciousness in ~20 yrs, @2045singularity on Twitter asked me to clarify what I meant.

1. I assume that if the physical operations of a human brain can be simulated in real-time, programs that simulate human consciousness in real time can be part of that simulation.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Man Implants Bluetooth-Connected Computer Chip In His Arm

biohacker Via Motherboard, a preview of where you will be in ten years:
Tim Cannon got what is likely the first-ever computer chip implant that can record and transmit his biometrical data. With a battery that can be wirelessly charged, Cannon had it implanted directly under his skin by a fellow biohacking enthusiast, not a doctor, and without anesthesia. Called the Circadia 1.0, the implant can record data from Cannon's body and transfer it to any Android-powered mobile device. In a few months, the first production series of the Circadia chip should be ready. With an expected price of around $500, the chip should be relatively accessible for just about any enthusiast, and will mainly be distributed through the networks of the body modification community.
Continue Reading

An Experiment To Allow Us To See New Colors

colorsAre we missing out on most of reality? Via OMNI Reboot, Rich Lee on transhumanist experimenters hoping to expand the color spectrum (and render all past and current art, fashion, and design obsolete):

Of the vast wavelengths that span the electromagnetic spectrum, humans can see a mere 2.3%. Rainbows? They’re just a fraction of the real picture. We’ve crafted abstract theories to understand x-rays, radio, microwaves, and gamma rays. But how much more advanced would humanity be if we could perceive the other 97.7% of reality?

A team of “Grinders,” or self-experimenting biohackers, calling themselves Science for the Masses (SFM) has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise the $4,000 necessary to procure the equipment and chemicals for the execution of their plan.

If successful…Their work will enable humans to see the near-infrared spectrum with their naked eyes. As the project overview explains, SFM hope to augment sight through “human formation of porphyropsin, the protein complex which grants infrared vision to freshwater fish.”

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Are You A Transhuman? Larry King Interviews Futurist FM-2030

Want a glimpse of someone truly born far before their time? Circa 1989, the future-obsessed professor and consultant named FM-2030 (born Fereidoun M. Esfandiary) interviewed by Larry King, with befuddled call-ins from middle Americans. Author of a book titled Are You a Transhuman?: Monitoring and Stimulating Your Personal Rate of Growth in a Rapidly Changing World, FM-2030 told the public that they should be prepared and eager to evolve to "transhumans." However, he emphasized a brand of super-optimistic futurism that was at its core not about technological advancement so much as becoming increasingly "humanity rich" – more open, empathetic, and compassionate. He died in 2000 and is currently cryogenically preserved, awaiting reanimation:
Continue Reading

How Timothy Leary Led The Way To Transhumanism With SMI2LE

leary

Via KurzweilAI R.U. Sirius reveals Leary’s proto-transhumanist SMI2LE manifesto :

Leary may have been the first to signal a memeplex for the transhuman future — SMI2LE (Space Migration Intelligence Increase and Life Extension) — back in the mid-1970s. My new book, Timothy Leary’s Trip Thru Time, explores Leary’s life and philosophies, including his transhuman explorations.

Leary emerged from prison in 1976 as one of the advocates for advances in the human condition that would soon be called transhumanism. Leading transhumanists rarely acknowledge that Leary defined the movement with precision 38 years ago.

In fact, going back to 1974, about a year after Leary expressed, in his Starseed Transmission, his wild prison fantasy of taking 5,000 advanced mutants out to galaxy central, Gerard K. O’Neill, a physicist and professor at Princeton University released a paper claiming that human settlements could be built in space at Lagrange points — locations where a habitat could theoretically remain stable.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Transhumanist Spirituality – A New Religion for the Modern Age?

Giulio Prisco

Giulio Prisco

Pascal’s Wager demonstrated a certain rationality to a belief in god. The seventeenth century philosopher, Pascal, argued that if one believes, yet god does not exist, nothing is lost in death. But, if god exists, the reward is eternal happiness.

For the transhumanist thinker, Giulio Prisco, if god doesn’t exist, he believes we will create him. Or her. Or, more accurately, perhaps – them. Prisco’s reasoning results not so much in a wager as an expectation.

Speaking to The Eternities podcast, he said, “Richard Dawkins … the atheist mastermind … writes in The God Delusion [that he] finds it very plausible in the universe that there may be very powerful beings like gods. He thinks these beings are a product of natural evolution like ourselves. That’s exactly what I think myself. I don’t place any artificial limits on the achievements that will be possible to intelligent life in the future.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Novels of The Coming Transhuman Mind Meld

crux2This week sees the release of Crux (Aug 27), the second title in a transhumanist trilogy featuring a mind-linking, mind-expanding, nano-drug that its author believes theoretically possible – and he may just know about these things. He’s Ramez Naam, a noted futurist and author of the HG Wells Award winning non-fiction book on human augmentation, More than Human.

In Crux, and its prequel, Nexus, the self-described “techno-optimist” Naam pits the hallowed forces of progress against the Emerging Risks Directorate, a US government department executing a brutal and futile campaign against human augmentation that evokes the “War on Drugs” and the “War on Terror”.

I wanted to talk with the author about the implications for such augmentation as I myself had written about a similar technology in my own novel, Human+, and recently recorded an interview with him for The Eternities podcast. We talked also about my own novel’s very different central question, of whether technological innovation itself could obstruct progress; in this case, the progress of human consciousness towards its full potential.… Read the rest

Continue Reading