[SY] #7 Midterm – Transhumansim and the Future of Humankind


by. Bong Eun Seo


Google AlphaGo, an artificial intelligence(A.I.) has made a sensation all over the world. Its victory over Lee Sedol has shown the possibility of A.I., for it was the very first step into an area where A.I. could never enter before. With the rising curiosity of people about A.I., popularity of transhumanism is getting larger, too. The term ‘transhumanism’ refers to using scientific technology to develop human’s biological defaults. It is basically merging an A.I. into a human body, making the human A.I. itself. Many people insists that transhumanism is the future of humankind. They say transhumanism will change the whole system controlling modern society. However, the other says it will only bring major problems to our society. This issue is a notable problem for everyone, since it directly connects to the future of mankind.

If the era of transhumanism comes, there will be some serious social problems coming together. First of all, overpopulation will occur because of the elongation of average lifespan. Also, the cost of technology will widen the gap between the rich and poor. There will be privacy issue, too. In order to prevent these problem, mankind needs good solutions before actually starting making transhuman. However, I have to say the only solution is to stop the whole idea of transhumanism. Once A.I. is merged with humankind, it will rapidly develop its intelligence and technology by itself. Then human can’t follow the speed of evolution, and it becomes impossible to handle problems derrived from transhumanism. If I have to come up with a solution though, I suggest we should prepare for possible problems first and then actually work with making transhuman. For instance, we should find a good solution for overpopulation like procuring more places for people to live by artificial method.

In the disequilibrium going around about tarnshumanism, the biggest problems are expected to be overpopulation, transhumans going out of control, and particular emotions vanishing. These three all comes from the three key areas of transhumanism, which are super longevity, super intelligence, and super well-being. First, overpopulation is caused because the transhumanism pursues super longevity. Aubrey de Grey, a renowned researcher in aging issue, suggests that aging is the biggest reason for most diseases, and we shouldn’t just accept the fact that we are aging every moment. He says we need to use technology to stop aging. This becomes a big problem because we don’t have any good solution for overpopulation and lack of food problem, but the population will continue to grow from the not growing number of people who die.

However, whether we like it or not, we are already transhuman, in compare to human of last few centuries. We just don’t recognize it because the change is too small and gradual. Technology will keep developing, and transhuman is not a far away story. Even people who are against tranhumanism should accept the fact that we can’t live without technology and science, and these will soon be able to actually make transhuman. Therefore, we should try to have an attitude of understanding and accepting the upcoming change, and try to find good parts of them, so that we can find a midpoint between them and us.

There is a disequilibrium going on about transhumanism, and I am against the idea for it will cause various problems in our society, overpopulation, controlling problem, and particular emotions like affection(Jeong, 情) disappering, for example. Even though we have no good solution because A.I. is way bette in any area of technology or science than us that we can never catch up their speed of development, we should try to find a midpoint between transhuman and present humankind.




(photo credit : http://www.catholiclane.com/transhumanism-taking-the-place-of-our-creator/)


Works Cited

Bailey, Ronald. “Transhumanism: The Most Dangerous Idea?” Reason.com. N.p., 25 Aug. 2004. Web. 23 Apr. 2016. (Bailey)

Brietbart, Peter, and Marco Vega. “PostHuman: An Introduction to Transhumanism.” YouTube. YouTube, 05 Nov. 2013. Web. 22 Apr. 2016. (Brietbart)

KurzweilAI New Video Series Aims to Popularize Transhumanism Kickstarter Launched Comments. N.d., 18 Nov. 2013. Web. 23 Apr. 2016. <http://www.kurzweilai.net/new-video-series-aims-to-popularize-transhumanism-kickstarter-launched&gt;. (Kurzweil)

Pigliucci, Massimo. “The Problems With Transhumanism.” Science 2.0. N.p., 7 July 2009. Web. 23 Apr. 2016. (Pigliucci)


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