Transhumanism is a school of thought and a series of technologies that promise to transform our lives and expand the boundaries of human potential. Through things like gene doping and brain chips it could make us all immortal superheroes and much of this technology is not far from realisation (though the ethics surrounding them are somewhat cloudy). Following are the top 10 transhuman technologies that could potentially change humanity forever.
Cryonics is one of the best known of the top 10 transhuman technologies. The ability to indefinitely suspend a body to prevent the effects of ageing and deterioration with the hope of being re-animated at a later date. One application is of course life extension (see below), but another could be space colonisation.
9 Virtual Reality
Virtual reality has many applications, and some of these put it as one of the top 10 transhuman technologies. For instance imagine training in a virtual reality world in skills you could never practice in the real world, and how this could even change the way our brains work.
8 Mind Uploading
We’re along way away from mind uploading making it relatively a low entry on this list of top 10 transhuman technologies. However it would have one of the most transformative implications allowing us to live forever in a world with no boundaries – where our very thought patterns could be reprogrammed.
7 Brain Chips
Implantable brain chips could be used to control technology, to improve our senses or even to achieve telepathy. Some paralysed patients have already been given the ability to use brain chips to control computers giving them some freedom.
Prosthetics already help many amputees, but in the future they could also be one of the top 10 transhuman technologies. Imagine not replacing limbs but having extra limbs or more powerful limbs – certainly food for thought.
5 Transcranial Stimulation
Transcranial stimulation involves using electrodes or other techniques such as magnetic stimulation in order to make certain brain areas fire or become inhibited. This is already used to treat depression, headaches and seizures, but could be used for advanced learning and recall. It can be achieved completely non-invasively and simply involves wearing pads on the head making it one of the top 10 transhuman technologies we’re most likely to see in the near future.
Nano-technology is any technology that’s less than one atom in any dimension. This essentially can mean chips and devices we could swallow that could cross the blood-brain barrier or operate from within us to release hormones and provide biofeedback. The range of applications is huge making it one of the top ten transhuman technologies.
3 Life Extension
Life extension is not so much one of the top ten transhuman technologies in itself, but rather one of the top ten aims. Already there are several ideas as to how it could work such as lengthening the telomeres or using the aforementioned cryonics. It is believed in fact that these technologies should be usable during the lifespan of the current generation. It may be that you never die.
Cybernetics are one of the top ten transhuman technologies and basically involve becoming a cyborg. Sound far-fetched? Well one scientist called Kevin Warwick has already implanted himself with an artificial nervous system that gives him heightened senses, let’s him control robotic arms and even helps him communicate across long distances with his wife.
1 Gene Doping
Finally gene doping is the winner of this list of top 10 transhuman technologies. Already having been used to give mice super-strength and even reverse aging, the ability to understand and rewrite our own genetic code could enable us to control the course of our very evolution.