Future humans: Immortal, jobless and genius

May you live in interesting times – A curse, origin unknown

One of the ‘curses’ usually attributed to ancient China, but frequently thrown around in today’s society is ‘May you live in interesting times’, suggesting that living in turbulent times, no matter the cause, is somehow a bad thing.

True or not, there is no denying one thing – every individual fragment of time was interesting in its own right, and I’ll be free to say that life has never been as interesting as it is today. Just look at what humans did in the last 40 years – first we got computers, then the internet, mobile phones, smartphones, high-speed internet, high-speed internet on smartphones, social media, virtual reality, augmented reality, drones, exoskeletons, prosthetic mind-controlled limbs… all of these things happened in less than a single lifetime.

Humans might be imaginative, but we can’t even begin to imagine what our life will look like in a hundred, or two hundred years. Some people, like the transhumanist Laurent Alexandre, a Paris-born surgeon – urologist, author and entrepreneur, thinks he can get a glimpse of the future. And it looks – strange. For some, it will be amazing, for others – quite intimidating.

According to the trasnhumanist Laurent, an author of the essay entitled ‘The Death of Death‘, future humans will be immortal, jobless and genius. All those things – compared to today’s standards of living.

Immortality awaits

BionicsThrough internet-connected humans, augmented reality and artificial intelligence, as well as nano-robotics, humans will eventually be able to live forever. The trasnhumanist Laurent disagrees with certain predictions saying we’ll get there by 2029, but does believe that year could be the year we slowly start rolling back the years.

“When Kurzweil [computer scientist and futurist] announced that he believes that we will turn back the life expectancy of one year each year, this means that we will be immortal,” he told Nom De Zeus. “And for a short horizon in 2029, I do not believe that, for a second. On the other hand, it is clear that we are about to extend our lives, considerably.”

“In the long term, I think Kurzweil is right,” he continued. “But not in the short term. We underestimate the complexity of brain connections in relation to our current knowledge.”

Being immortal is an idea humans look at with both fear and amazement. Religious people mostly oppose it, arguing that immortality should be reserved for the afterlife. That’s why Richard Mills, an anthropologist, social scientist and a Cambridge teacher, believes God will actually be Human 2.0. In other words, technology will make us godlike.

We will all be geniuses soon

EinsteinBut it’s not just immortality that advanced technology can offer for the future humans. It is also an evolutionary step forward. Through technology, we can enhance our bodies, become stronger, faster, more resilient and, perhaps most importantly – more intelligent. Surely, as with any other highly advanced technology, this will be reserved only for the richest and most powerful people on the planet. However, as time goes by, and the price of the technology lowers, it will become more available.

Also, in order to avoid any potential uprising sparked by the sudden widening of the gap between the richest and the poorest, the technology will be made available to a wider range of people. Leading to my conclusions – there will be a lot more geniuses out there. But what will they do? The trasnhumanist Laurent says – nothing.

“The best way to reduce inequality is to increase cognitive abilities of idiots,” he says. “Of course, it is not really politically correct to say this, but it is a reality. And it will be even more. Question: in 2050, what will we do with people with an IQ of 150? Answer: Nothing.”

Basically, ‘idiots’ in 2050, will have an IQ of 150, but they won’t need to do anything because robots will do all the work and be infinitely better at it. Which leads me to my next point:

Hate working? Wait a couple of decades

Another idea that might soon face extinction is working. With the advancement in robotics, artificial intelligence and Big Data mining, it’s only a matter of time before human workforce is fully replaced by robots – ideal workers that never err, never tire, never take breaks, never go on vacation and need no salary. They only need maintenance, and they will probably be able to do that themselves, anyway. Artificial intelligence is already among us, albeit not in the form you’d see in the Terminator and the likes. Take, for example IBM’s Watson supercomputer, already learning many things, and turning them to good use. Or, perhaps more relatable – Cortana, the virtual assistant you can find inside the Windows 10 operating system. Many jobs are already being taken over by robots, and with the introduction of autonomous vehicles, that number will just rise. For example, it is only a matter of time before truck drivers, or taxi drivers, are no longer necessary.

That also draws with it another interesting perspective – the relevance of money. When all work is given to robots, and manual labor is not required for gaining material wealth, what purpose does money serve?

According to the trasnhumanist Laurent, none:

“I am one of the people who think that money is going to disappear one day. We live in a society where intelligence is worthless. The money will eventually not make sense”.

Strap in, we’re in for a bumpy ride

How humans could be immortal [Credit: Youtube]

For some, the idea of immortality is not to be toyed with, for a number of reasons. Ethical, moral, religious, as well as social. Religious people would consider it a grave sin, as immortality is something reserved only for the afterlife. Atheists, on the other hand, will look at it from a moral and social point of view, saying it will expand the gap between the rich and the poor even more, as such technology would only be reserved for the richest in our society. It could possibly bring more harm than good, dividing our communities even more, sparking envy, rage and ultimately – violence. The idea of overpopulation is also being thrown around.

Being jobless is also under a huge question mark, as many will tell you they find life’s meaning in work. Surely, no one will be able to stop you from working if you want to, but what will the majority do? We can’t imagine, we can only speculate – especially when knowing that the average IQ is expected to jump to more than 150.

Just as with anything else, you can look at this vision of the future from both sides – the good one and the bad one. Every particular idea has potential to propel the human race into the stratosphere, but also has the potential to run us into the ground. Let’s just hope that the future geniuses will be able to figure these problems out, and create an infinitely better, more civilized society.

Image Credit: Flickr / Michael Shaheen, Adrián Navarro, Amber Case

Sead Fadilpasic Written by:

16 Comments

  1. Vilhelm Black
    06/09/2016
    Reply

    “…What will the majority do?”

    More of what they do now… lay around eating, drinking, breeding, consuming resources and returning nothing.

    Ours is a planet where life must fight (or at least work) to survive. This is what fuels evolution. When a species no longer has to compete for resources, and is able to breed uncontrolled, it is only a matter of time before the environment puts it in check. If we do not have complete control over our environment by the time we reach the stage described in this article, our future will be no different.

    • Hello Vilhelm,

      What you say is an other theory. However it’s related to human future. I don’t say you are wrong because I can’t predict future. But it’s a interesting though.

      Regards,

      Tommy

    • Robert Nugent
      06/09/2016
      Reply

      Bingo!

    • 06/15/2016
      Reply

      hi Black, your point is very clear to my understanding but what i think is that as everything that relate to our lives will be upgraded to such level by that time, the constitution that we live with today will also be affected and reach a level that will be able to handle us peacefully.

  2. John Frazer
    06/09/2016
    Reply

    As for money going away, what happens to our conception of expense, not only with things stated above, but with space resources factored in? Economic political social system based on the supposed scarcity of some metals will go away like a candle flame in a hurricane of wealth of such things. Raw resources and energy and room for growth won’t be critical and all of this while allowing us to clean up and maintain the environment on a planetary husbandry scale.
    Finished goods will have some value from the work, but if that’s all robotic powers by the resources of the solar system, not even that is particularly valuable.
    The most valuable thing in the universe is biodiversity (prove me wrong) seconded or paralleled by creativity.

    Until robots can be as creative as 15 billion or 150 billion people all across the Solar system living in conditions of universal affluence, people will be generating new value telling the robots what value is and what should be done.

    Sure, a lot of trained and driven workers in a think-tank can do a lot of creativity, but wealth will consist of as many people as possible, of as many shapes and origins and experience as possible. Diversity of opinion and even some odd or extreme opinions are the ultimate wealth, or the creativity of society they represent. There goes propaganda and secrecy and thought crime and heresy. They’ll have a lot of leisure time, and disposable income or whatever that is in a world without money. A lot of time and encouragement to go to school, or temporarily be a NEET and sit & think and do what they like. Everybody has some idea they think needs to be worked on. If they don’t have to work instead.
    All of this assumes there’s excellent standard of living including environment. lots of education and travel and sense of personal purpose and drive towards whatever they’re “producing” for the “economy”. Lots of unemployed people on welfare, with grants for school and travel and no borders.

    I have trouble thinking of a conflict-based story hook for such a future novel or movie or RPG. How does a situation with no limits like that go over to a dystopian future? Drones with a velvet covered iron fist driving them aren’t as productive as free smart people, so that’s what you try to maximize. What will the corrupt oligarchy or sinister cabal do?
    How would you run a religion scam in such a world setting?

    • This is my fear for our future “A.I.”… When a Artificial Intelligence can understand feelings, emotions like a human being, it can “maybe” be catastrophic for humanity…

  3. John Frazer
    06/09/2016
    Reply

    “We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”

    ― R. Buckminster Fuller

  4. Miguel Galaz
    06/09/2016
    Reply

    Once we become immortal and physically and mentally enhanced then we can finally turn our minds elsewhere. The most sought-after career adventure of the 21st century will be space exploration. If we’re immortal, then time stops being an issue, and if time is no longer an issue, then the distance to other systems becomes irrelevant.

  5. @Miguel Galaz It is true! I really think we can turn our minds elsewhere when a human become immortal and physically and mentally enhanced.

    Thanks for sharing your philosophy.

  6. Victor Bradley
    06/13/2016
    Reply

    “The best way to reduce inequality is to increase cognitive abilities of idiots,” he says. “Of course, it is not really politically correct to say this, but it is a reality.” Not only is this “politically incorrect.” It’s also stupid, as long as the level of training and opportunity one has access to (to say nothing of social and cultural capital) is primarily determined by your parents’ income, you can raise the collective IQ as much as you want, it’ll be a waste. In fact, the author himself acknowledges that such technology will be made primarily available to the elite at first. Why exactly would the people who benefit from inequality allow something which could reduce it to become widely available, instead of using it to solidify their power? Especially given that the reduction in inequality would have to come not by allowing greater social mobility, a prospective massively harmful to the present elite, but by creating more people inclined to study ideas and critically engage society, a prospect all but guaranteed to create revolution. I think certain classes of the scientifically inclined feel more empowered to pontificate on social matters than actual knowledge dictates they should.

  7. 06/16/2016
    Reply

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  8. 06/16/2016
    Reply

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  9. 06/16/2016
    Reply

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  10. 06/17/2016
    Reply

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  11. HereSpoken
    06/24/2016
    Reply

    No Comment

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