Human interest in exploring the unknowns has always been universal and enduring. While, over the years, the nature of exploration has changed fundamentally, we, the humans have always been keen to explore the unknown and discover new worlds: be it beyond our geographical boundaries, new trade routes, lands, opportunities, knowledge seeking or transforming human lives beyond cyberspace, geospace and space (CGS). In pursuit of unknowns, it is our imagination, ideas, innovations, and inventions that are helping us push the boundaries of our exploration limits beyond CGS. The never-ending human drive pushes us further to discover new worlds in the spaces that were never there. Since technology gives us the foundation on which we can define and design human ecosystem beyond cyberspace, geospace and space where would it take us in the coming years?
Future of Technology
From internet to brain-net, smart cars to electric cars and flying cars, biological engineering to bio-economy, molecular manufacturing to self-replicating systems, 3D printing to distributed additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence-driven automation to augmented intelligence, virtual reality to augmented reality, neuromorphic computing to quantum computing, stem cells to regenerative medicine, nanosatellites to small satellites, brain mapping to more; we are witnessing dramatic advances in science and technology that is pushing our exploratory limits beyond CGS. While human exploration beyond CGS requires further advances in science and technology, the following technological advances have already begun to shape the future of humanity by allowing us to reimagine what’s possible.
Acknowledging this emerging reality, Risk Group initiated a much-needed discussion on Technology Trends and Future of Humanity with Dr. Natasha Vita-More, a Professor at UAT, Executive Director at Humanity+, Inc., Author, and Co-Editor: The Transhumanist Reader, and a Lead Science Researcher: Memory Project on Risk Roundup.
Disclosure: Risk Group LLC is my company
Risk Group discusses “Technology Trends and Future of Humanity” with Dr. Natasha Vita-More, a Professor at UAT, Executive Director at Humanity+, Inc., Author, and Co-Editor: The Transhumanist Reader, and a Lead Science Researcher: Memory Project from the United States.
- Biological Engineering and Bio-Economy
We are closer to creating living things of our desire and definition from scratch. Biological engineering, gene editing technologies and advances in synthetic biology have made it possible to build on nature’s foundation and create a human-made, synthetic bio-ecosystem of our desire and definition. As a result, in the coming years, it may very well be possible to design and construct any cell, organism, or biological species we want with the help of a growing selection of genomic data from human, non-human living species. This capability will not only help with the production of any number of chemicals and raw materials but will also allow solutions to many human problems as the very ability to put living systems at work by designing and programming them at the cellular level brings humans transformative potential. It will be interesting to see how the emerging potential of bioengineering capabilities will further the human potential beyond bioeconomy and beyond CGS by re-defining and re-designing the way we produce raw materials.
- Molecular Manufacturing and Self-Replicating Systems
Nanotechnology and nanotools are shaping molecular manufacturing that uses non-biological processes to build structures, devices, and systems at a molecular level. This rapidly developing technological capability will have the potential to disrupt everything in the human manufacturing ecosystem as low-cost manufacturing, self-replicating systems and the duplication of designs could lead to significant economic upheavals across nations. Moreover, the emerging potential of molecular manufacturing and self-replicating systems will likely reverse the very process of globalization, as nations who own and control this technology will not need other countries as they can produce/manufacture anything they need or want in unlimited quantities. It will be interesting to see how the emerging potential of molecular manufacturing will further human exploration beyond CGS by producing anything we need in unlimited amounts.
- Distributed Additive Manufacturing
3D Printing and additive manufacturing are rapidly changing the way things are made and fundamentally changing the way that global production gets done (additive here means building 3D structures by adding layer upon layer of materials through digital design). Based on the current trends, from bioprinting of human tissues and organs to making consumer-driven homes, cars and airplanes, 3-D Printing/Distributed Additive Manufacturing are on their way to fundamentally transform the manufacturing supply chain and its economics. It will be interesting to see how blockchain based additive manufacturing will further human exploration beyond geospace.
- Artificial Intelligence Driven Automation
Artificial intelligence-driven automation is on its way to automate processes that have so far been out of reach from automation to succumb. Smartphones are already enhancing human mind, spectacles are improving human vision, pacemakers are regulating human heartbeat, self-driving cars are changing transportation, smart cities are changing how we live and how communities will be structured in the coming tomorrow, autonomous weapons systems are changing warfare, RFID chips are helping create cyborgs, exoskeletons are giving strength and resilience to humans and more. It will be interesting to see how the evolution in artificial intelligence further human exploration beyond CGS and help humans find the very meaning of their existence in this universe.
- Neuromorphic Computing and Computing Beyond Turing Limit
The advances in neuromorphic computing and chips may be the future of not only artificial intelligence but also of computing beyond Turing limit as it gives us new modes of connectivity, efficiency, collaboration, learning and problem-solving in real time between human to human, human to machines, human to nature and human to non-human species. Neuromorphic computing and chips will bring the much-needed evolution in computing and computer hardware, allowing us to enhance machine intelligence for the complex problems that need to be solved for the future of humanity beyond CGS. It will be interesting to see how neuromorphic chips will fundamentally change the way we get real-time intelligence from the human ecosystem beyond CGS.
- Quantum Computing and Control
The breakthroughs in quantum technology bring enormous implications for the future of humanity. The ability of subatomic particles to exist in more than one state at any given time fundamentally changes our very ability to further science and development. Since quantum computing relies on quantum principles and its enormity comes in the small, atomic-sized power, it will allow us to study the fundamental building blocks of the universe. It will be interesting to see how quantum computing will help us understand the birth of human life and the very origin of the universe.
- NanoSatellites and Space Exploration
As we begin space exploration, nanosatellites seem to be playing a crucial role in the emerging space endeavors. From the very first satellite that launched the beginning of the space age exploration, to the thousands of nanosatellites that we see today in space; satellites have gone through a fundamental transformation and brought revolution and evolution in human capabilities to understand the universe. These tiny miniaturizing nanosatellites are revolutionizing the space endeavors, as they can do everything traditional satellites can; and that too, in a much more affordable and effective manner. It will be interesting to see how the accuracy, affordability, accessibility, and adaptability offered by these tiny satellites help us manage the complexity of our planet earth beyond cyberspace, geospace and space, but also give humanity a new way to chart and explore, the enormity of space.
- Internet to BrainNet
In the coming years, we will likely see the gradual transition from a web to a brain-net, in which thoughts, emotions, feelings, and memories might be transmitted instantly across nations boundaries beyond cyberspace, geospace and space. Scientists have already begun experimenting with human and non-human brain uploading to a computer or robot and have started to decode some of our memories and thoughts. It will be interesting to see how this might eventually reduce conflict between people, as they begin to feel and experience the pain of others, but also revolutionize communication between human and other living and non-living species.
- Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
The advances in stem cell research and therapy bring us regenerative medicine. This is perhaps a game-changing area of medicine that brings humanity the potential to fully heal damaged tissues and organs, offering solutions and hope to people all across nations for the treatment of numerous everyday medical problems. Moreover, regenerative medicine holds the promise of affordable and effective health care and is making great strides with the help of 3-D printing. Reports are emerging of mouse embryos were created using nothing but stem cells. As efforts are underway to creating human embryos from human stem cells, this would fundamentally change everything we know about human and non-human life and reproduction.
- Brain Mapping and Brain Uploading
The advances in brain mapping technology are giving us the power to be able to reprogram human biology and eliminate many diseases and aging processes. Since scientists now have at their disposal increasingly acute ways of looking into the human brain, the mapping will allow us to reach our full potential and keep up with the evolutionary journey of intelligence itself. It will be interesting to see what unknowns become known as further advances are made in brain mapping.
There has never been a better time for ideas, imagination, and intelligence to create and invent as the emerging technology trends bring so many fundamentally transformative opportunities for the future of humanity beyond cyberspace, geospace, and space. As we further explore and understand the very meaning of human existence in the universe, let us also imagine what could go wrong and be prepared.
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