21-23 MAY 2019
MADRID - IFEMA

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Could technology destroy humanity?

Could technology destroy humanity?

Transhumanism is a movement that modifies the human condition through technological devices incorporated in individuals, who are called cyborgs. The sole purpose is to improve human capabilities, both physically and intellectually.

Cyborgs are defined as human beings. But are they really human? Their aptitudes are altered with the incorporation of the technological device, which means that they have undergone programmed changes. We are talking about technological and non-biological evolution. The genes remain intact, but the abilities are improved. This is not a way to change the human condition irreversibly since there are no alterations but only modifications that enhance someone´s skills.

New technologies are able to change the conditions and possibilities, with a tendency to superintelligence and to achieve the greatest “human” potential. We are facing a reality, in which humanity would be represented by two clearly differentiated groups: those that are improved by technology, and those that maintain our innate capacities and develop them at a pace that, until now, we know how to control within certain parameters.

Transhumanism means giving the control of the evolution to humans. It means each one can decide the natural conditions that he wants to improve about himself or others. In that sense, it would produce an automation of people that would give them more advanced capabilities than others. But what are the consequences?

A panorama is presented in which artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence. Therefore, we can question if technology can cause unlimited progress. How far can the human being get with technology? What is expected of transhumanism? Perhaps full intelligence or a rapid and correct development of all personal abilities at an optimal level is sought. But is there an intention to achieve immortality? If there is no possibility of genetic modifications but only the implementation of devices that improve the human condition, is it is likely that this goal is deferred until we have new breakthroughs.

While waiting for this moment to arrive, there are already those who try to put transhumanism into practice. Elon Musk, known for being the founder of Tesla, has created the company Neuralink that seeks to enhance human cognitive abilities and, in turn, the modification of brain diseases by implanting electrodes within the brain. Neil Harbisson, on the other hand, is a cyborg that, through a chip implanted in the skull, detects colors. Until now, Harbisson did not recognize the colors because he suffered from monochromatism, which only allowed him to see in black and white, but now, the antenna that he carries in his head vibrates and creates sounds according to the identified color.

 

Guest Author:

Carlos Viera
Director del Máster en Marketing Digital
EUDE Business School