Homo sapiens, as it turned out, is a very confident smartest species that can call itself “smart”. And although it is possible to call us, with great prudence, wise, we come to a point when sooner or later we will be able to open the gates for someone else, perhaps even created by ourselves. Here are ten options.
10. Developed animals – smartest species
The idea of cultivating animal species with human intelligence is far from new and goes back to the “Island of Dr. Moreau” by Herbert Wells. Cordwainer Smith introduced developed animals as an oppressed class struggling for their rights, and David Brin’s “War of the Exaltation” series introduced a universe in which almost all sentient beings owed their protection to patronizing smartest species, and people explore the world with intelligent monkeys and dolphins.
Some theorists, like George Dvorsky, argue that we have a moral imperative to elevate other smartest species to our level of intelligence as soon as we get the necessary technical means. Dvorsky points to modern attempts to provide big monkeys with a legitimate right to “personality,” and argues that the natural next step will be to give other animals cognitive abilities for self-determination and the participation of living beings in society. The human monopoly on reasonable thought gives us an unfair advantage over other animal creatures, and if there is a way to help dolphins, monkeys, and elephants to acquire a reasonable thought, then it is our moral duty.
Others do not agree. Alex Napp believes that from the point of view of animal life the costs will be too high to justify it. In order to elevate the species, it will be necessary to make changes in DNA at the embryonic level, which will lead to unavoidable unsuccessful attempts before we succeed. And again, the question arises, how to make sure that the exalted embryo will be carried out successfully. Such experiments can be morally incorrect if they do not lead to the fact that reasonable animals will suffer because of deviations and early death due to human intervention. Even if successful, human beings can not provide the necessary social and emotional conditions for intelligent chimpanzees, bonobos or parrots. In other words, exalted animals can be emotionally traumatized due to clumsy attempts of people to nurture them.
Some are also concerned about the problematic aspects of specific species, such as the brutality of chimpanzees and the tendency of dolphins to rape, whether they will prevent them in reasonable ways. It is also believed that intellectual self-awareness is an ecological niche that only one smartest species can retain, which explains the destruction of Neanderthals and other human congeners. The appearance of intelligent animals can create an evolutionary competition with people, as well as damaged creatures with a system of psyche and values that we simply will not be able to understand.
9. Borg – smartest species
“Star Trek” introduced a race of cyborgs who sought to unite all the intelligent smartest species in the universe into one collective mind. Many people would come to the conclusion that it is bad, but some agree with this outcome. Travis James Leland argued that an emotionless, sterile picture of the Borg is some kind of Luddite propaganda – and a step forward to collective intelligence will lead to the happiness and freedom of all members of the hive. In fact, one of the reasons why we go to the Internet and social media is to be closer and in connection with our view, this is a collective manifestation in a pure form.
Integration with technology and interconnection do not reduce individuality; they simply make it easier to connect and express their individuality in the emerging global consciousness. Some argue that the technology of creating a “telepathic noosphere” is already available with our current technologies. We can already send video, audio and motor information between the brain and the Internet through electrodes, and the information capacity necessary for the swarm intelligence may be available too. The technological infrastructure used for modern telecommunications and wireless Internet can further develop into neural interfaces, although initially they will be inaccurate and will be difficult to use. Some people call these theoretical swarming minds “Borganisms” and advocate their creation for social and political reasons.
In the collective mind, there may be many advantages, as it will, in fact, allow us to become a superhuman entity capable of exploits that go beyond what is possible for individuals. The ability to coordinate mass projects will grow, planning complex tasks will be more effective, and people will understand each other better.
Of course, there are a number of shortcomings. Along with the existential fear of loss of individuality in the mass of consciousness, there remain threats of viruses and hackers in the system in the early stages, not to mention other concerns, like who will control the technology. The developed swarm of social media will be very different from the swarm of soldiers and secret intelligence, developed for military purposes. Some believe that developed borganisms will be quite vulnerable to dangerous memetic infections (which will require the development of a rigid “mental hygiene”); it will also be necessary to combat social parasitism and selfishness in groups within the hive.
8. Genetic caste – smartest species
Political scientist Francis Fukuyama believes that transhumanism is one of the most dangerous ideas that are hovering today. He sees a fundamental danger in an attempt to improve our basic humanity. He calls it “factor X” and says that “it can not be reduced to moral choice, reason, language, sociability, awareness, emotion, creation or any other quality that is put forward as the basis of human dignity. All these qualities, combined in a man, constitute factor X “.
Fukuyama believes that the development of genetically modified people will mean an end to liberal ideas of the political equality of all people. Access to gene modification technology will lead to the emergence of genetic castes and will undermine our common humanity, the rich will be able to create design children with abilities that surpass the abilities of other, less wealthy people. Fukuyama is conservative, but very many people share his fears. The society of geneticists expresses fears that the “technogenic” will lead to the formation of a gap between “genetically rich” and “gennobedic”.
Some argue that the complexity of gene modification and the cultural rejection of experiments on children make such a scenario unlikely. Others say that even if it does, it will not be transferred to the political plan since political rights do not depend on physical features. Nevertheless, questions remain as of whether parents have the right to choose the physical and intellectual traits for their children. It can include the choice of the coefficient of intelligence, growth, sex and even skin color.
The science of designer babies already exists in the areas of preimplantation genetic diagnosis and in vitro fertilization, which is gaining popularity in the light of the prevention of genetic diseases. Some people are worried that the taboo on technology in the light of fears of genetic castes may exacerbate the problem, and the rich will still have the opportunity to go to a country where the editing of the children’s genes is not prohibited.
7. Gray Slime Robot – smartest species
In 1986, engineer Erik Drexler sowed fears of an uprising of nanotechnology against the human race. Although he described many of the potential benefits of this nanotechnology in details, such as the destruction of cancer cells, and the restoration of DNA, he also expressed the concern that self-replicating robots the size of a molecule can displace plants and microorganisms by occupying all ecological niches and ultimately consuming all terrestrial resources: called “gray slime” is also known as “global ecophagy”.
The concern about such predictions led to the convening of a “nanotechnological summit” by Prince Charles in his estate in Gloucestershire. Nanotechnologists like Richard Smalley responded that such a “molecular production” for the creation of nanobots is impossible from a scientific point of view. To manipulate atoms (which are sensitive to the electronic bonds of surrounding atoms), molecular assemblers must have additional manipulators, “fingers”, but there is no place at the atomic level for them. This is the so-called problem of “fat fingers”. There is also a problem with “sticky fingers”: atoms that are moved by manipulators can adhere to them firmly. Drexler himself, in response to remarks by Smalley, felt that he simply wanted to reduce the level of public fears and protect funding for research in the field of nanotechnology.
One of the solutions proposed in the light of protection from the mythical gray mucus included another form of nanotechnology: blue mucus. It should be a self-replicating police of nanobots that will destroy autonomous and bad gray mucus. Nevertheless, they must also be ubiquitous, strong, reliable and resistant to the effects of gray mucus, while remaining under the control of people, because if the blue mucus is absorbed or goes over to the side of gray mucus, it may well turn against ourselves.
Other potential limitations on the distribution of gray mucus include limiting the possibility of self-production or the use of rare elements like titanium or diamonds in the production of molecular assemblers. Since the human body contains few such rare elements, mucus is unlikely to extract them from us, unless our smartphones devour. If it does not work, the world will be flooded with swarms of nanobots.
6. Artificial Intelligence – smartest species
Artificial intelligence is a sub-area of computer science, whose task is to create machines capable of performing tasks at a level comparable to the human intellect. There are two forms of AI in theory: narrow, weak or soft AI, and general, or strong AI. Soft AI is inspired by the human brain, but does not try to imitate it – it’s a statistically-oriented computer intelligence capable of sorting various data using algorithms and playing chess, answering quiz questions, making orders and giving instructions on GPS. The solutions to the tasks that this intellect performs have little to do with how people solve them.
Strong AI is designed to simulate the human intellect in reasoning, planning, learning, visualization, and communication in a natural language. Supporters of strong AI hope to achieve a singularity, the point at which the machine will overtake the human intellect, after which technological progress will skyrocket, and we will no longer be able to predict or even understand the future of civilization development.
Entrepreneur Elon Mask is very worried about the risks of artificial intelligence: “In the movie “Terminator”, they did not create AI, expecting such an outcome. It’s something from Monty Python: no one expects the Spanish Inquisition. Nonsense, of course, but you need to be wary”. And he is far from being alone. Bill Gates expresses similar fears, Stephen Hawking sees everything in even more gloomy light: “Primitive forms of artificial intelligence, which we have, in fact, proved to be useful. But I believe that the development of a full-fledged artificial intelligence will mean the end of the human race. As soon as people develop artificial intelligence, they will take care of their own rework. People limited to slow biological evolution will not be able to compete and will be replaced. ”
Many scientists reject these fears as exaggerated and believe that the development of artificial intelligence will supplement humanity, and not destroy it.
5. The Wireheads – smartest species
Wirehead is the idea of science fiction, which includes an individual who stimulates the brain’s pleasure center with an electric current and thus an addict. The idea first appeared in Larry Niven’s “Famous Space” in the 1970s, but has since become a common theme in cyberpunk. It goes back to the roots probably in the experiments of the 50s when James Olds placed electrodes in the mesolimbic dopamine tracks of rats. The rats stopped eating and sleeping in favor of endless flashes of pleasure until they died of hunger. Olds repeated these experiments on other animals and people who later described the experience as “orgasmic”.
Some believe that the adoption of this technology will help cope with the suffering manifested in the process of gaining life experience, without harming others or the environment. This is the dream of the so-called project Abolitionist, which is looking for a way to combine wires with the head, developed by drugs and genetic engineering, to create an ideal society. True, dubious orgasmic happiness is likely to lead to global extinction, so the idea is not without flaws. Wearable technology can allow you to change the mood and state of mind to calm or excited without side effects or all sorts of medications. At the heart of Thync technology is transcranial stimulation of the brain with direct current, an inexpensive way to send electric current to the brain in order to improve intelligence, learning, vigilance and memory. It also helps with chronic pain, depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson and fibromyalgia.
And yet, futurists do not lose hope of getting another form of mind-altering technology: transcranial magnetic stimulation. This technology can be used to stimulate psychopathy, temporarily disabling part of the brain responsible for fear, or to get a clear mindset during alcohol intoxication. There is a fear that in the future people will be able not only to adjust their mood but also to turn off fear and sympathy if necessary. And although these concepts may not be genetically identical to modern people, their emotional and social worlds may become alien beyond recognition.
4. Infomorfs – smartest species
In 1991, Charles Platt published The Man from Silicon, a book about the quest for immortality by copying the human mind to computers from which creatures called infomorfs were created. In 1996, the Russian theoretician of artificial intelligence Alexander Chislenko borrowed this name to describe a theoretical entity based on the basis of distributed intelligence. Such network minds could easily exchange knowledge and experience than we have, which would lead to massive changes in the concepts of the individual, like the swarming consciousness of which we spoke above.
Not limited to physical bodies, these entities would find many human concepts alien and meaningless, even strange. This term is also used to describe the loading of human consciousness into computers in order to create backups of the human brain. The mental structure of a person is transferred from the biological matrix to the electronic or informational one. The benefits of loading consciousness include economic growth, the ability to reprogram yourself for increased intelligence or happiness, reducing the impact on the environment and freedom from the laws of physics and the inevitability of death.
There are many potential problems associated with loading consciousness and going beyond our human form. Technical arguments include the impossibility of reproducing unpredictable and non-linear interactions between brain cells that form human intelligence, not to mention the very fact that we have no idea what consciousness is. There are also ethical problems in the development of this technology. For example, we can never know if it really works: how do we understand that the loaded consciousness really realizes itself, and does not imitate human behavior without having any mental state? The threat of abuse and manipulation of informorphs also remains illusory.
3. Transgenic people – smartest species
Transgenic animals have a foreign gene deliberately incorporated into their genome. This technology was used to create mice and fish glowing in the dark. This technology was used in attempts to revive the wooly mammoth, and the debate on the use of transgenes in primates continues. Ahead is the prospect of the emergence of transgenic people who will benefit from the use of the genes of other animals smartest species.
The appearance of transgenic people will require a number of steps. A suitable transgene must be isolated and expressed at the right place at the right time, and then placed inside a human cell grown in a cultivation tissue. The nucleus of the transgenic human cell must then be moved to an enucleated egg, and afterward – to grow and separate. Then the developing embryo should be placed in the uterus. The technologies by which all this could be done are already available, and human and non-human genes are already in full use for in vitro growth and stem cell research.
Some people argue that using transgenes to modify humans can open up opportunities provided by nature to other animals: sonar, acute feelings, the ability to photosynthesize or produce the necessary nutrients. The potential exhaust will cover any problems related to human dignity, which in turn is more associated with our ability to reason than with genetic integrity. We could borrow chimpanzee genes to increase the efficiency of our muscles, remember tasks and strategic planning.
But the consequences can be truly creepy. Some people are concerned about the possibility of using “grown-up transhumans” – which will be bred and grown with the intention of being used in medical experiments involving transgenics. There is also fear, known as the “anxiety of smartest species”, through which laws have emerged that prohibit the creation of multi-species chimaeras. But science is moving forward, and in a hundred years the world can be filled with people with shades of chimpanzees, bats, octopuses or mice.
2. The Cyborgs– smartest species
The word “cyborg” first appeared in an article in 1960 for the authorship of Manfred Kleins and Nathan Klein. They speculated on ways to increase unconscious self-regulatory functions through chemical or electronic means to allow people to better tolerate various environmental conditions. The ultimate goal is to give people the opportunity to explore the cosmos. They wrote: “If a person in space, in addition to flying on his own transport, must constantly check everything and adjust simply to stay alive, he becomes a slave of the machine. The aim of the cyborg, along with its own homoeostasis system, is to provide an organisational system in which robot-like problems are solved automatically or unconsciously, and a person is free to explore, create, think and feel. ”
This name was later applied to patients who are dependent on implants and prostheses and entered the culture as a metaphor describing our constantly growing dependence on technology. One recent research in practical cybernetics includes bionic hands, connected to the human nervous system, eye prosthesis and much more.
In 2015, Professor Yuval Noah Harari from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem predicted that in 200 years people will become godlike cyborgs due to our need to improve ourselves. Zoltan Istvan, the founder of the political party of transhumanists, is promoting the platform of financial state injections to develop artificial hearts and cranial implants, which will reduce the crisis in this area, as well as the level of crime associated with it. Meanwhile, DARPA’s military research wing announced the creation of an “office of biological technologies” (BTO) “to study the growing dynamic intersection of biology and other sciences.” The agency plans to develop technologies for future soldiers, including advanced prostheses, thought-driven limbs, and neural interfaces. Another initiative of DARPA sees potential in the development of artificial chromosomes. Imagine a soldier of the future who will not need a dream, which will be extremely hardy and see in the dark.
1. Several human species – smartest species
Speciation is a process in which several new smartest species arise from a common ancestral species. This concept was first studied in fiction by Olaf Stapleton in his 1930 book The Last and the First Men. It examined the growth and fall of 18 different human species over the next few billion years in the process of migration from the Earth to Venus. Not so long ago, Douglas Dixon in Anthropology of the Future: Man After Man asked the same questions, only his civilization collapses 200 years after the beginning of genetic engineering. Some species of mango into space, others return in millions of years to discover that man has branched and evolved into myriad intelligent forms (and unreasonable ones too).
If the process of human evolution continues, it is possible that in another million years other smartest species will appear, although many people believe that it is unlikely. Yale University’s 2009 study found evidence that ovulatory characteristics suggest that shorter and denser women are born with more children, which means that natural selection begins to pick these physical traits. Meanwhile, the evolutionary psychologist Jeffrey Miller believes that human evolution will accelerate due to the sexual choice of modern society and the development of genetic engineering.
Cadell Last, a doctoral student in evolutionary anthropology and a researcher at the Global Brain Institute, believes that we can be on the verge of a new great evolutionary transition, along with technologies that lead us to a long-lived smartest species with delayed reproduction. Evolution in several species is unlikely to occur since human society is becoming both widespread and closely integrated.
But if humanity goes to distant planets and star systems, the potential for the development of new smartest species adapted to other conditions will increase. True, in this case, they are unlikely to inherit the Earth, unless they return in four million years, armed with unknown weapons and with a thirst for justice and return everything to the roots.