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Home > News > Must-know terms for the 21st Century intellectual: Redux

January 14th, 2007

Must-know terms for the 21st Century intellectual: Redux

Abstract:
Existential Risks: The development of nuclear weapons marked a disturbing turning point for the human species: we are increasingly coming into the possession of apocalyptic technologies. Soon to join the list are such problems as a malevolent superintelligence, deliberate or accidental misuse of nanotech, runaway global warming, a killer artificial virus, an antimatter holocaust, or a particle accelerator disaster. Adding insult to injury is the Doomsday Argument.

Human Enhancement: Humans are about to decommission natural selection in favour of guided evolution. Darwinian processes gave humanity a good start, but Homo sapiens can be improved. Owing to advances in genetics, cybernetics, nanotechnology, computer science, and cognitive science, humans are set to redefine the human condition. Future humans can look forward to longer lives, enhanced intelligence, memory, communication and physical skills, and improved emotional control. Humans may eventually cease to be biological and gendered organisms altogether, giving rise to the posthuman entity. Human enhancement will irrevocably alter social arrangements, interpersonal relationships, and society itself. And there's also the added potential for nonhuman enhancement.

Source:
ieet.org

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