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How Transhumanism Works


Emerging Technologies to Improve the Human Condition
John Rodriguiz, then-president of cryogenics company Trans Time, stands inside one of the empty Cryon tanks used to contain the frozen bodies of humans and other animals.
John Rodriguiz, then-president of cryogenics company Trans Time, stands inside one of the empty Cryon tanks used to contain the frozen bodies of humans and other animals.
© Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle/Corbis

The world of science fiction is a world of unrealized potential to transhumanists. Why can't we have a planet full of cyborgs with machinery implanted in their bodies to correct problems or enhance current standards? Why can't we try to clone particularly fine specimens of the human race? Transhumanists are placing their bets on several ideas and emerging technologies to help us one day make this science fiction into reality.

Transhumanists believe in the potential of science to improve our lives. To be able to have thorough control over matter to build machines to help us, transhumanists often look to molecular nanotechnology. This manufacturing technology makes it possible to build complex, three-dimensional structures. With precise control over placement of the atoms that make up our world and an understanding of the molecular structure of all things desirable, the philosophy claims we could make anything we wanted, from cell repair machines to even more compact computing systems.

Speaking of computing systems, the transhumanist philosophy relies heavily on the potential of artificial intelligence to create a better existence. Uploading -- transferring intellect from a biological brain to a computer –- may help us get to a place of having superintelligent beings. And maybe we can even use the power of computing to develop a virtual reality to change our current environments into ones that are more pleasing.

Virtual reality may become a necessity if we are to expand beyond planet Earth and colonize in outer space. Transhumanists also advocate for research on space colonization. With the increased population that will result from longer-living people, we will need to find more space into which we can expand.