Human Augmentation


Was working on a high-end technology based submission for my Technology Management sessions. And here is an abstract of my article collated from several sources and some part in my own words!

Human Augmentation or Intelligence Amplification (IA) is the effective use of Information Technology in augmenting human intelligence. IA is not same as Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Today, I forgot, what I had to remember! My best friend’s Anniversary. Imagine, if we could Google our own memories and recall it perfectly? – A Harry Potter like Pensive? Imagine, a world where technology could directly augment the human abilities, mentally, physically and spiritually. That is what is Human 2.0 and that is where the technology is headed.

Technology, in near future, will be used to restore normal performance and will advance performance in the future. These techniques will come via implants, brain interfaces, genetic selection and nerve to prosthesis applications. Humans will achieve infrared vision, sense transference and memory extensions. Think bionic woman or a man. Timeline: More than 10 years. Well I am not joking in this article; it’s all on probably at the MIT research labs.

The evolution of the human augmentation can be recorded as below:

Implants -> Tissue Engineering -> Genetic Engineering -> Exoskeletons -> Intelligent Prosthesis ->Cognitive Enhancement Drugs -> Brain-Computer Interface

In the beginning, humans had what they were born with, slowly our body parts were replaced with artificial replacements then came the Nano scale engineering with interfacing silicon chips to nerve and muscle cells and yes soon scientists expect interfacing the brain with an entire computer.

Forecasts are that human augmentation and wireless power are two emerging trends that will become USD 1 billion markets by 2020. Human augmentation, a technology that focuses on creating cognitive and physical improvements as an integral part of the human body, is slowly but steadily becoming a reality and enhancing peoples’ lives.

There is also a prediction that Human Augmentation is still in the technology trigger stage. So in more than 10 years it may reach the mainstream arena, where it needs to be.

The US Military through DARPA has been funding some interesting research on exoskeletons. The exoskeletons are a reality. They allow users to lift 200 pounds without breaking a sweat! So imagine, the last paragraph, I was just talking about memory and probably trends that could fit into the growing medical industry, but with such an exoskeleton, no human being may need to enter the battlefield.

In the year 2007, MIT had held a symposium on Humanity 2.0. Motivated by fixing disabilities, the scientists had developed technologies that were beyond their objective enabling superhuman abilities. We may have the option to buy implants that make them smarter, give them faster reactions, better eyesight, a perfect memory and so on.

I think it’s likely that with technology we can in the fairly near future create or become creatures of more than human intelligence. Such a technological singularity would revolutionize our world, ushering in a post human epoch. AI was intended to create superhuman Artificial Intelligence in Computers, but IA creates human intelligence through human computer interfaces.

However, just focusing outside of the military realm, the human augmentation movement may provide solutions to daunting issues like demographics and economic competitiveness but it will also redefine what being a human means – for better or worse.

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About amarharish
Was working as a Consultant for Five Years. Moved on to pursue a Masters in Management at Great Lakes, Chennai. Interests include Hi Tech, Brands, Quizzing, Leadership to name a few!

One Response to Human Augmentation

  1. Resh says:

    Sounds like some Sci-fi English movie to me 🙂

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