Nick Bostrom: We shouldn’t assume that humanity will remain indefinitely in its current form. But we won’t have to wait for biological evolution to change us before we change into something different.
That’s Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University. He’s also the co-founder of the World Transhumanist Association. Transhumanists believe that human life will be radically enhanced in the future.
Nick Bostrom: We might use our technological abilities to change not just the world around us, but to change also ourselves, our own human nature.
Bostrom said we’re already developing the genetics, enhancement drugs, and nanotechnology to move towards what he calls ‘post humanity.’
Nick Bostrom: You need a label for whatever we might become. If we increase our capacities in different directions, radically extend our lifespans, improve our cognitive and emotional abilities and so on – you might call that the ‘post human phase of humanity.’
In this phase, humans might look not so different from avatars in the virtual world of Second Life. Which may sound like science fiction, but according to Bostrom…
Nick Bostrom: It lies ahead of us, yes, but not that far ahead of us.
Our thanks to:
Director, Future of Humanity Institute
Learning to love science. As a producer for EarthSky, Lindsay Patterson interviews some of the world's most fascinating scientists. Through EarthSky, her work content is syndicated on some of the world's top media websites, including USAToday.com and Reuters.com. Patterson is also charged with helping to stay in steady communication with the thousands of scientists who contribute to EarthSky's work of making the voice of science heard in a noisy world. She graduated from Colorado College with a degree in creative writing, and a keen interest in all forms of journalism and media.