Tuesday, August 27, 2013

5 Reasons Humans Should Never Become Machines


Are humans doomed to a machine-like future of radically-enhanced lifespan and intelligence, but without the intangibles that have made our 200,000 year-old species so unique?

Using technology to stave off Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or other neurological maladies is easy to justify. But is it inevitable that humans and machines will meld into a Borg-like future?

That is, something akin to the “Trekian” villains who appear to have all the personality of a side-by-side refrigerator.

“I don’t think it’s inevitable, but there are powerful forces pushing us in that direction,” said Nicholas Agar, a philosopher at New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington and the author of the books, “Humanity’s End” and the forthcoming “Truly Human Ehancement.”

“Whether we want that future is often presented as a simple picture,” he said. “But we need to practice defensive ethics and think about what could go wrong.”

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