If you’re under the age of 40, there is a good chance you will achieve ‘electronic immortality’ during your lifetime.
This is the idea that all of your thoughts and experiences will be uploaded and stored online for future generations.
That’s according to a futurologist who not only believes technology will let humans merge with computers, that this will create an entirely new species called Homo optimus.
And, he claims this could occur as soon as 2050.
The predictions were made by Dr Ian Pearson as part of the lead up to The Big Bang Fair 2016.
He believes that within the next 35 years, humans will ‘live’ online, and our pets could even ‘talk’ to us, like real-life Furbies.
He also claims transhumanism – the idea we can make people technologically better – will be the norm by 2050.
‘With optimised genomes and bodies enhanced by links to external technology, people could be more beautiful…more intelligent, more emotionally sophisticated, more physically able, more socially connected, generally healthier and happier all round.’
As humans embrace technological advances and gradually become androids, we could gradually see Homo sapiens being replaced by Homo optimus.
‘We can expect our evolutionary process to change in response to technology.
‘What’s exciting is that it is no longer nature which is forcing changes on us but our own breakthroughs enabling changes we want, ‘ Dr Pearson explained.
Futurologist Dr Ian Pearson claims that in the next 35 years, humans will be able to communicate with computers to evolve better senses, memory and even intelligence. Electronic gold skin and tiny implants between cells could enable a direct link with devices, while we could ‘wear’ muscle too (illustrated above)
As humans embrace technological advances and gradually become androids, we could gradually see Homo sapiens being replaced by Homo optimus. This conceptual image shows four stages of human evolution (left to right) showing Australopithecus, Homo habilis, Homo erectus and Homo sapiens
WE MAY TURN INTO ‘FAIRIES’ TO EXPLORE SPACE
Biotech and nanotech developments will make it possible to develop small brains with far greater capabilities, so the rest of the body could be scaled down accordingly.
There are big advantages in being tiny for space travel, Dr Pearson explained, because it is a lot easier to accommodate and transport tiny people.
‘It is not frivolous to suggest that most space travellers will be rather like fairies, and wings would make it easy to get around in zero gravity too,’ he said.
‘This could give rise to some weird and wonderful future forms and creations – from changing video displays on our faces to controlling our own dreams – our (evolving) imaginations are the only limit.’
Dr Pearson believes that with a full link between the human brain and a computer, people could move their mind into an improved android body.
‘This would allow people to have multiple expistences and identities, or to carry on living long after their biological death,’ he wrote in the ‘Future Human Report.’
While this technology could be available as soon as in 2050, it may become cheap enough to be widespread by 2070.
Plus, by the end of the century, there will likely be several types of humans, including human-machine hybrids, and people living in android bodies, as well as ‘smart creatures’.
Dr Pearson continued that anyone under the age of 40 today will have a good chance of electronic immortality, meaning they could essentially ‘upload’ their personality so it can continue posting after their death. In the film Transcendence (pictured) the character played by Johnny Depp uploads his consciousness onto a computer
Research from academics and experts, collated by Dr Pearson for The Big Bang Fair, suggests humans will be able to directly communicate with electronics and we could clone teeth, fix surfaces and edit genes to make them self-replace (illustrated above)
WHAT THE FUTURE COULD LOOK LIKE – FROM SKIN TO MUSCLE TIGHTS
Research from academics and experts collated by Dr Pearson for The Big Bang Fair suggests:
- We will be able to connect directly with technology through ‘electronic skin’ or tiny implants between our skin cells.
- Electronic ‘support tights’ will boost leg strength with wearable polymer gel muscles 1cm thick.
- Smudged make-up will be a thing of the past with smart make-up applied on top of a membrane on the skin surface to give a flawless, changeable look.
- Nanotechnology will monitor and repair our bodies from the inside, making self-replacing teeth a possibility.
- Technology will be used to enhance pets and wildlife, with the potential to hear our pets talk or to increase their IQ, and to create real versions of kids-craze Furbies.
‘We will certainly technologically advance some of our pets and even wildlife too and we might create entirely new species such as real Furbies,’ Dr Pearson continued.
The predictions mean futuristic characters such as Dug the talking dog in Pixar’s Up and the human-robot hybrids popular in hit TV shows like Humans could be a reality.
The Big Bang Fair – the UK’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) for young people – will give access to technologies shaping these developments, from a sensor placed on the skin that allows people to hear music using bone conduction, to robot orchestras.
‘We will certainly technologically advance some of our pets and even wildlife too and we might create entirely new species such as real Furbies,’ Dr Pearson continued
‘It’s the young people who come to the fair who will help drive through the innovations our experts are predicting,’ said Paul Jackson, chief executive of EngineeringUK, organisers of The Big Bang Fair.
‘Today’s young people will not only get to experience ‘wearing’ muscles or owning smart-pets, they will decide what these look like.’
The Big Bang Fair is free and runs from 16 to 19 March at the Birmingham NEC.
HOW TO CHEAT DEATH: TRANSHUMANISM TO CRYONICS
Futuristic ideas about how humans could one day cheat death have been proposed since the 1950s
The book ‘Death and the Afterlife’ by Clifford A Pickover charts futuristic ideas about how humans could one day cheat death.
It includes the idea of transhumanism, proposed in 1957, and is considered to involve the use of technology to enhance human mental and physical capabilities.
This could gradually make people ‘posthuman’ and means we could become immortal.
Cryonics, invented in 1962 offers hope that someone could be brought back to life, after being frozen.
The idea is that technology will advance to a point where people could be revived and cured of diseases that may have killed them to have a second chance at life.
The mind-boggling idea of quantum immortality was first devised in 1987 and relies on the ‘many worlds interpretation’ of quantum mechanics.
The theory holds when the universe is confronted with a choice of paths at a quantum level, it follows the possibilities, splitting into multiple universes.
This means if we die, in most parallel universes we will be dead, but in a handful, you will be alive.
Quantum resurrection is the idea that in an infinite amount of time, anything is possible and that we will reappear, according to physicist Katherine Freese.
It’s possible it could take the form of Boltzmann brains – self-aware brains floating through space.