Member 743
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    The great enhancement debate
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    Project: The great enhancement debate
    Let's have a dream about the future...

    With the ongoing developments of sub-vocal comunication technology, such as the Audeo from Ambient Corporation, a possible domain in which intelligence enhancement may emerge can be realized. As the technology is in it's infancy, we can entertain ourselves with thoughts of extrapolated potentials.

    If we assume that, in time, the technology advances to a point where a user of the product can comunicate comfortably, that in itself will change our world in a dramatic way. However, since we are here to dream, let's take this thought further...

    Some of you may have read about the transitors that have been embedded into contact lenses. This is another exciting technology that is just in it's infancy, with critical issues, such as powering the devices, remaining to be solved. Again, amazing possibilities await. Imagine a screen that is always with you, augmenting your reality as you look at the world around you...

    And what about Powerset's intent to revolutionaize our ability to search, using natural language processing to alow the computer to actually understand what we are searching for, rather than relying on keywords and tags.

    So, we have three exciting technologies in their infancies: Sub-vocalized Communication, Bionic vision, and Semantic Search.

    Now for the fun part, Let's dream....

    Imagine all of these technologies mature, and are combined into one functional product, what might the capabilties be? How might this aid humanity? I am imagining being able to open up a browser in my vision, using only a thought (A sub-vocal command) and then asking a question to my favorite search engine, and having the answer appear infront of me.

    Will this not be a remarkable increase in the immediacy of knowledge we all have access to and can share? Answers on the spot. Insta-info. How might this be able to change education, the Military, or gameshows?

    The possibilties are a dream

    Sun, Apr 6, 2008  Permanent link

    Sent to project: The great enhancement debate
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    Yu Jie     Mon, Apr 7, 2008  Permanent link
    Semantic search would revolutionize the web once again, I would say, feeding information to us in a method more predictable and more accurate than those in use now. Education and research would benefit greatly, such a tool could effectively change the way we think about information. A word of warning for this technology though, would be an increasing over-reliance on it, leaving the average human pampered and waiting to be fed with information. Apathy could result, with a decrease in overall productivity possibly.

    With this new technology, I would think that development of ideas and theories would become easier. Time can be spent not looking for the sources, articles and papers that others have written, but can be spent formulating your own ideas.
    James Dunlop     Mon, Apr 7, 2008  Permanent link
    Good precautionary words yuije, I think that if this hasn't already happened with some of us web-junkies, then it is entirely possible for a new and advanced form of information gathering technology to become abused. However, I tend to have a more optimistic (deluded?) view of humainty in general, and see, on average ,a greater pragmatic use of a technology such as this one.

    But all is not rosey through these eyes. I envision another opportunity to widen the gap between the Haves and Have-nots. Perhaps accelerating the disparity between the two groups at alarming rates. Could this be the "Killer-tech" that gives such an advantage to one group that they are viewed as a distinct species, if not by definition, than by capabilities? I beleive this to be reasonably extreme, but a scary posibility nonetheless.
    Yu Jie     Tue, Apr 8, 2008  Permanent link
    Any access to new technology that is not free with undoubtedly create a schism between those who can have it and those who cannot, although defining each as a separate species may be going too far.

    In regards to semantic search, I hope that it will develop as a free technology as something like that deserves to be shared with the rest of the population as something accessible.

    With the contact lenses however, such a situation where two groups emerge will probably occur if the technology is sound and useful enough. Right now, I do not see much use for it outside of specialized jobs; the layman does not need such technology in their daily lives, rather, it might hinder them. If it does become more useful and crucial for everybody to use, then this disparity will occur as people decide under what criteria such technologies should be distributed and how.

    Of course, this might turn into the next iPod, where a culture arises that separates those who use it and those who don't.

    That, I believe, is one of the major ideas against transhumanism and enhancement in general; how does one decide who gets it? Money? Prestige and social class? Usefulness?

    A very intriguing discussion by any means.