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Imagine Beyond: Superhuman or Lost Human
Remember when you were a kid, running around with your friends, imagining having superpowers and fighting the bad guys? Eventually you outgrew it and are now having a regular human job, but a lot of scientists are driven by their imaginations and are working on technologies to augment ourselves into superhumans.
Human augmentation can aid produce better prosthetics or reduce genetic disorders, and could create a better life for a lot of people – but it also raises the question of where to draw the line: Where does a human stop being human and start becoming a machine?
We humans have been augmenting our bodies for thousands of years. And we have come a long way from wooden legs to microprocessor prosthetics. It is not just about giving people the opportunity to be independent, after losing an arm or a leg – it is giving back the quality of life everybody deserves. In the future robotic limbs could be integrated into the human body, boosting our biological capabilities. Similar to an upgrade: Human 2.0.
Technology Has its Price
State-of-the-art technology and design have their price. You get what you can pay for. If you cannot afford it you are not getting it. Nowadays it may be that you cannot afford to get a modern and perfectly fitted microprocessor prosthetics. In the future it may lead to parallel universes in one world. An example of this dystopian view is the Netflix series Altered Carbon: The wealthiest people can afford to choose every type of body they want or what kind of augmentation they want to integrate in those bodies, while the rest of humanity has to take what is given to them – like the 8 year old girl which was "resleeved" into the body of a middle aged woman.
When Does Humanity Stop?
Humanity may had millions of years to evolve, but can we still stay human, if we are filled with technology? Imagine if you could preserve yourself, the way you think, the way you talk, what you like or dislike and be able to live forever in different synthetic bodies. Would it still be you, or just a copy of who you used to be– an artificial intelligence which got fed with the data of you and how you process information? If someone has his genetics transformed so that they could process information faster and remember things better than anyone around him, are they still the same person they were before? Will genetically engineered people be a normality, and regular born humans discriminated, like in the movie Gattaca?
For now, we cannot say if our future will be more a utopia or dystopia. For all we know scientists are creating technology to improve our lives day by day, which makes me optimistic about how our society will be tomorrow.
Because they know what they're talking about.
The prevailing wisdom is that the fast pace of automation, digital change and AI (artificial intelligence) will soon leave most of us jobless. Talking with some of the most successful tech entrepreneurs around the world, not one agreed with this dark premonition. Rather, they pointed to a different kind of future we should prepare for.
Breaking our addiction to devices and social media<p><a href="https://simby.com/" target="_blank">Simby</a> is a fully personalized, wearable AI technology that aims to break our addictions to our devices and social media while still giving us all the benefits of being digitally connected. Co-founder and head of product Andrew Doherty believes technology should benefit our lives and do no harm, and that users should have full control of their data. This 'sassy best friend' is still under development but coming soon.<strong></strong></p>
The buzz around Beep<p>Organizations can be as buggy as bad software, with minor frustrations putting a damper on everyone's concentration and creativity. Doing something about these problems can feel like swimming upstream, especially when management doesn't understand how much energy small annoyances suck out of their staff.</p><p>Katz Kiely is part of the team behind <a href="https://wearebeep.com/" target="_blank">Beep</a>, a system that rewards and recognizes people for raising problems and finding solutions in their business. It puts leaders in touch with their employees' real challenges, flattening the hierarchy and reconnecting people with meaning in their work.</p>
Growing a business like a garden<p>Author and tech entrepreneur Aaron Dignan knows exactly how hierarchy and bureaucracy hold back progress in business. He gleaned this wisdom from in-depth study of organizations known for adapting to change and getting fast results, like Spotify, Burning Man and Basecamp.</p><p>He's not only published these findings for the benefit of other entrepreneurs in his popular 2019 book <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brave-New-Work-Reinvent-Organization/dp/024136180X/" target="_blank">Brave new work: Are you ready to reinvent your organization</a>? He's also founder of <a href="https://theready.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Ready</a>: An 'operating system' that helps businesses change their culture and see themselves <a href="https://medium.com/the-ready/the-operating-system-canvas-420b8b4df062" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">more as a garden than a machine</a>.</p>
Smartening up the factory<p><a href="https://cloudnc.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">CloudNC</a> is bringing safety and accuracy to factories with AI and autonomous manufacturing. Their clients manufacture parts for air travel, space exploration and defense, among other industries, where perfection is necessary every time.</p><p>Full automation in manufacturing also allows for on-demand production. This option is in high demand since COVID-19 has made the global market and labor supply hard to predict. Co-founder Theo Saville says <a href="https://cloudnc.com/an-interview-with-theo-saville-forbes-europe-2019-manufacturing-industry/" target="_blank">making manufacturing more environmentally sustainable is also top of CloudNC's agenda</a>.</p>
Blockchain on the farm<p>Agriculture is one of the fastest-changing industries on the planet, while soil depletion, habitat loss and methane emissions come to the fore in the public consciousness. Farmers often face little choice in how they operate because they're time-poor, isolated and face high set-up costs for change.</p><p><a href="http://www.agriledger.io/home/" target="_blank">AgriLedger</a> Founder and CEO Genevieve Leveille wants farmers to get the best price for their hard work, giving them more choice and making sure doing better for people, animals and the environment pays dividends. Using blockchain, AgriLedger brings users benefits like supply chain traceability, market information and access to finance.</p>
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