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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.
Do you have what it takes to lead a tech start-up?
Feeling like you're back to the same-old, same-old? It's frustrating when your ideas at work go unrealized, for reasons outside of your control.
What if you were making all the decisions? Do you have what it takes to lead your own tech start-up? Here are five qualities that make a successful tech entrepreneur, coming from those who've broken the mold of what it means to be one.
1. Uncertainty doesn't faze you
Starting a tech business is riddled with uncertainty. You need to be able to make a plan when the goalposts, and the ground beneath your feet, are moving. And you'll need to be able to adapt to change fast. You'll never have all the answers, but you'll still be able to see ways to move forward. Did you know that Tesla and SpaceX, both flagship companies of Elon Musk, came close to failing? The first electric car created by Tesla, the Roadster, had big production problems and SpaceX had many launch failures before its final effort was a success.
2. You're willing to develop, improve and even throw out your ideas
Tech entrepreneurs don't decide their 'baby' is the right solution and doggedly cling to it. Stories like that of Elizabeth Holmes – inventor of the blood-test biochip that never existed – show just how destructive hanging onto a dud idea can be.
Great tech entrepreneurs want to solve the problem more than they want to be right about how it's best solved. They're more interested in being useful than in being popular.
3. You can be persuasive, but you're more substance than style
When you run a start-up, you need to win people over to your idea, time and again. From securing funding to motivating your team, you need to be tireless in inspiring people to give you their best. And you're not just selling your product, you're selling yourself.
Contrary to popular belief, leaders don't need star quality – experience and skills predict success better than charisma. But you do need to make people believe in what you can do.
The famous author and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said: "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."
4. You're happy to do whatever needs doing
Early in the life of your start-up, you'll need to turn your hand to all kinds of tasks that won't feel like what you were born to do. If you're the kind of person who tends to think, 'that's not my job,' or you've developed advanced skills in avoiding tasks you don't like, tech entrepreneurship may not be for you.
Did you know that the search engine and company we know as Google today, has started as a PHD project? At the beginning, the world wide web wasn't that big. As a matter of fact Larry Page, one of the founders of google collected the links on the web by hand. He didn't know exactly what to do with it but it seemed to be a good idea, because no one had ever collected the links before. This seems inconceivable today!
5. You can cope with imperfection, and you're willing to put your ideas to the test
Free Creative Stuff - Pexels.com
Gone are the days when entrepreneurs jealously guarded their ideas up until the moment of a giant, glitzy launch. Perfect is the enemy of good. And in tech, it's usually much easier to get a prototype or beta version out to gauge the response than it is with other kinds of products.
As anyone who's done user research will tell you, the biggest shortcomings of products often aren't what the team thinks they are. Testing with real people isn't a luxury; it saves time and money.
Leading your own start-up almost always means working long hours and testing your skills to their limit. Few succeed, but if you have these five qualities, you have a great chance of being among those who do.
When the lockdown hits Bali, a group of four creatives from around the world are suddenly stuck together. Going home is not an option, so they try to stay creative and productive while the new reality slowly sinks in...
Directed by Lara Maysa Ingram
Produced by The Community Creatives