Thanks to advances in biology, genetics, pharmaceuticals, wearable technology, neurotech, and wireless connectivity, it is increasingly conceivable, and scientifically possible, that humanity - rather than being overshadowed by the rise of AI - might be ready to surpass all previous real or imagined limitations of our brains and bodies.
Here are 10 ways we may be super-human by 2030:
1. Instant content upgrades
In the next 10-15 years, we could be able to perform instant content updates to the human brain eg: uploading a new language, a map, knowledge about a client or project, and key information prior to a romantic date or a business meeting. This would be achieved either through direct downloads to our web-connected brains or via plug-in memory devices for more confidential information.
2. Beyond the rainbow
Gene therapy has cured colour blindness in monkeys; if clinical trials are allowed, colour blind humans may be next. Eventually, science may expand our colour vision to include all wavelengths of light, from gamma rays to ultraviolet to radio waves. Humans might literally see the world in a whole new light.
3. Beyond sound
As humans age, we naturally lose the ability to hear higher frequencies. In the future, we may be able to reverse this, or even enhance human hearing beyond the normal range via aural implants directly connected to our brains.
Become stronger and fitter from the inside out, but without most of the requirement for exercise and healthy eating. Physical and genetic enhancements applied to your bones and muscles would improve your BMI and performance from the get-go. Reinforced bones would improve tone and strength with no extra work needed.
5. Implanted immunity bubble
Subcutaneous implants would detect pathogens in the immediate environment and provide antibodies to protect us from specific contagious diseases. This would make most public health measures irrelevant as coughing, sneezing, and touching may no longer pose a risk. Handwashing could become a redundant activity and vaccines unnecessary, while a global antibiotic crisis could also be averted.
6. Heightened sensitivity
Through deep brain stimulation, humans may eventually have total control of how much physical sensations affect them. We could turn a dial to increase touch sensitivity during intimate moments, or while playing a car chase computer game, but dial down our sensitivity in anticipation of a physical altercation.
7. Cosmetic gene editing
The gene modification technology known as CRISPR introduced in 2012 has already made it 'cheap and easy' to edit genomes inside the body. The CRISPR system's ease of use means it could be used for almost any gene-editing technique. While doctors could apply the technology as a targeted cancer treatment, we could also see the same approach used for cosmetic augmentation. For example, high street centres could provide services to change clients’ hair thickness, eye colour, and skin pigmentation, making CRISPR treatments as common as other beauty and lifestyle options.
8. The God Pill
Advances in pharmaceuticals and neuroscience could lead to a breakthrough drug designed to experience a higher state of consciousness which some might call ‘God’. This might provide a feeling of one’s place in the universe, a sense of oneness with nature, or help you visualise yourself face to face with an actual deity. These hallucinogenic experiences would fall somewhere on a spectrum between recreational and therapeutic, depending on the recipient’s state of mind at the time. This could be perfect for coping with mid-life crises, dealing with the death of a loved one, anxiety disorders, accepting a terminal diagnosis, and recovering from addiction. Or, just try it for fun.
9. 3D printed wings
We could fly as close to the sun as we like with customized 3D printed wings, which are perfectly designed to bring aerodynamic freedom and flight. These powerful, lightweight appendages could be attached surgically and removed by a visiting robo-surgeon or with an in-home DIY kit and training video (sold separately).
10. Perfect body in a pill
What if, at last, medical science achieves the ultimate win for sofa surfers, and creates a pill to give you the body of a god without putting in all the work or adopting any healthy habits? Ripped abs, ageless skin, perfect proportions—what more could someone want? For those who want more, a second daily pill could generate an intoxicating body odour.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells, Alexandra Whittington, Maria Romero, and April Koury are from Fast Future which publishes books from future thinkers around the world exploring how developments such as AI, robotics and disruptive thinking could impact individuals, society and business and create new trillion-dollar sectors. Examples include Beyond Genuine Stupidity - Ensuring AI Serves Humanity, and The Future - Reinvented: Reimagining Life, Society, and Business. See www.fastfuturepublishing.com