I will assume that not everyone who happens to read this entry is a programmer or familiar with computer technology.
In order to get a computer to do “anything”, you have to give it instruction, telling it what to do. The set of instructions, is called a program. Naturally, the way in which you write the computer program, is called programming language. There are many programming languages. A new one shows up just about every week if you can believe that. Most are niche and not intended for wide adoption. Some, try to make it mainstream, but fail for one reason or the other.
One programming language that have been around, and may still be in use whenever you read this, is the C programming language. I can say with some level of certainty, that if the Linux Operating System is in use, then C is still being used. Sometime after C, well, quite a number of years later. Someone, Bjarne S. for now, created another language to make programming for C programmer “easier”. That language was called C++.
So what does C and C++ have to do with this post? Well, nothing really. Except just as C++ was a “better” or improvement on C, so too is Human++ an “improvement” on Human. Hopefully I haven’t lost you. Stick with me a minute.
I heard a few stories on NPR (this is just one) recently about advancements in prosthesis. And there have been more than a few stories in the media about 3D printed jaw, wind pipe, arm, and other body parts. So this is when I started thinking about how a human being twenty years from now and beyond, will have quite a bit of augmentation options. Those will be for the wounded and those born with physical issues.
But the technology, meant to aid the handicap, would get so good and the procedure routine, that it will be marketed to the fit and healthy. It will be marketed as options to make their human parts more durable or stronger or faster. Older people already have hip replacement surgery, so it really isn’t that much of a stretch. What if athletes start having metal implanted in their bones or along it to strengthen it? Why? Because the sports they are in, it is likely to break. If you are an American football player, why not have rods installed in our neck and along your spine? Neck injuries no more or very little.
Sounds crazy now, but these technologies will get better. And it will only be time before there will be people who will have augmentations that not only allows them to live a normal life, but also gives them certain advantages. An artificial eye might not be better than a human eye at first, but 100 years later, that artificial eye might also add infrared vision. If you have to drive at night, guess who is seeing the road better? So now, a human with an artificial eye can see in low light and better than a someone with just human eyes.
When those options are available, how many won’t wants those enhancements? We do breast implants, wear glasses, use hearing aids, nose adjustment, cheek lifts, etc. The process has already started.
Enter Human++, the “better” human. “Better” here just mean technology enhanced. And this is not that different that what we have today. If you live in a developed nation or society. You are already technology enhanced. You use a mobile phone with GPS and many more tools which offloads a lot of what you had to do without it. You no longer need to look at a printed map before you planned your route. You don’t need to remember any phone numbers.
You can talk to your devices, giving them simply commands. It doesn’t always work perfectly, but it will get better. It doesn’t have to be better than a human or as good as a human, before we roll it our or accept in mass. Like telephone automated systems which were pretty simply and frustrating at first, but now quite acceptable, so too will the voice recognition system on your phone.
All that technology needs too do, is to be consistent and good enough.
So the idea of Human++, got me thinking of an idea. An idea I will hopefully flesh out and be able to share one day. Considering that I am always distracted by new projects and old ones, I hope I can see this through. What would the dawn of Human++ be like?