We will reach a point in history where part of the human race will voluntarily incorporate technology into their bodies.
Nanotechnology and advancements in medicine will allow us to do this. It might seem far-fetched, but those with Parkinson’s disease and deaf people already do it.
“When I was a student at MIT we all shared a computer and it took up a whole building,” says Ray Kurzweil. “The computer in your cell phone today is a million times cheaper and a thousand times more powerful… And what now fits in your pocket, 25 years from now will fit in a blood cell, and will be again more powerful and millions of times more cost effective.”
The major leap will come about when healthy, normal, everyday people choose to incorporate technology into their bodies.
I think there will be a divide when this happens, between those who will accept it and get the upgrade (camping out to get the neural implant 5-series) and those who won’t (the Clarisse McClellans).
Some will be medical (computerized white blood cells that can be pre-programed to fight diseases they’ve never seen), some recreational (PlayStation 9 anyone?), and some will be like literally putting a computer in your head (and you think facebook is cutting into your privacy now).
Who will be in the majority of this divide is yet to be seen, maybe Clarisse and her uncle will be in the majority, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out. It would certainly be difficult to turn down an instant vaccine to every disease and virus known to man (bye cancer), but I don’t see everyone jumping on the ship though.
It could divide brothers and sisters, husbands and wives. The conundrum is that once one makes the jump they will be incompatible with the other. Perhaps not at first, but as the exponential growth of their enhanced brain functioning continues to increase (neural implant 6-series) they will be able to consume so much more information than a “non-enhanced” human that it would be difficult for the two to interact on a daily basis.
Throw AIs into the picture, which only the “enhanced” humans will be ahead of or on pace with, and it could be a very different world.
So, which side are you on?