Future Superhuman, our transhuman future by Elise Bohan
30 May 2022
Like it or not, as a species we are eventually going to take control of our evolution. Unless we destroy ourselves first, that is. The early steps towards what some call a transhuman future however will doubtless be mired in difficulty and uncertainty.
Still it’s a topic that’s always fascinated me, and while I’m not the biggest reader of non-fiction books, Future Superhuman Our transhuman lives in a make-or-break century (published by UNSW Press, May 2022) by Elise Bohan, a senior researcher at the Faculty of Philosophy, at the University of Oxford, is one title I’m looking forward to reading.
We’re hurtling towards a superhuman future – or, if we blunder, extinction. The only way out of our existential crises, from global warming to the risks posed by nuclear weapons, novel and bioengineered pathogens and unaligned AI, is up. We’ll need more technology to safeguard our future – and we’re going to invent and perhaps even merge with some of that technology.
What does that mean for our 20th century life-scripts? Are the robots coming for our jobs? How will human relationships change when AI knows us inside out? Will we still be having human babies by the century’s end? Elise Bohan unflinchingly explores possibilities most of us are afraid to imagine: the impacts of automation on our jobs, livelihoods and dating and mating careers, the stretching out of ‘the-circle-of-life’, the rise of AI friends and lovers, the liberation of women from pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, and the impending global baby-bust – and attendant proliferation of digital minds.