I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the presidential candidates during this election are failing to discuss the two most important issues facing our country: the technological singularity and transhumanism.
The candidates cannot feign ignorance and pretend that these issues do not exist. All of our top candidates (with the exception of Trump) are members of Congress, and therefore have known about these issues since at least December 2012, when the National Intelligence Council released its report “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds.”
NIC reports should be taken seriously both by the American public and our policy makers. One of their primary responsibilities is preparing the Global Trends report for the incoming US president, wherein they outline the major global issues facing humanity over the next 15 years.
Global Trends 2030 discussed the technological singularity and transhumanism.
The following quote discusses the effects robotics will have on our economy:
“Developers are extending the capabilities of robots, crossing the boundary between industrial robots and nonindustrial robots. Although much development is still required to improve robots’ cognitive abilities, many of the building blocks for futuristic and highly disruptive systems could be in place by 2030. Such robotics could eliminate the need for human labor entirely in some manufacturing environments.”
Unfortunately, Global Trends 2030 neglects to mention the effects that increased artificial intelligence will have on our information based economy. Either way, it is clear that our economy is going to experience some drastic changes in the next 15 years.
Perhaps more alarming is their acknowledgement that transhumanism will become widespread by 2030. I find the following quotes to be chilling:
“Prosthetic limbs have now reached the stage where they offer equivalent or slightly improved functionality to human limbs. Brain-machine interfaces in the form of brain-implants are demonstrating that directly bridging the gap between brain and machine is possible.
“ … Brain-machine interfaces could provide ‘superhuman’ abilities, enhancing strength and speed, as well as providing functions not previously available.
The technological singularity and transhumanism are not science fiction; they are a threat to our way of life that is acknowledged by our government.”
To put things in perspective, these degrees we are working so hard toward obtaining at North Dakota State are preparing us for an economy that may not even exist in 15 years.
All of the social issues addressed by our humanities programs are directed towards a species that may cease to be relevant.
The fact that our presidential candidates are neglecting to address these issues demonstrates that they are incapable of looking out for our best interests.