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Synthetic Bodies - Cyborgism and Extropianism

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With in vitro fertilization, parents can also choose an egg donor and sperm donor. It is possible to create baby factories where test tube clones are produced for specific purposes. Advances in biotechnology are happening fast enough that creating a designer baby with all the qualities a parent chooses is not very far off. On the other hand, other fields are progressing more slowly, such as the field of artificial intelligence. Why is this? Will thinking, self-replicating machines eventually be developed? The difficulty in developing artificial intelligence seems to come from the fact that human thinking involves something computers do not have, namely, self-awareness and consciousness.

Since machines are stronger than people, and computers are able to out-calculate the human mind, one way to develop as a cyborg is through uploading. This process is effectively a brain transplant into a computer. This could presumably be achieved through nanotechnology, developing a computer at the atomic level. In this process, it would be important to be able to determine what part of the self must not be eliminated in order for the self to still be able to function.

Presumably, the slowness of developments in the field of artificial intelligence is another example of the fact that human nature is complex. This complexity of the balance of beings may also be a factor in health. Along with cures aimed at specific diseases, people may need more holistic treatments such as homoeopathy and acupuncture, which treat the whole person. The issues that will confront genetically modified humans may be similar to what today confronts the introduction of genetically modified plants. There is a concern that genetically modified foods may change nature irrevocably.

Cross-fertilisation with other plants may occur. Wildlife and humans that eat genetically modified foods may also have health effects. After introducing genetically altered plants and other organisms, the ecosystem may be changed in unpredictable ways.    

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preview essay on Synthetic Bodies - Cyborgism and Extropianism
  • Pages: 20 (5000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Technology
  • Level: Undergraduate
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