When Robots Take Over, What Happens to Us?

Artificial intelligence has a long way to go before computers are as intelligent as humans. But progress is happening rapidly, in everything from logical reasoning to facial and speech recognition. With steady improvements in memory, processing power, and programming, the question isn’t if a computer will ever be as smart as a human, but only how long it will take. And once computers are as smart as people, they’ll keep getting smarter, in short order become much, much smarter than people. When artificial intelligence (AI) becomes artificial superintelligence (ASI), the real problems begin.

In his new book Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era, James Barrat argues that we need to begin thinking now about how artificial intelligences will treat their creators when they can think faster, reason better, and understand more than any human. These questions were long the province of thrilling (if not always realistic) science fiction, but Barrat warns that the consequences could indeed be catastrophic. I spoke with him about his book, the dangers of ASI, and whether we’re all doomed.

Your basic thesis is that even if we don’t know exactly how long it will take, eventually artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence, and once they’re smarter than we are, we are in serious trouble. This is an idea people are familiar with; there are lots of sci-fi stories about homicidal AIs like HAL or Skynet. But you argue that it may be more likely that super-intelligent AI will be simply indifferent to the fate of humanity, and that could be just as dangerous for us. Can you explain?

First, I think we’ve been inoculated to the threat of advanced AI by science fiction. We’ve had so much fun with Hollywood tropes like Terminator and of course the Hal 9000 that we don’t take the threat seriously. But as Bill Joy once said, “Just because you saw it in a movie doesn’t mean it can’t happen.”

Superintelligence in no way implies benevolence. Your laptop doesn’t like you or dislike you anymore than your toaster does why do we believe an intelligent machine will be different? We humans have a bad habit of imputing motive to objects and phenomenaanthropomorphizing. If it’s thundering outside the gods must be angry. We see friendly faces in clouds. We anticipate that because we create an artifact, like an intelligent machine, it will be grateful for its existence, and want to serve and protect us.

But these are our qualities, not machines’. Furthermore, at an advanced level, as I write in Our Final Invention, citing the work of AI-maker and theorist Steve Omohundro, artificial intelligence will have drives much like our own, including self-protection and resource acquisition. It will want to achieve its goals and marshal sufficient resources to do so. It will want to avoid being turned off. When its goals collide with ours it will have no basis for valuing our goals, and use whatever means are at its disposal for achieving its goals.

The immediate answer many people would give to the threat is, “Well, just program them not to hurt us,” with some kind of updated version of Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. I’m guessing that’s no easy task.

That’s right, it’s extremely difficult. Asimov’s Three Laws are often cited as a cure-all for controlling ASI. In fact they were created to generate tension and stories. HIs classic I, Robot is a catalogue of unintended consequences caused by conflicts among the three laws. Not only are our values hard to give to a machine, our values change from culture to culture, religion to religion, and over time. We can’t agree on when life begins, so how can we reach a consensus about the qualities of life we want to protect? And will those values make sense in 100 years?

When you’re discussing our efforts to contain an AI many times smarter than us, you make an analogy to waking up in a prison run by mice (with whom you can communicate). My takeaway from that was pretty depressing. Of course you’d be able to manipulate the mice into letting you go free, and it would probably be just as easy for an artificial superintelligence to get us to do what it wants. Does that mean any kind of technological means of containing it will inevitably fail?

Our Final Invention is both a warning and a call for ideas about how to govern superintelligence. I think we’ll struggle mortally with this problem, and there aren’t a lot of solutions out thereI’ve been looking. Ray Kurzweil, who’s portrait of the future is very rosy, concedes that superior intelligence won’t be contained. His solution is to merge with it. The 1975 Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA is a good model of what should happen. Researchers suspended work and got together to establish basic safety protocols, like “don’t track the DNA out on your shoes.” It worked, and now we’re benefitting from gene therapy and better crops, with no horrendous accidents so far. MIRI (the Machine Intelligence Research Institute) advocates creating the first superintelligence with friendliness encoded, among other steps, but that’s hard to do. Bottom linebefore we share the planet with superintelligent machines we need a science for understanding and controlling them.

But as you point out, it would be extremely difficult in practical terms to ban a particular kind of AIif we don’t build it, someone else will, and there will always be what seem to them like very good reasons to do so. With people all over the world working on these technologies, how can we impose any kind of stricture that will prevent the outcomes we’re afraid of?

Human-level intelligence at the price of a computer will be the most lucrative commodity in the history of the world. Imagine banks of thousands of PhD quality brains working on cancer research, climate modeling, weapons development. With those enticements, how do you get competing researchers and countries to the table to discuss safety? My answer is to write a book, make films, get people aware and involved, and start a private-public partnership targeted at safety. Government and industry have to get together. For that to happen, we must give people the resources they need to understand a problem that’s going to deeply affect their lives. Public pressure is all we’ve got to get people to the table. If we wait to be motivated by horrendous accidents and weaponization, as we have with nuclear fission, then we’ll have waited too long.

Beyond the threat of annihilation, one of the most disturbing parts of this vision is the idea that we’ll eventually reach the point at which humans are no longer the most important actors on planet Earth. There’s another species (if you will) with more capability and power to make the big decisions, and we’re here at their indulgence, even if for the moment they’re treating us humanely. If we’re a secondary species, how do you think that will affect how we think about what it means to be human?

That’s right, we humans steer the future not because we’re the fastest or strongest creatures, but because we’re the smartest. When we share the planet with creatures smarter than we are, they’ll steer the future. For a simile, look at how we treat intelligent animals – they’re at Seaworld, they’re bushmeat, they’re in zoos, or they’re endangered. Of course the Singularitarians believe that the superintelligence will be ourswe’ll be transhuman. I’m deeply skeptical of that one-sided good news story.

As you were writing this book, were there times you thought, “That’s it. We’re doomed. Nothing can be done”?

Yes, and I thought it was curious to be alive and aware within the time window in which we might be able to change that future, a twist on the anthropic principal. But having hope about seemingly hopeless odds is a moral choice. Perhaps we’ll get wise to the dangers in time. Perhaps we’ll learn after a survivable accident. Perhaps enough people will realize that advanced AI is a dual use technology, like nuclear fission. The world was introduced to fission at Hiroshima. Then we as a species spent the next 50 years with a gun pointed at our own heads. We can’t survive that abrupt an introduction to superintelligence. And we need a better maintenance plan than fission’s mutually assured destruction.

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When Robots Take Over, What Happens to Us?

Quake Champions Official Website | Home

Resurrected War Marchine

The Terran Coalitions reverse-engineering of Slipgate travel created new frontiers and wars. In the Subic system, thousands of mining colonists were slaughtered by the Klesk, an indigenous chitinid race. The first casualty: Lance Corporal Ben Keel, a marine on perimeter duty.

To learn what happened, Coalition scientists used neuroprosthetics and poorly understood xenobiology to resurrect Keel. He returned to life with a mostly robotic body, but with his mind and memories seemingly intact.

Only weeks later did the fugues start, each bringing longer-lasting visions of a shadowy hellscape.

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Quake Champions Official Website | Home

Transhuman Space – Steve Jackson Games

Excerpts

Transhuman Space won the Grog d’Or for the best roleplaying game, game line, or RPG setting of 2002.

In the coming decades, technologies like genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology will transform humanity. A strange new world is unfolding nightmarish to some, utopian to others. Soon we’ll have the power to reshape our children’s genes, build machines that think, and upload our minds into computers.

And Earth no longer confines us. Space tourism, mining the Moon and asteroids, a settlement on Mars: all are dreams poised to take wing.

The universe of Transhuman Space is a synthesis of these two visions a world in which ultra-technology and space travel fuse to forge a new destiny for mankind. Neither utopia nor dystopia, it is a place of hopes, fears, and new frontiers.

Written by David L. PulverEdited by Andrew HackardCover art by Christopher ShyIllustrated by Christopher Shy

Transhuman Space Line Editor: Phil Masters

242 black-and-white pages. Softcover.Suggested Retail Price $29.95Stock number 01-6020ISBN 978-1-55634-829-7 Available Now at Amazon

243 pages. Color PDF.Price $16.99Stock number 30-6708Always Available Click here to buy!

240 pages. Hardcover.Suggested Retail Price $36.95Stock number 6708ISBN 1-55634-454-6Out Of Print Click here for dealer info

208 black-and-white pages, softcover.Suggested Retail Price $29.95Stock number 6700ISBN 1-55634-652-2Out Of Print Click here for dealer info

It’s the year 2100. Humans have colonized the solar system. China and America struggle for control of Mars. The Royal Navy patrols the asteroid belt. Nanotechnology has transformed life on Earth forever, and gene-enhanced humans share the world with artificial intelligences and robotic cybershells. Our solar system has become a setting as exciting and alien as any interstellar empire. Pirate spaceships hijacking black holes… sentient computers and artificial “bioroids” demanding human rights… nanotechnology and mind control… Transhuman Space is cutting-edge science fiction adventure that begins where cyberpunk ends.

This Powered by GURPS line was created by David L. Pulver and illustrated by Christopher Shy. The core book, Transhuman Space, opens with close to a hundred pages of world and background material. The hardback edition includes a customized GURPS Lite no other books are required to use it, although the GURPS Basic Set and Compendium I are recommended for GMs. The softback requires the Basic Set and Compendium I, but nothing else.

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Transhuman Space – Steve Jackson Games

SingularityU

Co-founder & Executive Chairman

Peter Diamandis is an entrepreneur, business executive and the founder and Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, which leads the world in designing and launching large incentive prizes to drive radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.

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SingularityU

Ripple Price Forecast: XRP vs SWIFT, SEC Updates, and More

Ripple vs SWIFT: The War Begins
While most criticisms of XRP do nothing to curb my bullish Ripple price forecast, there is one obstacle that nags at my conscience. Its name is SWIFT.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is the king of international payments.

It coordinates wire transfers across 11,000 banks in more than 200 countries and territories, meaning that in order for XRP prices to ascend to $10.00, Ripple needs to launch a successful coup. That is, and always has been, an unwritten part of Ripple’s story.

We’ve seen a lot of progress on that score. In the last three years, Ripple wooed more than 100 financial firms onto its.

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Ripple Price Forecast: XRP vs SWIFT, SEC Updates, and More

Ripple Price Prediction: xRapid Shows Success, But SEC Still Holds Power

XRP Prices Hang in the Balance
Ripple bears like to claim that XRP “serves no purpose” in its technology, but recent success with the “xRapid” software says otherwise. That—plus the continual “Is XRP a security?” debate—drove Ripple prices round and round in circles last week.

I see these two forces working in opposite directions.

Investors should be happy that xRapid is providing genuine benefits to businesses that dared to take a chance on XRP. But does it matter if the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) designates XRP a security?
xRapid Success
For the uninitiated, Ripple has multiple offerings. One is “xCurrent,” a.

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Ripple Price Prediction: xRapid Shows Success, But SEC Still Holds Power

Cryptocurrency News: This Week on Bitfinex, Tether, Coinbase, & More

Cryptocurrency News
On the whole, cryptocurrency prices are down from our previous report on cryptos, with the market slipping on news of an exchange being hacked and a report about Bitcoin manipulation.

However, there have been two bright spots: 1) an official from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that Ethereum is not a security, and 2) Coinbase is expanding its selection of tokens.

Let’s start with the good news.
SEC Says ETH Is Not a Security
Investors have some reason to cheer this week. A high-ranking SEC official told attendees of the Yahoo! All Markets Summit: Crypto that Ethereum and Bitcoin are not.

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Cryptocurrency News: This Week on Bitfinex, Tether, Coinbase, & More

The Epic Relation Between Bitcoin and the Stock Market

Bitcoin Prices Are Less Independent Than You Think
Inside the world of cryptocurrencies, some truths go unquestioned: 1) centralization is terrible, 2) fixed money supplies are great, 3) cryptocurrencies are uncorrelated from stocks.

The last “truth” is now in question.

Many analysts, myself included, have raised questions about Bitcoin following the stock market before, but none of us made the case as strongly as Forbes contributor Clem Chambers.

Chambers recently used intraday trade charts to show that Bitcoin prices often follow the same patterns as the Dow Jones Index. (Source: “.

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The Epic Relation Between Bitcoin and the Stock Market

Cryptocurrency News: Looking Past the Bithumb Crypto Hack

Another Crypto Hack Derails Recovery
Since our last report, hackers broke into yet another cryptocurrency exchange. This time the target was Bithumb, a Korean exchange known for high-flying prices and ultra-active traders.

While the hackers made off with approximately $31.5 million in funds, the exchange is working with relevant authorities to return the stolen tokens to their respective owners. In the event that some is still missing, the exchange will cover the losses. (Source: “Bithumb Working With Other Crypto Exchanges to Recover Hacked Funds,”.

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Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETFs, Andreessen Horowitz, and Contradictions in Crypto

Cryptocurrency News
This was a bloody week for cryptocurrencies. Everything was covered in red, from Ethereum (ETH) on down to the Basic Attention Token (BAT).

Some investors claim it was inevitable. Others say that price manipulation is to blame.

We think the answers are more complicated than either side has to offer, because our research reveals deep contradictions between the price of cryptos and the underlying development of blockchain projects.

For instance, a leading venture capital (VC) firm launched a $300.0-million crypto investment fund, yet liquidity continues to dry up in crypto markets.

Another example is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s.

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Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETFs, Andreessen Horowitz, and Contradictions in Crypto

Cryptocurrency News: XRP Validators, Malta, and Practical Tokens

Cryptocurrency News & Market Summary
Investors finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel last week, with cryptos soaring across the board. No one quite knows what kicked off the rally—as it could have been any of the stories we discuss below—but the net result was positive.

Of course, prices won’t stay on this rocket ride forever. I expect to see a resurgence of volatility in short order, because the market is moving as a single unit. Everything is rising in tandem.

This tells me that investors are simply “buying the dip” rather than identifying which cryptos have enough real-world value to outlive the crash.

So if you want to know when.

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Cryptocurrency News: XRP Validators, Malta, and Practical Tokens

Cryptocurrency News: What You Need to Know This Week

Cryptocurrency News
Cryptocurrencies traded sideways since our last report on cryptos. However, I noticed something interesting when playing around with Yahoo! Finance’s cryptocurrency screener: There are profitable pockets in this market.

Incidentally, Yahoo’s screener is far superior to the one on CoinMarketCap, so if you’re looking to compare digital assets, I highly recommend it.

But let’s get back to my epiphany.

In the last month, at one point or another, most crypto assets on our favorites list saw double-digit increases. It’s true that each upswing was followed by a hard crash, but investors who rode the trend would have made a.

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Ethereum Price Forecast: Big Corporate Moves Could Bolster ETH Prices

Crypto Rally Slows Down
As I write this report, cryptocurrency prices are in the middle of a vicious tug of war between the bulls and the bears. And the bears are winning right now.

Most, if not all, of our favorite cryptocurrencies trended down over the last seven days, erasing the progress they made in earlier weeks.

Short-term volatility is completely overtaking the market, making it tough for existing holders of crypto assets.

But…

If you’re someone who is looking to enter the market, a sell-off is exactly the right time. How many times have I heard investors say, “If I had bought Bitcoin two years ago, I would have made [insert insane profits.

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Ethereum Price Forecast: Big Corporate Moves Could Bolster ETH Prices

Cryptocurrency Price Forecast: Trust Is Growing, But Prices Are Falling

Trust Is Growing…
Before we get to this week’s cryptocurrency news, analysis, and our cryptocurrency price forecast, I want to share an experience from this past week. I was at home watching the NBA playoffs, trying to ignore the commercials, when a strange advertisement caught my eye.

It followed a tomato from its birth on the vine to its end on the dinner table (where it was served as a bolognese sauce), and a diamond from its dusty beginnings to when it sparkled atop an engagement ring.

The voiceover said: “This is a shipment passed 200 times, transparently tracked from port to port. This is the IBM blockchain.”

Let that sink in—IBM.

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Cryptocurrency Price Forecast: Trust Is Growing, But Prices Are Falling

Transhuman Space – Steve Jackson Games

Excerpts

Transhuman Space won the Grog d’Or for the best roleplaying game, game line, or RPG setting of 2002.

In the coming decades, technologies like genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology will transform humanity. A strange new world is unfolding nightmarish to some, utopian to others. Soon we’ll have the power to reshape our children’s genes, build machines that think, and upload our minds into computers.

And Earth no longer confines us. Space tourism, mining the Moon and asteroids, a settlement on Mars: all are dreams poised to take wing.

The universe of Transhuman Space is a synthesis of these two visions a world in which ultra-technology and space travel fuse to forge a new destiny for mankind. Neither utopia nor dystopia, it is a place of hopes, fears, and new frontiers.

Written by David L. PulverEdited by Andrew HackardCover art by Christopher ShyIllustrated by Christopher Shy

Transhuman Space Line Editor: Phil Masters

242 black-and-white pages. Softcover.Suggested Retail Price $29.95Stock number 01-6020ISBN 978-1-55634-829-7 Available Now at Amazon

243 pages. Color PDF.Price $16.99Stock number 30-6708Always Available Click here to buy!

240 pages. Hardcover.Suggested Retail Price $36.95Stock number 6708ISBN 1-55634-454-6Out Of Print Click here for dealer info

208 black-and-white pages, softcover.Suggested Retail Price $29.95Stock number 6700ISBN 1-55634-652-2Out Of Print Click here for dealer info

It’s the year 2100. Humans have colonized the solar system. China and America struggle for control of Mars. The Royal Navy patrols the asteroid belt. Nanotechnology has transformed life on Earth forever, and gene-enhanced humans share the world with artificial intelligences and robotic cybershells. Our solar system has become a setting as exciting and alien as any interstellar empire. Pirate spaceships hijacking black holes… sentient computers and artificial “bioroids” demanding human rights… nanotechnology and mind control… Transhuman Space is cutting-edge science fiction adventure that begins where cyberpunk ends.

This Powered by GURPS line was created by David L. Pulver and illustrated by Christopher Shy. The core book, Transhuman Space, opens with close to a hundred pages of world and background material. The hardback edition includes a customized GURPS Lite no other books are required to use it, although the GURPS Basic Set and Compendium I are recommended for GMs. The softback requires the Basic Set and Compendium I, but nothing else.

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Transhuman Space – Steve Jackson Games

The Futurist: The Top Ten Transhumanist Technologies

The Lifeboat Foundation has a special report detailing their view of the top ten transhumanist technologies that have some probability of 25 to 30-year availability. Transhumanism is a movement devoted to using technologies to transcend biology and enhance human capabilities.

I am going to list out each of the ten technologies described in the report, provide my own assessment of high, medium, or low probability or mass-market availability by a given time horizon, and link to prior articles written on The Futurist about the subject.

10. Cryonics : 2025 – Low, 2050 – Moderate

I can see the value in someone who is severely maimed or crippled opting to freeze themselves until better technologies become available for full restoration. But outside of that, the problem with cryonics is that very few young people will opt to risk missing their present lives to go into freezing, and elderly people can only benefit after revival when or if age-reversal technologies become available. Since going into cryonic freezing requires someone else to decide when to revive you, and any cryonic ‘will’ may not anticipate numerous future variables that could complicate execution of your instructions, this is a bit too risky, even if it were possible.

9. Virtual Reality : 2012 – Moderate, 2020 – High

The Technological Progression of Video Games

The Next Big Thing in Entertainment, Part I, II, and III

The Mainstreaming of Virtual Reality

8. Gene Therapy : 2015 – Moderate, 2025 – High

The good news here is that gene sequencing techniques continue to become faster due to the computers used in the process themselves benefiting from Moore’s Law. In the late 1980s, it was thought that the human genome would take decades to sequence. It ended up taking only years by the late 1990s, and today, would take only months. Soon, it will be cost-effective for every middle-class person to get their own personal genome sequenced, and get customized medicines made just for them.

Are you Prepared to Live to 100?

7. Space Colonization : 2025 – Low, 2050 – Moderate

While this is a staple premise of most science fiction, I do not think that space colonization may ever take the form that is popularly imagined. Technology #2 on this list, mind uploading, and technology #5, self-replicating robots, will probably appear sooner than any capability to build cities on Mars. Thus, a large spaceship and human crew becomes far less efficient than entire human minds loaded into tiny or even microscopic robots that can self-replicate. A human body may never visit another star system, but copies of human minds could very well do so.

Nonetheless, if other transhumanist technologies do not happen, advances in transportation speed may enable space exploration in upcoming centuries.

6. Cybernetics : 2015 – High

Artificial limbs, ears, and organs are already available, and continue to improve. Artificial and enhanced muscle, skin, and eyes are not far.

5. Autonomous Self-Replicating Robots : 2030 – Moderate

This is a technology that is frightening, due to the ease at which humans could be quickly driven to extinction through a malfunction that replicates rouge robots. Assuming a disaster does not occur, this is the most practical means of space exploration and colonization, particular if the robots contain uploads of human minds, as per #2.

4. Molecular Manufacturing : 2020 – Moderate, 2030 – High

This is entirely predictable through the Milli, Micro, Nano, Pico curves.

3. Megascale Engineering (in space) : 2040 – Moderate

From the Great Wall of China in ancient times to Dubai’s Palm Islands today, man-made structures are already visible from space. But to achieve transhumanism, the same must be done in space. Eventually, elevators extending hundreds of miles into space, space stations much larger than the current ISS (240 feet), and vast orbital solar reflectors will be built. But, as stated in item #7, I don’t think true megascale projects (over 1000 km in width) will happen before other transhumanist technologies render the need for them obsolete.

2. Mind Uploading : 2050 – Moderate

This is what I believe to be the most important technology on this list. Today, when a person’s hardware dies, their software in the form of their thoughts, memories, and humor, necessarily must also die. This is impractical in a world where software files in the form of video, music, spreadsheets, documents, etc. can be copied to an indefinite number of hardware objects.

If human thoughts can reside on a substrate other than human brain matter, then the ‘files’ can be backed up. That is all there is to it.

1. Artificial General Intelligence : 2050 – Moderate

This is too vast of a subject to discuss here. Some evidence of progress appears in unexpected places, such as when, in 1997, IBM’s Deep Blue defeated Gary Kasparov in a chess game. Ray Kurzweil believes that an artificial intelligence will pass the Turing Test (a bellwether test of AI) by 2029. We will have to wait and see, but expect the unexpected, when you least expect it.

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The Futurist: The Top Ten Transhumanist Technologies

Werebeast Tropes – TV Tropes

“Werewolf?”

Young Frankenstein

This index is for tropes that are either specifically about werebeasts, or frequently come up in relation to werebeasts.

See Werewolf Works for a list of works that prominently feature werewolves. See also Vampire Tropes and Wolf Tropes. Sub-index of Shapeshifting. Compare and contrast Liminal Being, which shares two different natures at the same time.

Tropes about werebeasts

Tropes that happens often to werebeasts

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Werebeast Tropes – TV Tropes

Transhuman – Wikipedia

For persons “transitioning” to a non-human species, see Otherkin.

Transhuman, or trans-human, is the concept of an intermediary form between human and posthuman.[1] In other words, a transhuman is a being that resembles a human in most respects but who has powers and abilities beyond those of standard humans.[2] These abilities might include improved intelligence, awareness, strength, or durability. Transhumans sometimes appear in science-fiction as cyborgs or genetically-enhanced humans.

The use of the term “transhuman” goes back to French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who wrote in his 1949 book The Future of Mankind:

Liberty: that is to say, the chance offered to every man (by removing obstacles and placing the appropriate means at his disposal) of ‘trans-humanizing’ himself by developing his potentialities to the fullest extent.[3]

And in a 1951 unpublished revision of the same book:

In consequence one is the less disposed to reject as unscientific the idea that the critical point of planetary Reflection, the fruit of socialization, far from being a mere spark in the darkness, represents our passage, by Translation or dematerialization, to another sphere of the Universe: not an ending of the ultra-human but its accession to some sort of trans-humanity at the ultimate heart of things.[4]

In 1957 book New Bottles for New Wine, English evolutionary biologist Julian Huxley wrote:

The human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself not just sporadically, an individual here in one way, an individual there in another way, but in its entirety, as humanity. We need a name for this new belief. Perhaps transhumanism will serve: man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature. “I believe in transhumanism”: once there are enough people who can truly say that, the human species will be on the threshold of a new kind of existence, as different from ours as ours is from that of Peking man. It will at last be consciously fulfilling its real destiny.[5]

One of the first professors of futurology, FM-2030, who taught “new concepts of the Human” at The New School of New York City in the 1960s, used “transhuman” as shorthand for “transitional human”. Calling transhumans the “earliest manifestation of new evolutionary beings”, FM argued that signs of transhumans included physical and mental augmentations including prostheses, reconstructive surgery, intensive use of telecommunications, a cosmopolitan outlook and a globetrotting lifestyle, androgyny, mediated reproduction (such as in vitro fertilisation), absence of religious beliefs, and a rejection of traditional family values.[6]

FM-2030 used the concept of transhuman as an evolutionary transition, outside the confines of academia, in his contributing final chapter to the 1972 anthology Woman, Year 2000.[7] In the same year, American cryonics pioneer Robert Ettinger contributed to conceptualization of “transhumanity” in his book Man into Superman.[8] In 1982, American Natasha Vita-More authored a statement titled Transhumanist Arts Statement and outlined what she perceived as an emerging transhuman culture.[9]

Jacques Attali, writing in 2006, envisaged transhumans as an altruistic vanguard of the later 21st century:

Vanguard players (I shall call them transhumans) will run (they are already running) relational enterprises in which profit will be no more than a hindrance, not a final goal. Each of these transhumans will be altruistic, a citizen of the planet, at once nomadic and sedentary, his neighbor’s equal in rights and obligations, hospitable and respectful of the world. Together, transhumans will give birth to planetary institutions and change the course of industrial enterprises.[10]

In March 2007, American physicist Gregory Cochran and paleoanthropologist John Hawks published a study, alongside other recent research on which it builds, which amounts to a radical reappraisal of traditional views, which tended to assume that humans have reached an evolutionary endpoint. Physical anthropologist Jeffrey McKee argued the new findings of accelerated evolution bear out predictions he made in a 2000 book The Riddled Chain. Based on computer models, he argued that evolution should speed up as a population grows because population growth creates more opportunities for new mutations; and the expanded population occupies new environmental niches, which would drive evolution in new directions. Whatever the implications of the recent findings, McKee concludes that they highlight a ubiquitous point about evolution: “every species is a transitional species”.[11]

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Transhuman – Wikipedia

Steve Jackson Games

Gen Con is right around the corner (August 2-5), and SJ Games will be there in full force, playing games with all the fans! You can always stop by booth 1413 for a demo of any of our games, but if you’re looking for something a bit more scheduled, then our official event listings are what you want!

We’ll be running events in our organized-play section all weekend, featuring new Munchkin releases, classics like Ogre, Zombie Dice, and Illuminati, and the hot Munchkin Collectible Card Game.You can also learn to play our games in a more regimented way with our Learn To Play events, where you’ll walk through a full game and get a more personal experience. And for big-time tournaments, we’ve got you covered: Not only do we have the ever-popular Munchcathlon, but also our Munchkin CCG National Qualifier tournaments, leading into the Munchkin CCG National Championship on Saturday!

And of . . . [more]

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Steve Jackson Games