Designer brains in the pursuit of human perfection

Are we working toward human perfection, or simply creating a sub-species of “lazy” and unfit humans, unequipped to live in the real world?

When I was younger, I used to see Stephen Hawking on television and look at him in wonder. Not so much because of what he was saying, since, as a child, I couldn’t understand much. But because, even at that time, I could understand that he, his life, was a scientific wonder. Stephen Hawking didn’t teach me anything about quantum physics and the secrets of the black holes. But he showed me that the future of medicine was made of scientific breakthroughs that we only thought about as fiction. More than that, that the future of medicine – or science, by the way – wasn’t so far away.

Scientific breakthroughs and technological advances are shaping every aspect of our lives now. We can see it as our small children reach for our phones and fully understand the technology. We can see it in healthcare, as we modify our immune system so it can fight cancer. We can see it as we interact in our daily lives with systems like SIRI or Alexa. We are, slowly and maybe unperceiving, having an enormous impact on human evolution. And some of us are working on it, very consciously, striving to reach that ideal human. To enhance our muscles and brains, to control our moods and, even, maybe, predict the future.

Photo by Jesse Orrico on Unsplash

This moment in time poses so many questions! Are we working toward human perfection, or simply speeding up an evolutionary process that leads to “lazy” and unfit human brains, unequipped to live in the real world? Is this work towards the cure of brain diseases, that cause so much incapacity, or is it dangerous research in the pursuit of a new race of genetically modified super-humans? More than that, is it to us, humans, scientists, to intervene on evolution? The technology already brought us mechanical arms and micro-chip implants on the brain. Science already allows us to genetically modify our bodies for enhancement. We can do it, but should we?

This is not just a theoretical discussion. Far more than that, it is a starting point to discuss what the future will be, or rather, what we want it to be. This is the ignition point of Loyal Advisory’s 2018 Unlecture, “Designer Brains on the Pursuit of Human Perfection”, next Wednesday. This is a session designed to create and share knowledge, and, specially, to ignite discussion. It grounds itself in a projection of the future. Of what it might be, and more than that, what we want it to be. The aim is to identify, clearly, what are the lines of future development that can be anticipated and implemented.
Simply said, what perspective of the future we want to work for and into.

You can learn more about the 2018 Unlecture and register here