There is a growing realization that those who need, very legitimately, therapeutic treatments for handicaps or other abnormalities are increasingly going to be the ones who benefit from enhancement technologies. Whether it’s advanced prosthetics or other kinds of enhancement - brain-computer interfaces, neuron enhancements, genetic therapies and so forth. And gradually, this might make them better off, so to speak, than they were.
This could become an elective process, of course. Particularly wealthy people might voluntarily seek genetic enhancements that they don’t necessarily need per se. And that’s why there’s some talk that we could be moving into a world of super species.
We know that many people experiment, illegally or otherwise, with age control drugs and things like this. There’s a likelihood, in fact, that there’s going to be a manipulation of these to benefit the few. And then with the informational systems that we might build around this, you could see a lot of inequality emerging if the super-rich become a super species and then create kind of walled gardens of community around this. This is the stuff of perhaps science fiction, but again, the technology could make that possible.
The biotechnologies that we increasingly have at our disposal could or already are leading to this shift from therapy to enhancement. We have think about that. In addition, what are some of the wonderful things that could happen, such as massive eradication of disease and so forth?
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
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