Would you want to alter your future children's genes to make them smarter, stronger or better-looking? As the state of the science brings prospects like these closer to reality, an international debate has been raging over the ethics of enhancing human capacities with biotechnologies such as so-called smart pills, brain implants and gene editing. This discussion has only intensified in the past year with the advent of the CRISPR-cas9 gene editing tool, which raises the spectre of tinkering with our DNA to improve traits like intelligence, athleticism and even moral reasoning. Experts believe genetic enhancement is more likely to emerge out of China. In China, genetic enhancement may be linked to more generally approving attitudes toward old-fashioned eugenics programs such as selective abortion of fetuses with severe genetic disorders, though more research is needed to fully explain the difference.
It's hard to avoid the prominence of AI in our lives, and there is a plethora of predictions about how it will influence our future. In their new book Solomon's Code: Humanity in a World of Thinking Machines, co-authors Olaf Groth, Professor of Strategy, Innovation and Economics at HULT International Business School and CEO of advisory network Cambrian.ai, I caught up with the authors about how the continued integration between technology and humans, and their call for a "Digital Magna Carta," a broadly-accepted charter developed by a multi-stakeholder congress that would help guide the development of advanced technologies to harness their power for the benefit of all humanity. Lisa Kay Solomon: Your new book, Solomon's Code, explores artificial intelligence and its broader human, ethical, and societal implications that all leaders need to consider. AI is a technology that's been in development for decades.
The entirety of human knowledge has been leading to this point. Information technologies and life sciences are at an inflection. Two technologies that are the pinnacle of achievement in their domains are going mainstream. In the IT world, it's Artificial Intelligence (AI), super-powerful computers that can program themselves and learn without the assistance of humans. In Life Sciences, it's Gene Editing (CRISPR/Cas9), the ability to reprogram genomes and change the course of evolution.
The scientists and engineers spearheading the creation of artificial beings and bionic people are responding to the magnetism of the technological imperative, the pull of a scientific problem as challenging as any imaginable. Fascinating scientific puzzle though it is, the creation of artificial beings is also expected to meet important needs for society and individuals. Industrial robots are already widely used in factories and on assembly lines. Robots for hazardous duty, from dealing with terrorist threats to exploring hostile environments, including distant planets, are in place or on the drawing boards. Such duty could include military postings because there is a longstanding interest in self-guided battlefield mechanisms that reduce the exposure of human soldiers, and in artificially enhanced soldiers with increased combat effectiveness.
There's a well-devised, satanic conspiracy to replace humans with robots. This conspiracy-fact is being played out between government, a specific group of billionaires and the mad scientist assembling this replacement project. The Universal Basic Income aspect of this conspiracy is the monetary pacifier, the mass domestication, the frog in the pot of gradually boiling water, if you will, to prevent a premature, informed revolt before the actual replacement process.