Would your body work better with some artificial parts? Will you live longer, perhaps a lot longer, than you now expect? The next decade promises another qualitative shift in the way we view technology, as once purely fictional concepts—robots, cyborg parts, and the many variations in between—become part of reality.
Gregory Benford and Elisabeth Malartre's Beyond Human treats the landscape of human self-change and robotic development as poles of the same phenomenon. Can we go too far in making ourselves machine-like or making machines resemble us? Once made, what will such creatures think about us? These questions will arise in myriad ways in the next few decades, as we press against boundaries that a short while ago existed only in works of the imagination. Written in a lively and provocative style, this is a readable book about the accumulation of small scientific advances that add up to something large and challenging.
Praise for Beyond Human
“Interviews with pioneers and participants in enhancement research, robotics and engineering, and informed perspectives on the theory, economics, and actuality of life extension, give Beyond Human the flavor of a tourist guide to the future, conducted by natives…. Serve[s] up a feast.” —Nature
“The simple title of this book belies its profundity—and its sense of humor. Besides an up-to-date, comprehensive overview of developments in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence, physicist Benford and biologist Malartre also address deeper questions about the relationship between the brain and the mind, as well as humankind’s nervous relationship with increasingly sophisticated machines.” —Publishers Weekly