Merging humans and artificial intelligence systems.
The integration of humans and machines has already begun. Critics argue that this development may lead to a dystopian era where human nature is eliminated and replaced by beings altogether unknown. Others argue that machine integration may be the solution to most of mankind’s problems.
Improving human anatomy with enhancements that could prolong and better our quality of life is a tempting recourse for the scientific community. After all, the bettering of knowledge and our material conditions has been the driving force of scientific enterprise for millennia. Integration with artificial intelligence could give us greater insight and control over our bodies and ourselves.
All of this may seem far-fetched, like mid twentieth century predictions of flying DeLoreans and affordable condos on Venus. However, studies have emerged showing significant potential: neural interfaces, adaptive signal processing, complex systems modelling, machine reasoning, brain chip implants, engineered blood and even retinal implants are all being considered for development.
Investment has not been slow behind these ideas. Since 2014 there have been 576 AI start-up deals in healthcare. These have raised over $4.3bn, putting healthcare at the top of the AI research agenda. In the last five years the US FDA, recognising their potential to save lives and money, has granted ‘fast-track’ approval to 70 AI healthcare tools and devices.