September 28, 2007

Craig Venter, billionaire geneticist, supports cognitive enhancement

Craig Venter indicates his support of the goal of cognitive enhancement, a core transhumanist objective, while discussing the movie Blade Runner

Blade Runner was a landmark film that was prescient in anticipating globalization, genetic engineering, and biometric security. It also had influence in architecture and in movies and anime. It presented a plausible future environment. It projected the ethnodemographic (more asians and hispanics in the USA) shifts and that large corporations would have superior technology to what is available to law enforcement.

Craig Venter says:
The movie [Blade Runner] has an underlying assumption that I just don't relate to: that people want a slave class. As I imagine the potential of engineering the human genome, I think, wouldn't it be nice if we could have 10 times the cognitive capabilities we do have? But people ask me whether I could engineer a stupid person to work as a servant. I've gotten letters from guys in prison asking me to engineer women they could keep in their cell. I don't see us, as a society, doing that

Ray Kurzweil's comment on Blade Runner:
"The scenario of humans hunting cyborgs doesn't wash because those entities won't be separate. Today, we treat Parkinson's with a pea-sized brain implant. Increase that device's capability by a billion and decrease its size by a hundred thousand, and you get some idea of what will be feasible in 25 years. It won't be, 'OK, cyborgs on the left, humans on the right.' The two will be all mixed up."

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