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."


HellKaiserRyo said...

That quote about creating a slave class is the same type of unethical crap motivating the left-wing bioluddites.

Snake Oil Baron said...

It ought to be telling that people who are intelligent or creative in business or entrepreneurial endeavors; who should be (in a zero-sum world that most people believe in) having the most to lose by increasing the number of intelligent people and machines in the world, thereby decreasing the value of individual intelligence, are the ones who are speaking out in favor of cognitive enhancement and AI.

But then it ought to be apparant that the Canadian/American FTA and NAFTA did not lead to the apocalypse that was predicted and that Communism does not work.

People are unwilling to accept anything that challenges their definitions of "compassion," "fairness," "equality" and "common sense" (theocrats and totalitarians would add "order," "security," "morality" etc.) They will resist such challenges by reality to the point of accepting a world where each one of these same values is crushed to preserve the beliefs that the definitions are based on.

The solution is the promotion of intelligence. Whether it is human enhancement (which is basically what education is to start with), AI, or more intelligent forms of societal organization, intelligence allows assumptions to be challenged and mistakes to be learned from. The expansion of intelligence is at around equal importance to the promotion of freedom.