The world of Minority Report and Deus X is coming closer every day

*Slowly humanity is developing the capacity to augment bodies and minds with the help of computer-aided design and artificial intelligence. Corporations and Magnates like Elon Musk are working hard on different methods to augment our capabilities. Some are loading this work off to external devices (arguably the smartphone can be seen as the first mainstream cybernetic enhancement) and some companies are even trying their hand at implants into human brains. 1 With such an implant a Human can directly interface with computers via thought. This is an interesting concept that can lead to the right variety of scenarios in the future of health and human-machine interaction. Like with most other major technical developments the outcomes of such a technology range from utopian to devastatingly bleak.

The futurist inside of me thinks that augmenting the human body in these ways is the only possibility how humans can stay relevant alongside machines in the long run. But at the pace that computer technology becomes outdated and obsolete this brings it’s very own set of hard questions on how we handle and update these augmentations.

Then there is the problem of the economics of society. Already today there is a real world difference between poor and rich. And this divide is growing in the age of hyper-capitalism that we live in. I cannot even begin to think about the possible scenarios if we throw in cybernetic augmentation into the equation.

The obsolescence of the human brain

Then there are the promises and possibilities of artificial intelligence. Is it a realistic scenario that human brains will become obsolete in a few years, a few decades? Or can we augment them to stay relevant? Do we have to augment them? And if not, will we than be the servant of the machines?

Augmentation can help us to adapt to such a world. Augmentation in itself does not have to be that negative. We are already doing that with disabled people who, with the help of prosthetics learn to walk or see again. The biggest question will be up to which point augmentation is positive and an acceptable improvement of an individual’s condition. Where do we as a society draw the line between an augmentation that is elevating the quality of life and when it is creating a new type of human.

When science fiction becomes reality

As a huge fan of the science fiction genre I have come across a lot of different ideas and interesting scenarios how this all could play out. It will be interesting to see into which direction this cyberpunk world develops.

I am very excited and terrified at the same time.


Here is a selection of Movies, Books and Videogames that directly deal with the consequences of a world full of augmented humans:

Minority Report Black Mirror Deus Ex Ghost in the Shell Altered Carbon Cyberpunk77