My Book *Posthumanity, Anticipations of the Next Historical Era*

Description

Human history can be divided into three eras, the foraging, farming, and industrial eras, separated by the agricultural and industrial revolutions. Given that such drastic change has occurred in the past, many predict similarly drastic changes in the future, with a future era as different from ours as ours is from the preindustrial eras. What will be the catalyst for the next era? One possibility is biological superintelligence, where humans, through genetic engineering, have achieved very high levels of intelligence. Due to rapid advances in genomic prediction and gene editing, this may become possible within the next five years.

In Posthumanity, I attempt to foresee the era that will result from biological superintelligence, the era of the posthuman. I describe not just the technology that they will possess, but also their economics, politics, sociology, culture, and belief systems. How will they see themselves, and how will they see us? How different from us will they be?

How to read

PDF (Preferable, if you’re comfortable reading PDFs.)

As a series of blog posts.

As a printable book – Coming soon!

Comment on the book and report spelling and grammatical errors below.

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8 thoughts on “My Book *Posthumanity, Anticipations of the Next Historical Era*

  1. Phille

    “This has not gone into hiring more faculty, the faculty to student ratio is unchanged, it is only the administrator to student ratio which has gone down.” Should probably be “up”.

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  2. Phille

    “By 2028, 5% of children in the United States will be born using this method, rising to rising to 15% in 2038, and 20% in 2043.” Doubling of “rising to”

    “Autism spectrum disorder is the only negative phenomenon it had been found to correlate positively with.” Also myopia.

    I think artificial gametes + embryo selection is the most likely short term route to very significant IQ gains. And iterative embryo selection the most likely way to achieve super human intelligence.

    Feel free to not publish the typo comments.

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  3. Phille

    About Moore’s law: For AI the relevant question is the speed up of GPUs and other dedicated hardware. At the moment it seems quite unlikely that that particular growth curve will flatten in the next ten years.

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    1. For modern AI, sure. Nobody knows what will be necessary for artificial general intelligence, relevant to the question of a singularity in 2040. If the time it takes to do any task consistently falls by the same factor, then the structure of the program won’t affect it’s speedup. But if only some tasks can be done much faster, the speedup will be limited by its slowest component.

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      1. Phille

        The human brain proves that AGI cannot need much serial processing. So looking at the progress in more parallel computing architectures makes a lot of sense to me. I’m not sure what kind of structure a program would have, that doesn’t have much serial processing but also doesn’t run fast on GPUs.

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  4. First chapter has a throwaway stat about 7 billion people growing at 1% a year for 15000 years (that’s around 4e74) ending up more numerous than atoms in the universe. Lower bound estimates I see for the number of atoms in the universe are 1e78, with most estimates being higher.

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