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DW VSIM 2020 - Scenarios for 2020-2025

Slides used by David Wood, Chair of London Futurists and co-founder of Transhumanist UK, at the VSIM 2020 conference on 29th July. See http://vsim-conf.info/

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DW VSIM 2020 - Scenarios for 2020-2025

  1. 1. David Wood London Futurists How transhumanism can in the next five years @dw2 XIII International & Interdisciplinary Scientific Conference VANGUARD SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS IN MANAGEMENT 2020 achieve (much) greater impact
  2. 2. https://transhumanist.uk/
  3. 3. How society might respond to a growing anticipation of healthy superlongevity David Wood London Futurists @dw2 Scenarios for 2020-2025 XIII International & Interdisciplinary Scientific Conference VANGUARD SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS IN MANAGEMENT 2020
  4. 4. How society might respond to a growing anticipation of healthy superlongevity David Wood London Futurists @dw2 Scenarios for 2020-2025 1. What does the public presently think about potential healthy superlongevity? 2. Does it matter what the public thinks about potential healthy superlongevity? 3. How might that public view change in the years ahead? 4. What could influence how the public view will change in the years ahead? Four scenarios
  5. 5. A. Helping people to “age in place” better • Despite aging, people can have fuller lives • This is the focus of most “healthy aging” initiatives B. Tech enabling more people to be “superagers” • Superagers age more slowly: fewer chronic diseases • They can live like they’re 75, despite being 95+ C. Tech enabling people to be “forever young” • They can live like they’re 35, despite being 125+ • The abolition of aging / Undoing aging Three waves of healthy longevity
  6. 6. A. Helping people to “age in place” better • Despite aging, people can have fuller lives • This is the focus of most “healthy aging” initiatives B. Tech enabling more people to be “superagers” • Superagers age more slowly • They can live like they’re 75, despite being 95+ C. Tech enabling people to be “forever young” • They can live like they’re 35, despite being 125+ • The abolition of aging / Undoing aging What does the public presently think about potential healthy superlongevity? It would be nice to live longer Healthier people will be better for the economy It’s an unrealistic fantasy It would be bad for the planet and for society
  7. 7. Does it matter what the public thinks about potential healthy superlongevity? It would be nice to live longer Healthier people will be better for the economy It’s an unrealistic fantasy It would be bad for the planet and for society What people choose to study, and what careers to take Whether people become citizen scientists supporting the field The projects in which individuals and trusts choose to invest Actions by politicians: public funding, updating regulations…
  8. 8. How might the public view change in the years ahead (2020-2025)? Tipping point? External shock?
  9. 9. Geoffrey Moore: How innovation spreads Laggards, sceptics Customers want technology and features Customers want complete solutions, reliability, and convenience Early adopters, visionariesInnovators, technology enthusiasts THECHASM Early majority Late majority Can accept poor usability Won’t accept poor usability Ready to walk a solitary path Requires social validation “Crossing the Chasm” (1991) (people who are like me)
  10. 10. How might the public view change in the years ahead (2020-2025)? Inertia prevails Hearts harden Interest surges Conflict grows Little change in attitude Growing disbelief and opposition Understanding and enthusiasm Bitter rivalries dominate
  11. 11. What might cause growing disbelief and opposition? Hearts harden Growing disbelief and opposition Trials are perceived to have failed Claims are assessed as over-hyped Community experiences schisms Prominent backers reverse position “Natural” ideologies more popular Anti-elitist sentiment grows
  12. 12. Countering growing disbelief and opposition Trials are perceived to have failed Claims are assessed as over-hyped Community experiences schisms Prominent backers reverse position “Natural” ideologies more popular Anti-elitist sentiment grows Highlight successful trials Beware over-promising Embrace diversity within limits Highlight new prominent backers Fight and win the battle of ideas Clarify the benefits to everyone
  13. 13. What might cause growing interest and enthusiasm Highlight successful trials Beware over-promising Embrace diversity within limits Highlight new prominent backers Fight and win the battle of ideas Clarify the benefits to everyone Interest surges Understanding and enthusiasm
  14. 14. Highlight successful trials • Methuselah Mouse prize ‒ Rejuvenating middle-aged mice • Rejuvenating middle-aged dogs • Forever Healthy “Rejuvenation Now” reports • Lifespan.io “Rejuvenation Roadmap” • Reports in Nature ‒ 5th Sept 2019 ‒ “First hint that body’s biological age can be reversed” 05 SEPTEMBER 2019
  15. 15. Beware over-promising • Avoid examples which will fall apart under scrutiny ‒ Apply “red teaming” adversarial checking • Ensure the best examples are well known • Emphasise that predictions involve probabilities ‒ Explain factors which can influence outcomes • Enable portfolio investing ‒ As in Juvenescence fund Message management is important!
  16. 16. Framework to embrace diversity within limits • Anticipate issues in managing the wider community ‒ Obtain “1 + 1 = 3” rather than “too many cooks” ‒ Avoid deterring potential important allies • Accept that different contributors want to operate at several different ambition levels Community management is important! A. Age in place better B. Superagers C. Forever Young D. Transhumanism E. Immortality(?)
  17. 17. Humanism: Respect human wellbeing The ultimate guide is human feeling/intuition Honed by experience, reflection, community… Don’t place undue faith in any one authority Don’t place nature on a pedestal either Transhumanism: Humanism+ The human species in its current form does not represent the end of our development but rather a comparatively early phase Don’t put undue priority on protecting all aspects of today’s human nature We can do a lot better – with wisdom and care
  18. 18. What is human nature? Precious?! Divinely created?! Uniquely evolved?! Not to be tampered with?! A mix of features! Some should be preserved! Some should be enhanced! Some should be transcended!
  19. 19. Transcending human physical tendencies towards decay and decrepitude 1. Super longevity: Significantly improved physical health, including much longer lifespans Transcending human irrational tendencies towards mental blind spots and collective stupidity (cognitive biases) 2. Super intelligence: Significantly improved thinking capability Transcending human emotionally self-defeating tendencies towards depression, alienation, vicious emotions, & needless suffering 3. Super wellbeing: Significantly improved states of consciousness Transcending human anti-social tendencies towards xenophobia, divisiveness, deception, and the abuse of power 4. Super democracy: significantly improved social inclusion & resilience, whilst upholding liberty & diversity The four ‘supers’ of technoprogressive transhumanism
  20. 20. How to decide? A mix of features! Some should be preserved! Some should be enhanced! Some should be transcended! The best of Humanity 1.0 • Scientific understanding • Cultural appreciation • Integrated diversity • Creative imagination • Critically evaluated • Collective wisdom • Approached step-by-step
  21. 21. What might cause growing interest and enthusiasm Highlight successful trials Beware over-promising Embrace diversity within limits Highlight new prominent backers Win the battle of ideas Clarify the benefits to everyone The Longevity Dividend S. Jay Olshansky, George M. Martin, James L. Kirkland
  22. 22. Adverse social security impact? 1. How can pensions be paid, for long-lived people? • Trying to increase pension age is political dynamite! • But superagers will need use less healthcare costs • And automation can reduce other costs ‒ Education, housing, nutritious food, materials… 2. Envision a “basic pension for all” (ALL ages) • Usually known as “universal basic income” (UBI) • Paid for by redistributing society’s abundance Leaving plenty for everyone! Less money needed!
  23. 23. Adverse environmental impact? Environmental impact = Population size x Average energy usage x Carbon intensity Recycling effectiveness Technology increases Technology decreases Technology increases Synthetic biology (clean meat) (lab-grown meat) Green energy (solar/wind…) Negative emissions technologies Nanotech (repair & recycling) Spacetech (eventually)
  24. 24. Adverse social impact? 1. No scope for promotion if our elders don’t retire? • But some circulation can be enforced • (like the term limits on US President) 2. Risk of dictators remaining in power forever? • But we need better politics in any case 3. Risk of division: “almost gods” vs. “mainly useless”? • Stronger democratic oversight needed of economy • Ensure fruits of abundance are shared widely With no one left behind
  25. 25. Adverse philosophical impact? 1. Loss of purpose, if life is potentially endless? • Compare: loss of purpose, if there is no God? • But we humans can make our own purpose! • Young children show us how, with their zest for life 2. Purpose, in a world of tech-enabled abundance? • The same tech revolution that gives us “forever young” can also give us wise overseeing AI robots • Huge scope for human creativity and exploration • Arts, sports, literature, outer space and inner worlds
  26. 26. How might the public view change in the years ahead (2020-2025)? Inertia prevails Hearts harden Interest surges Conflict grows Little change in attitude Growing disbelief and opposition Understanding and enthusiasm Bitter rivalries dominate

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