Kim Solez Mainstreaming Transhumanism in the Universities and Beyond
Kim Solez, MD
The last decade has brought a profound change in
the way we humans interact. Our imagined future of
merger between human and electronic interface has
crept into our lives; social networks, adept at
instantaneous byte-sized communications, now
permeate the younger generations. There is still a
chasm between hard-Transhumanism, and this soft-
Transhumanism, defined by our interactions with
personal electronics, but there is no sign of these
interactions abating. Fully embracing this
technological revolution, within the University
classroom and beyond, is beneficial to the learning
experience and to our cultural growth as human
beings.– Ross Lockwood HI-SEAS sMars mission May 4, 2014!
The technological singularity occurs as artificial
intelligences surpass human beings as the smartest
and most capable life forms on the Earth.
Technological development is taken over by the
machines, who can think, act and communicate so
quickly that normal humans cannot even comprehend
what is going on. The machines enter into a "runaway
reaction" of self-improvement cycles, with each new
generation of A.I.s appearing faster and faster. From
this point onwards, technological advancement is
explosive, under the control of the machines, and
thus cannot be accurately predicted (hence the term
"Singularity"). – Ray Kurzweil
Course conceptualized in
March 2011, tested with
focus groups in
May for its suitability as a
course for both
Ten minute introduction
Fifty minute lecture
Twenty minute discussion
In the course we talk about
machines replacing many of the
functions of human beings. This
picture was taken by a machine
without human intervention, as
were many of the best still
images from the course. The
video camera is constantly
comparing the scene to
algorithms and takes still
pictures when the requirements
of the interesting picture
algorithm are satisfied.
First teaching session 2011 Recent teaching session 2014
Hot-linked tables of contents in YouTube video descriptions at
http://www.youtube.com/user/kimsolez allow one
to jump right to content of interest.
Heather Graves, from Department
of English and Film Studies, in
Faculty of Arts. Diversity of views
and backgrounds is an important
feature of the course. Tech
We shoot broadcast quality video of each lecture
& discussion. http://www.singularitycourse.com
Previous lectures at
Students critique one past lecture, and suggest
improvements in presentation and hot-linked
table of contents (20% of grade).
Students write one 3,000 word paper (40%) and
give 20 min. presentation on same subject
(30%). Also graded on class participation (10%).
No required reading. Suggested reading list in
course outline, readings suggested by Email.
The technological Singularity. Existential
risks, AI, genomics, and nanotech.
Ways to optimize a positive outcome for
humanity in the co-evolution of humans
and machines . The influence of these
considerations on medicine of the future.
Dean of Science speaking, prominent
people internationally. Most lectures not
very “medical”. Easily understood.
Balanced view provided by incorporating
both tech skeptics and tech advocates.
Philippe van Nedervelde (7/12/13) ”H+ers are a
*particularly* fractious lot. Building an *effective*
alliance of highly opinionated hyper-individualists
many of which lack critical elementary social
skills — hey there Aspie brothers! — is actually
far more challenging than herding cats. In
comparison, cats still seem positively herd-able.
So, let's all support each other morally and
nominally, sure. But we probably should abandon
the naive delusions that transhumanists are
capable of working together effectively. Certainly
not in groups over a significant size. ”
The young people from my course are little by little
infiltrating the discussion groups with normal human
interactions and we are already in 2014 seeing an
improvement in productivity. It is something that only
the young people among us can fix!
InternetEvolution.com “ThinkerNet Blog”
had essays written criticizing Ray Kurzweil
by people who had never read any of his
And people criticizing Peter Diamandis’
Abundance by people who had never read
Frustrating. What is the worst you can
imagine happening in this circumstance?
Medical student elective participation in course.
International peer review of YouTube videos, modifications made.
Two Quantum Biology lectures.
Young person old person point counterpoint lecture January 30th,
Abdullah Saleh/Earle Waugh Medical Ethics in a World of
Robots(What will we allow when everything is possible).
Collaboration with Disruptive Technologies in Medicine course in
Budapest, Hungary, the only other course somewhat like this one.
We are constantly seeking ways to enhance the intellectual
ferment/exchange of ideas and improve the course. Your input is
Nova program on PBS Television (7 million viewers)
Big Bang Theory (the TV show; 20 million viewers)
Singularity Summit/Singularity 1on1 (9,000 views per
Kim Solez – Technology and Future of Medicine Course
LABMP 590 (2,550 views per video)
All natural disease may be eliminated, leaving
only man-made diseases. But that may leave
as much for physicians to do as there is today!
Challenging responses to bioterrorism and
stem cell technologies.
Focus of medicine no longer disease but
enhancement, elevating the human condition,
which will extend beyond the physical to the
moral and spiritual.
Social responsibility an important aspect of
medicine and one of the focuses of the course.
“It is the curse of humanity that it learns to tolerate even
the most horrible situations by habituation. Physicians
are the natural attorneys of the poor, and the social
problems should largely be solved by them.”
We need the mainstream public to regard the
Transhumanism as fact, not fiction.
We need to promote organized thinking about
the future in Universities and beyond.
We need to make increasing efforts to make
Transhumanism accessible and inclusive, with
low barrier to entry, incorporating young people,
and balanced views/diversity. “Transhumanism