Re: Genetic transition to posthumanism

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Fri Apr 27 2001 - 03:34:48 MDT

fredagen den 27 april 2001 02:42 Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> Genetics is too slow to have any impact, and receives little or no mention
> among knowledgeable transhumanists.

Well, I do mention it.

Genetics, in the guise of biotechnology, is a very likely precursor to dry
nanotech and quite possibly an integral part of much advanced nanotech (OK,
everybody is going to complain about the 4 billion year old legacy system,
but the sheer number of available libraries for it makes it competitive).

Genetic therapy and modifications might also become relevant. We already know
enough to start making them, and there are more and more genes with
interesting properties to tempt us. In the long run a biobody can only go so
far, but in the short run it is about our own (and out childrens) skin.

As you say, they take time, but at present we cannot say anything about the
speed AI or advanced nanotech will appear. As for AI (which I somehow suspect
is close to your heart :-) we do not at present have any proof-of-concept
(beside the wetware one) or research tree that is likely to lead up to it (as
in the nanotech case). It is a bit a "jack in the box"-technology: at present
you cannot predict when it will jump out. This makes dismissing everything
else a bit premature.

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