1. Anti-Aging through Genetic Engineering is probably the one we’re going to figure out first as we already have some really smart people working on the problem, like Audrey DeGrey from SNES.
The idea here is to look at what causes biological aging, and figure out solutions to optimize those systems.
We know this is possible because animals with negligible senescence exist, like lobsters, who die from old age.
A lobsters ability to reproduce, and it’s internal functions don’t decrease as it ages. Lobsters can’t die of old age, aka practically immortal.
In humans we have a good idea of where aging comes from – not to oversimplify the problem, but telomeres seem to be the bottleneck in human aging.
When our telomeres run out, our cells can’t divide anymore, our organs begin to deteriorate until something breaks which takes out the rest of the system.
2. Regenerative Medicine is also very interesting and something we’re already doing at a basic level today.
I think 3d printing organs would fall under this category — we can print livers, ears, skin cells, etc.
Soon we’ll be implanting these synthetic/organic organs into humans instead of testing on other animals.
If you need a new kidney of a certain type, instead of needing a donor kidney, you could get one printed with the correct stem cells.
3. Cryonics is basically the idea that you can freeze your human body just after ‘death’, delaying the decay of the body and tissue.
The hope is in the far future we’ll be able to build systems to ‘fix’ whatever caused your death.
By preserving your current meat-body, you’re basically buying yourself some time to see if we can figure out immortality in 10, 100, 1000 years.
4. Nanomedicine deals with nanoscale robots which act as supplements to our existing biological systems.
They can deliver medicine, fix broken bones, fight cancer, and even model our brain structure in hopes of being able to re-create it.
If / when we nail nano-medicine, we’re going to have nano-everything, and that will be a really interesting time.
We could end up like star-trek with replicators living in abundance, or as grey-goo.
Hopefully not grey-goo.
5. Artificial Intelligence is basically the point where our computers become smarter / faster / better at calculating than the humans who created them.
When computers can code themselves, and can do it better than us, we lose our importance in the system.
We would have created a new life – an artificial intelligence, which would essentially be a new life-form, with humanity being its creator.
They can help us, be ambivalent, or maybe they just have no concept of any of the things we’re worried about.
Money? for what? AI doesn’t need food, water or shelter. They can’t be destroyed. I think the key is what will their motivations be?
The psychology of AI is an interesting concept – what will drive them? Simply optimizing numbers?
What does this mean for humans? Will we be out-optimized? Will we need to leave the system?
6. Digital Immortality will happen once we’re able to track the neuron process in the human brain.
Imagine an implant when you’re born. It tracks all the neuron impulses in your brain from birth until *death(1)*.
Basically all your experiences, all your thoughts, everything, would be stored (and encrypted, hopefully).
When you die the first time, you would simply get a new body, and all of your experiences would be uploaded to it.
New body, same thoughts – new you? Maybe.
At this point, we would also probably have a collective-conscious, where you wouldn’t need a physical body, but could live on ‘the wire’.
7. The Borg.
You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.