Human augmentation is a way to increase a person’s strengths, abilities and physical characteristics. Augmentation does not have to involve the use of a mechanical device or a physical or chemical substance, as it can be accomplished by using a combination of social, technological and biological means. In this article, we will examine the different types of human augmentation and what is possible for each. We will also examine the different contexts that augmenting humans can take place in, from a cosmetic cosmetic context, to a non-consensual context, to a non-consensual and legal context.
In the not too distant future, will we ever be able to increase our mental, physical, and emotional capacities beyond the limits imposed by our natural bodies? This is already a growing trend in the world of science fiction, and in a future where technology gets more and more advanced, these concepts will become more and more believable.
With so many advances in technology and science, we’ve gone from creating a new model every year to creating a new model every month. 3D printing, gene sequencing, and other scientific breakthroughs have allowed us to advance human evolution at an unprecedented pace.
Humans are, without a doubt, among the most intellectual creatures on the planet. The desire to attain the peak of human perfection has always been an important part of the race’s development.
While we’ve lauded greats like Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, among others, the question remains: Is there a method to improve human intelligence? Yes, it is correct.
Augmentation is the process of improving or increasing one’s size or strength. Thus, to put it another way, Human Augmentation means making people larger and better, which doesn’t make much sense; so, what is the technology all about?
Also see: Humanoid AI: Less humanoid than you would imagine
Human Augmentation seeks to increase human productivity by enhancing or restoring our bodies’ and minds’ capacities. Limb prostheses to replace a lost arm or leg are a common example of a human enhancement owing to human augmentation. The technology was included in Gartner’s top ten list of key technological trends for 2020.
Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), ubiquitous computing, and other technologies are used to enable human enhancement. The machine or the environment is the primary part of the system in AR and VR. Human activity is the primary functional element around which the model is built in Human Augmentation. Different augmentation methods assist human activities, such as sight, touch, smell, and other sensory processing of the environment around them. Sensory and actuation technologies, as well as an infusion of information and Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques, are used to augment humans.
Human Enhancement, Human Augmentation, and Humanoids: What’s the Difference?
While the words Human Enhancement, Human Augmentation, and Humanoids may seem to be identical, they have quite distinct meanings.
Human enhancement is described as an effort to transcend the existing limits of the human body via natural or artificial means, either temporarily or permanently. It includes procedures that usually need surgical procedures or the use of pharmacological stimulants. However, unlike Human Augmentation, where there is direct contact, they do not have human-technology connection.
Wikimedia Commons has a photo of a humanoid.
A humanoid, on the other hand, is a non-human creature having human traits and shape. It is a kind of robot that resembles a person and can do some activities in the same way as humans can, but it is not a human.
Also see: Augmented Reality (AR) vs. Virtual Reality (VR) (AR).
Human augmentation may be classified into three types.
- Enhanced senses
- Actions that are enhanced
- Cognitive enhancement
Augmented senses are enhanced or expanded senses that are accomplished by presenting the world around them using information that is already accessible. Taste, hearing, eyesight, feeling, and scent are all enhanced in this way. They want to restore sensory impairments, mainly visual and auditory, or enhance the capabilities of existing senses through various techniques.
Sensory signals are enhanced or supplied via healthy senses in the event of deficits. Haptic actuators, a mechanical device that describes surroundings to a person with a visual impairment, are one example of this. Augmented reality (AR) interfaces may improve human perception of reality by enhancing information.
Additional sensors are used to enhance the human senses and extend their capabilities. Light sensors or small cameras, for example, may provide people with night vision and reach far beyond the human eyesight wavelength.
Action with a Boost
Motor augmentation, voice input, remote presence, increased movement and force, and other augmented actions are only a few examples. It is accomplished by detecting human behaviors and then converting them into physical activities as needed.
Previously, prosthetic limbs could only be used to restore a few limb functions, but because to technical advances, this has changed dramatically. Paralyzed people, for example, may now walk on artificial feet using exoskeletons rather of being restricted to basic motor and sensory abilities.
An artificial limb
Humans may use this technology to assist them with activities that need human intellect but are physically difficult, such as carrying products and lifting large objects. Exoskeletons may be constructed as independent entities and utilized in distant places. The human-exoskeleton interaction may be made more foolproof by utilizing virtual reality (VR) technology, which allows the person to view the world through the eyes of the exoskeleton.
A better condition of mental process for gaining information is augmented cognition. It is accomplished by detecting physiological and neurophysiological sensing of the user’s cognitive or mental state, interpreting it using various analytical tools, and adjusting the computer’s reaction to meet the user’s present and predicted requirements.
Decision-making abilities, sensory data augmentation, simultaneous processing of input from many sources, and remembering older knowledge are all examples.
Also see: What Is Hyperautomation and How Does It Work? What distinguishes it from automation?
Human Augmentation has been around for a long and has seen a number of successful implementations.
- Devices and limbs for prosthetics
- Smart glasses for aviation engineers that aid in the handling of critical components like the B-nut, preventing engine breakdowns.
- Teslasuit is a wearable haptic device that tracks and controls human body temperature, tracks motions, and provides haptic feedback.
- HoloLens 2 is a gadget that improves cooperation. In its holographic state, it aids the user in seeing and manipulating things.
- eSight is a gadget that allows blind people to see their surroundings.
- SolarEar is a business that creates hearing aids that are solar-rechargeable and environmentally friendly.
Many more applications are now being created, and work is being done on these models that have room for improvement.
Read more about the Internet of Behaviour (IoB) here. What makes it different from the Internet of Things?
Every new technology brings with it a new set of problems that must be addressed on an individual and societal level. Human augmentation is a relatively new idea, and although it is assisting many people with impairments, disabilities, and enhancement, it is not without flaws.
Privacy is one of the most frequent problems that arise with every new developing technology. Large quantities of user data, advertising, encouraging interest, and strategies are required to develop Human Augmentation technology. While it is a rapidly evolving technology, it may also be intrusive.
For example, Augmented Cognition immediately mind-maps information from the brain. When this information is utilized to regulate and train the model, privacy concerns arise. Everything becomes available, including your memories, knowledge, ideas, audio and video content. Sensors in other augmentations gather a lot of data for training and may intrude on privacy.
Another problem that may arise is social manipulation. It may be difficult to tell the difference between real and false occurrences, making manipulation more difficult to detect. Simulators and the human-computer interaction may also be tweaked. While AR, VR, and AI are widely utilized technologies, they may also be used to manufacture false aural and visual information.
Side consequences from human augmentation are possible. Chemical simulants and neurological implants may damage and influence a person in unforeseen ways, leading to manipulation once again.
Accessibility is another problem that people confront on a personal level. One of the reasons why augmented gadgets are not available to everyone is their cost. The individuals who profit from Human Augmentation are varied, and preserving equality in society may be difficult at times.
As previously said, social manipulation is one of the societal problems that must be addressed. Unemployment from labor occupations is another problem that is presently being addressed. AI technology, in conjunction with sensors and bots, has already taken over a few human labor jobs, and Augmented Actions technology has the potential to take away a few more. Exoskeletons may also be turned into something potentially deadly via social manipulation.
The difficulties are many since the technology is still in its infancy, and laws as well as further research and development in the area may help alleviate some, if not all, of them. International regulations and standards address problems such as equality, safety, and privacy, as well as other ethical concerns. Computer-human interactions are also being improved to make them safer and more reliable.
Also see: Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) vs. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) (IPA)
From its inception to its current status as a leading technology, human augmentation has gone a long way. Wearable Augmentation, which aims to enhance perceptions, activities, and cognition through wearable devices, is a possibility in the future. In contrast to utilizing a separate interface that may induce manipulation on many levels, it will immediately improve a human’s skills.
Wearable Augmentation would incorporate sensing technology that use numerous sensors and even cameras to detect the surroundings. It will use lighter but more effective models to assist memory, perception, and attention. Human actions will be recognized utilizing various methods such as voice recognition and eye tracking, as well as individualized AI assistance for various tasks.
Also see: Microprocessor vs. Microcontroller: What’s the Difference?
An engineering student, a creative geek, a TT player, and a voracious reader.
Human Augmentation: From Human to Super Human Human Augmentation is the practice of altering one’s physical human appearance to enhance one’s human capabilities. The term “human augmentation” encompasses a wide range of interventions that have been designed to increase the functionality of the human body, thus mitigating the effects of a reduced life span. While a number of human enhancements have been successfully tested and approved, other procedures have been deemed unacceptable and have been abandoned for ethical reasons. Many of these procedures have two decisive components: 1) a physical modification of the body, and 2) an extension of the human lifespan.. Read more about disadvantages of human enhancement and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can humans be augmented?
Yes, humans can be augmented.
What is an example of human enhancement?
Human enhancement is the process of enhancing human capabilities through scientific and technological means.
What is the meaning of human augmentation?
Human augmentation is the process of modifying a human being to improve their physical, mental, or social capabilities.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
- human augmentation
- human augmentation projects
- human enhancement technology
- human enhancement research
- nanotechnology human enhancement