- The Reckless March Towards Transhumanism
- The U.K. Ministry of Defense and the German Bundeswehr Office for Defense Planning Human stress that human augmentation needs to be a key area of focus to win future wars
- Human augmentation will not be restricted to the military ranks. It’s really a way to further separate classes of humans, with the rich and powerful elite eventually using their augmented “super-human” status as justification to rule everyone else
- The goal of The Fourth Industrial Revolution — introduced and pushed by the World Economic Forum — is transhumanism, the merging of man with machine
- Human augmentation can directly affect behavior, either positively or to the detriment of that person
- In the transhumanist view, the human body is a “platform” that can be augmented in myriad ways, physically, psychologically and socially
A May 2021 project report by the U.K. Ministry of Defense, created in partnership with the German Bundeswehr Office for Defense Planning, offers shocking highlights of the dystopian cybernetics future that global technocrats are pushing mankind toward.
The report, “Human Augmentation — The Dawn of a New Paradigm, a Strategic Implications Project,”1 reviews the scientific goals of the U.K. and German defense ministries, and they are precisely what the title suggests. Human augmentation is stressed as being a key area to focus on in order to win future wars.
But human augmentation will not be restricted to the military ranks. It’s really a way to further separate classes of humans, with the rich and powerful elite being augmented “super-humans.” It’s worth noting that anything released to the public is a decade or more behind current capabilities, so everything in this report can be considered dated news, even though it reads like pure science fiction.
“… the field of human augmentation has the potential to transform society, security and defense over the next 30 years,” the report states. “We must begin to understand the implications of these changes and shape them to our advantage now, before they are thrust upon us.
Technology in warfare has traditionally centered on increasingly sophisticated platforms that people move and fight from, or artefacts that they wear or wield to fight with. Advances in the life sciences and converging developments in related fields are, however, beginning to blur the line between technology and the human …
Many technologies that have the potential to deliver strategic advantage out to 2050 already exist and further advances will undoubtedly occur … Our potential adversaries will not be governed by the same ethical and legal considerations that we are, and they are already developing human augmentation capabilities.
Our key challenge will be establishing advantage in this field without compromising the values and freedoms that underpin our way of life …
When we think of human augmentation it is easy to imagine science fiction inspired suits or wonder drugs that produce super soldiers, but we are on the cusp of realizing the benefits in a range of roles now. Human augmentation will help to understand, optimize and enhance performance leading to incremental, as well as radical, improvements.”
Changing What It Means To Be Human
As noted in the report, “Human augmentation has the potential to … change the meaning of what it means to be a human.” This is precisely what Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), has stated is the goal of The Fourth Industrial Revolution.2
WEF has been at the center of global affairs for more than 40 years, and if you take the time to dive into WEF’s Fourth Industrial Revolution material, you realize that it’s all about transhumanism. It’s about the merger of man and machine. This is a dystopian future WEF and its global allies are actively trying to implement, whether humanity at large agrees with it or not.
Schwab dreams of a world in which humans are connected to the cloud, able to access the internet through their own brains. This, of course, also means that your brain would be accessible to people who might like to tinker with your thoughts, emotions, beliefs and behavior, be they the technocratic elite themselves or random hackers. As noted by history professor Yuval Noah Harari in late 2019, “humans are now hackable animals.”3 As noted in the featured report:4
“Human augmentation will become increasingly relevant, partly because it can directly enhance human capability and behavior and partly because it is the binding agent between people and machines.
Future wars will be won, not by those with the most advanced technology, but by those who can most effectively integrate the unique capabilities of both people and machines. The importance of human-machine teaming is widely acknowledged but it has been viewed from a techno-centric perspective.
Human augmentation is the missing part of this puzzle. Thinking of the person as a platform and understanding our people at an individual level is fundamental to successful human augmentation.”
Key words I’d like to draw your attention to is the affirmation that human augmentation can “directly enhance behavior.” Now, if you can enhance behavior, that means you can change someone’s behavior. And if you can change a person’s behavior in a positive way, you can also control it to the person’s own detriment.
Theoretically, absolutely anyone, any random civilian with a brain-to-cloud connection and the needed biological augmentation (such as strength or speed) could be given wireless instructions to carry out an assassination, for example, and pull it off flawlessly, even without prior training.
Alternatively, their physical body could temporarily be taken over by a remote operator with the prerequisite skills. Proof of concept already exists, and is reviewed by Dr. Charles Morgan, professor in the department of national security at the University of New Haven, in the lecture below. Using the internet and brain implants, thoughts can be transferred from one person to another. The sender can also directly influence the physical movements of the receiver.
The Human Platform
On page 12 of the report, the concept of the human body as a platform is described, and how various parts of the human platform can be augmented. For example:
- Physical performance such as strength, dexterity, speed and endurance can be enhanced, as well as physical senses. One example given is gene editing for enhanced sight
- Psychological performance such as cognition, emotion and motivation can be influenced to activate and direct desired behavior. Examples of cognitive augmentation include improving memory, attention, alertness, creativity, understanding, decision-making, intelligence and vigilance
- Social performance — “the ability to perceive oneself as part of a group and the readiness to act as part of the team” — can be influenced. Communication skills, collaboration and trust are also included here
They list several different ways to influence the physical, psychological and social performance of the “human platform,” including genetics (germ line and somatic modification), the gut microbiome, synthetic biology, invasive (internal) and noninvasive (external) brain interfaces, passive and powered exoskeletons, herbs, drugs and nano technology, neurostimulation, augmented reality technologies such as external holograms or glasses with built-in artificial intelligence, and sensory augmentation technologies such as external sensors or implants. As noted in the report:
“The senses can be extended by translating frequencies beyond the normal human range into frequencies that can been seen, heard or otherwise detected. This could allow the user to ‘see’ through walls, sense vibrations and detect airborne chemicals and changes to magnetic fields.
More invasive options to enhance existing senses have also been demonstrated, for example, coating retinal cells with nanoparticles to enable vision in the infrared spectrum.”
They also point out that, from a defense perspective, methods to de-augment an augmented opponent will be needed. Can you even imagine the battlefield of the future, where soldiers are barraged from both sides with conflicting inputs?
As for ethics, the paper stresses that “we cannot wait for the ethics of human augmentation to be decided for us.” There may even be “moral obligations” to augment people, they say, such as when it would “promote well-being” or protect a population from a “novel threat.”
Interestingly, the paper notes that “It could be argued that treatments involving novel vaccination processes and gene and cell therapies are examples of human augmentation already in the pipeline.” This appears to be a direct reference to mRNA and vector DNA COVID jabs. If so, it’s an open admission that they are a human augmentation strategy in progress.
The Challenge of Unintended Consequences
Of course, there can be any number of side effects and unintended outcomes when you start augmenting an aspect of the human body or mind. As explained in the featured report:
“The relationship between augmentation inputs and outputs is not as simple as it might appear. An augmentation might be used to enhance a person’s endurance but could unintentionally harm their ability to think clearly and decisively in a timely fashion.
In a warfighting context, an augmentation could make a commander more intelligent, but less able to lead due to their reduced ability to socially interact or because they increasingly make unethical decisions. Even a relatively uncontentious enhancement such as an exoskeleton may improve physical performance for specific tasks, but inadvertently result in a loss of balance or reduced coordination when not being worn.
The notion of enhancement is clouded further by the intricacies of the human nervous system where a modifier in one area could have an unintended effect elsewhere. Variation between people makes designing enhancements even more challenging.”
Still, none of that is cause to reconsider or slow down the march toward transhumanism, according to the authors. We just need to understand the human body better, and for that, we need to collect and analyze more data on human performance, behavior, genetics and epigenetics. As noted by the authors:
“Devices that track movement, heart rate, oxygenation levels and location are already commonplace and will become increasingly accurate and sophisticated, making it possible to gather an increasingly wide array of performance data in real time. We can also analyze data in ways that were impossible even five years ago.
Artificial intelligence can analyze massive sets of information almost instantaneously and turn it into products that can inform decision-making. This marriage of data collection and analytics is the foundation of future human augmentation.”
Lab-Grown Designer Babies
As mentioned, by the time a technological advancement is admitted publicly, the research is already a decade or more down the road. Consider, then, the February 1, 2022, article in Futurism,5 which announced that Chinese scientists have developed an artificial intelligence nanny robot to care for fetuses grown inside an artificial womb. According to Futurism:6
“The system could theoretically allow parents to grow a baby in a lab, thereby eliminating the need for a human to carry a child. The researchers go so far as to say that this system would be safer than traditional childbearing.”
As of now, the AI robot is only in charge of lab-raised animal embryos, as “experimentation on human embryos is still forbidden under international law.” However, that could change at any time. In May 2021, the International Society for Stem Cell Research went ahead and relaxed the rules7 on human embryonic experimentation.8
Up until then, the rule had been that no human embryo could be grown in a lab environment beyond 14 days. Human embryos may now be grown beyond 14 days if certain conditions are met. In some countries, laws would still need to be changed to go beyond 14 days, but regardless, there’s no doubt that as transhumanism gets underway in earnest, ethical considerations about growing babies in laboratories will be tossed out.
Combine the announcement of an AI robot nanny to care for lab-grown embryos with the 2018 announcement that Chinese scientists were creating CRISPR gene-edited babies. As reported by Technology Review, November 25, 2018,9 “A daring effort is underway to create the first children whose DNA has been tailored using gene editing.”
The embryos were genetically edited to disable a gene called CCR5, to make the babies “resistant to HIV, smallpox and cholera.” The embryos were then implanted into a human mother using in vitro fertilization. At the time, the lead scientist refused to answer whether the undertaking had resulted in a live birth, but shortly thereafter it was confirmed that one trial participant had indeed given birth to gene-edited twins in November 2018.10
In June 2019, Nature magazine published an article11 questioning whether the CRISPR babies might inadvertently have been given a shorter life span, as research had recently discovered that people with two disabled copies of the CCR5 gene were 21% more likely to die before the age of 76 than those with one functioning copy of that gene. The babies might also be more susceptible to influenza and autoimmune conditions, thanks to this genetic tinkering.
Should We Breed Chimeras to Satisfy Need for Organs?
Ethical considerations about animal-human hybrids (chimeras) will probably also fall by the wayside once transhumanism becomes normalized. Already, human-monkey hybrid embryos have been grown by a team of Chinese and American scientists.12
The hybrid embryos are part of an effort to find new ways to produce organs for transplant patients. The idea is to raise monkeys with human-compatible organs that can then be harvested as needed. Here, the embryos were grown in test tubes for as long as 20 days — and this was done before the ISSCR officially agreed to relaxing the 14-day rule.
The question is, if this kind of research ends up being successful, and the creation of animals with human organs is actually feasible, at what point does the chimera become a human?
How do we know that what looks like a monkey doesn’t have a human brain, with the intelligence that goes with it? Taking it a step further, even, what’s to prevent scientists from growing human organ donors? Human clones, even? It’s a slippery slope, for sure.
Privacy in the Age of Transhumanism
Perhaps one of the greatest concerns I (and many others) have is that not only are we moving toward a merger of man and machine, but at the same time we’re also increasingly outsourcing human morality to machines. I cannot imagine the end result being anything but devastating. How did that happen? Timandra Harkness, a BBC Radio presenter and author of “Big Data: Does Size Matter?” writes:13
“As the recent pandemic years have shown, the desire to be free from scrutiny unless there’s a good reason to be scrutinized is widely seen as, at best, eccentric and, at worst, automatic grounds for suspicion.
We simply can’t articulate why a private life is valuable. We have no sense of ourselves as autonomous beings, persons who need a space in which to reflect, to share thoughts with a few others, before venturing into public space with words and actions that we feel ready to defend …
Part of the appeal of technologies like AI is the fantasy that a machine can take the role of wise parent, immune to the emotion and unpredictability of mere humans. But this tells us less about the real capabilities of AI, and more about our disillusionment with ourselves.
The urge to fix COVID, or other social problems, with technology springs from this lack of trust in other people. So does the cavalier disregard for privacy as an expression of moral autonomy.
Technology ethics can’t save us, any more than technology can. Even during a pandemic, how we regard one another is the fundamental question at the root of ethics. So we do need to treat technology as just a tool, after all. Otherwise we risk being made its instruments in a world without morals.”