What will people look like in the future

A pronounced Miniature bone-conduction devices may be implanted above the ear now to work with communications lenses. In , years: The human face is proportioned to the 'golden ratio,' though it features A sideways blink of the reintroduced plica semilunaris seen in the light gray areas of the eyes, while miniature bone-conduction devices implanted above the ear work with the communications lenses on the eyes.

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The illustrations were inspired by conversations with Dr. Follow me on Twitter: Parmy. I cover developments in AI, robotics, chatbots, digital assistants and emerging tech in Europe. Parmy Olson Forbes Staff. AI, robotics and the digital transformation of European business. Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin. Gallery: In Photos: Google Glass 10 images. View gallery. Parmy Olson. Designer Lamm's depiction of how the human face might look in , years; Image credit Nickolay We've come along way looks-wise from our homo sapien ancestors.

Between , and , years ago, for instance, rapid changes in Earth climate coincided with a tripling in the size of the human brain and skull, leading to a flattening of the face. But how might the physiological features of human beings change in the future, especially as new, wearable technology like Google Glass change the way we use our bodies and faces? Artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm has partnered with a computational geneticist to research and illustrate what we might look like 20, years in the future, as well as 60, years and , years out.

His full, eye-popping illustrations are at the bottom of this post. Lamm says this is "one possible timeline," where, thanks to zygotic genome engineering technology, our future selves would have the ability to control human biology and human evolution in much the same way we control electrons to power our world today.

For a critique of the scientific proposals behind Lamm's hypothesis, see this post by Forbes reporter Matthew Herper. Lamm speaks of "wresting control" of the human form from natural evolution and bending human biology to suit our needs. Scientists writing in the British Dental Journal have suggested that skull-measurement comparisons from that time show modern-day people have less prominent facial features but higher foreheads, and Kwan expects the human head to trend larger to accommodate a larger brain.

What we will look like

As genetic engineering becomes the norm, "the fate of the human face will be increasingly determined by human tastes," he says in a research document. Similarly, skin will become more pigmented to lessen the damage from harmful UV radiation outside of the Earth's protective ozone. Kwan expects people to have thicker eyelids and a more pronounced superciliary arch the smooth, frontal bone of the skull under the brow , to deal with the disruptive effects already observed by present-day astronauts of cosmic rays outside Earth's atmosphere.

What the scientists were talking about in their sylvan hideaway was how to build a machine that could think. But today nations and corporations are pouring billions into AI, whose recent advancements have startled even scientists working in the field.

What was once a plot device in sci-fi flicks is in the process of being born. Hedge funds are using AI to beat the stock market, Google is utilizing it to diagnose heart disease more quickly and accurately, and American Express is deploying AI bots to serve its customers online. Researchers no longer speak of just one AI, but of hundreds, each specializing in a complex task—and many of the applications are already lapping the humans that made them.

Algorithms, freed from human programmers, are training themselves on massive data sets and producing results that have shocked even the optimists in the field. Earlier this year, two AIs—one created by the Chinese company Alibaba and the other by Microsoft—beat a team of two-legged competitors in a Stanford reading-comprehension test.

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What will we look like in the future?

But the ultimate goal is artificial general intelligence, a self-teaching system that can outperform humans across a wide range of disciplines. Or hours. Once it arrives, general AI will begin taking jobs away from people, millions of jobs—as drivers, radiologists, insurance adjusters. In one possible scenario, this will lead governments to pay unemployed citizens a universal basic income, freeing them to pursue their dreams unburdened by the need to earn a living.


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In another, it will create staggering wealth inequalities, chaos and failed states across the globe. But the revolution will go much further. But what about Two of the heaviest hitters of the computer age, Bill Gates and Elon Musk, have warned about AIs either destroying the planet in a frenzied pursuit of their own goals or doing away with humans by accident—or not by accident.

As I delved into the subject of AI over the past year, I started to freak out over the range of possibilities. It looked as if these machines were on their way to making the world either unbelievably cool and good or gut-wrenchingly awful. Or ending the human race altogether. As a novelist, I wanted to plot out what the AI future might actually look like, using interviews with more than a dozen futurists, philosophers, scientists, cultural psychiatrists and tech innovators.

Here are my five scenarios footnoted with commentary from the experts and me; click the blue highlighted text to read them for the year , ten years after the singularity arrives. And now they are claiming that their client is as fully alive as they are. That question— Can an AI truly be conscious? But then again, the only robot I own is a Roomba; what will I think when an AI is teaching my grandkids?

In , poverty is a bad memory. But that was before the UBI. If Alpha 4 wins its case, however, it will control its money, and it might rather spend the cash on building spaceships to reach Alpha Centauri than on paying for new water parks in Santa Clara and Hartford. Nobody really knows. How can you ever trust that an AI is telling the truth?

We need a niche. And I was encouraged by what I heard. Superintelligent systems can have millions of thoughts and experiences every second, but does that mean it should be granted personhood? We are meaning machines, the solicitor general argues. We give meaning to what AIs create and discover.

This Is What Humans Will Look Like in 1, Years

AIs are computational machines. They belong in another category entirely. This I found stunning: Susan Schneider and others are actually working on a test for AI consciousness. Then it would be tested: Does it have the markers of consciousness—a sense of self? The ability to mourn? Other thinkers have doubts about such tests. And will we be able to sleep at night when things that surpass us in intelligence are separate and unequal? Imagine you are a woman in search of romance in this new world.

The night before, your empathetic AI Having met my wife on Match, I loved the idea of having an AI assistant who knew me so well it could choose a mate for me. Now your Soulband projects a hi-def hologram of each one. It recommends No. Perhaps your AI will also mention what kind of flowers you like, for future reference.

Your AI helps with every aspect of your life. It remembers every conversation you ever had, every invention you ever sketched on a napkin, every business meeting you ever attended. When you bring up a new idea for your business, your AI instantly cross-references it with ideas that were introduced at a conference in Singapore or Dubai just minutes ago. Many people in do resist total dependence Some could even go cold turkey—once they see what full immersion in AI life is really like.


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