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  • Writer's pictureMira Yossifova

How Bionics Can Change Human Evolution

Why do we assume we are at the end of our evolutionary journey? It is an ongoing process and continues to this day. As everything evolves, so do we. While we enter a golden age of neuroscience, bionics will allow us to take control of our evolution.

Most likely, due to the laws of physics, we have reached the limits of our brain's physical expansion[1]. Yet, change is another constant of the Universe, and we are no exception. We should be able to alter our hardware and increase our development. Bionics gives us that power.

According to neuroscience, the brain can adapt to the body it is attached to, given the proper amount of time. It doesn't matter where the incoming signals come from; the brain will adjust to interpret every piece of information.

These adapting capabilities also mean we can efficiently train the brain to process input signals from additional peripheral devices, such as machines, and have them become extensions of our bodies. This ability can open up many possibilities for human development, from trauma healing to human augmentation. Moreover, we will be able to do it at the speed of light from an evolutionary point of view.

Our brain's ability to process data and learn to do so in different ways will allow us to work with robots hand-in-hand and carry out anything from dull everyday activities to complex processes such as working in hazardous areas or far-flung space travel. It could also mean we could receive additional "body extensions" such as robots, drones, spaceships, etc.

All this is not science fiction. There are already early-stage brain-machine interfaces based on which there would be no problem for a person to control any machine, thanks to the fantastic creative nature of humans and our brain plasticity. One such implant is made by Braingate. Elon Musk's Neuralink is another one.

This technological augmentation of our bodies can further enhance our workplace capabilities and possibilities. For example, one potential future profession could be “neural machine operator:” a person who could operate machines (cranes, robots, airplanes, spaceships, etc.) with the power of his thought alone, thanks to a brain-implanted chip. Moreover, thanks to our neural ability to manage multiple processes simultaneously (most of which remain in the background), we will have the ability to “expand our body beyond recognition”[2]. In this way, we will be able to do our work on a conscious level, while in parallel, at home, the domestic robot assistant, subconsciously controlled by us, does all the housework.

If, in theory, our brains' software is independent of our bodies' hardware, then we could transcend our biological existence and become co-beings. We could be entering the age of Transhumanism in which humans could unlock the secrets of the Universe.

Despite its positives, the purely physical form of our existence does not allow us to exist beyond our immediate cosmic limits. Unless we find a way to warp space for instantaneous travel, human-machine integration is our path to humanity's existence beyond Earth. This way, the limitations of the cosmos, such as cosmic radiation, micrometeoroids, and lack of gravity, will no longer be our constraints. We could enter the next step of space exploration. And that will be the next step in our evolution as well.

Still, one question remains: if we replace our physical existence with a synthetic one, will we keep our humanity and stay human, or will we become an entirely new species?

[1] Michio Kaku, “The Future of the Mind” [2] David Eagleman, “The Brain: The Story of You”



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