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[Public Opinion] Talking about Neoanthropinae2017-01-19Hit:636



  2016 marked the beginning of the 4thindustrial revolution in all industry areas.  At the beginning of this year, we could actually witness the dramatic advancement of science and technology through the competition between Se-Dol Lee and Alpha Goo, Google’s Artificial Intelligence Program. As the shock was so great, the public interest in the 4thIndustrial Revolution increased. The popularity of the computer science major in college and theteaching of software development, dramatically boomed. In fact, in 2016, the news terms related to the 4thIndustrial Revolution, such as artificial intelligence, IoT, autonomous automobiles, smart factories, and virtual reality, began to be used in everyday life.

  The various technological elements of the 4th Industrial Revolution and their innovation are all related to the environmental changesof human beings. Artificial intelligence and robots are perceived as the competitors or companions of human beings, and IoT, autonomous automobiles, smart factories, and virtual reality are related to changes in the living environment and lifestyles of human beings. In fact, many books and forums have discussed the benefits and risks that they will bring to human society.

  The most important part, missing from this discussion, is the discussion about human being themselves. The implicit premise that is not explicitly mentioned in discussions related to the 4th Industrial Revolution is the assumption that human beings will be the same in the future. In fact, it was assumed that human beings will maintain the current status of natural people in terms of their physical and mental abilities, including their ability to process information.

  While there are stories about robots with artificial intelligence that can exceed human beings through their capabilities to communicate and collaborate, stories about future human evolution or advancement do not exist. Only the treatment of diseases through human gene modificationor manipulation in some biotechnology-related studies is being discussed. In fact, human evolution or advancement is not being discussed because of the fixed set of values resultingfrom religious reasons or exiting moral ideas. The stereotypes that the biological purity of human beings should not be undermined dominate our consciousness.

  However, the stereotypes about human biological purity will be broken as numerous stereotypes are shattered by the advancement of science and technology throughout human history. Surgery on the human body was once ataboo issue. There were times when it was impossible to dissectdead human bodies. During the 1500s, when the belief in human resurrection was still universal, it was forbidden to dissect deadhuman bodies due to the belief that such action would prevent revival. At that time, dissecting a dead body was used as a form of punishment fora criminal by preventing his or her revival. However, in order for medical technology to develop, the understanding of human bodies through anatomy becameindispensable. Many curious doctors wanted to dissect dead bodies in secret, resulting in the illegal trades of corpses. Now, after many centuries, surgery is considered natural in human society, and we live in an era when it is common to undergo cosmetic surgery merely to have a better external appearance.

  When machines exceed human abilities and intelligence, human beings will not be able tolive only with biological purity. By applying the characteristics of machines to the human body and improving human abilities and intelligence, it is possible to overcome the limits of human beings without being dominated by the machines. Human beings can’t leave the earth without overcoming their natural limits.

  The history of technological development reflects the progress to overcome various constraints faced by human beings. The history of the next half-century will be thehistory of overcoming biological limits through human evolution and reconstruction. Countries that first talk about the emergence of Neoanthropinae and pioneer it will prosper. Now, let’s talk about Neoanthropinae.

Contact : Lee, Sohyun ( sohyun.c.lee@kaist.ac.kr )