In The Armchair

The Next Big Thing

Posted in Armchair Ruminations by Armchair Guy on April 12, 2007

What’s the Next Big Thing in technology going to be? By big, I mean something revolutionary – like the World Wide Web, or at least (a little lower on the rungs) like social networking.

I think it’s going to be integration of electronic devices into the human body. We already have scientists working on:

Pacemakers (already done!)
A chip that improves eyesight.
Artificially enhanced minds: here and here.
Thought-controlled computers: here and here.

I think this trend will continue, and within a few decades human-computer hybrids will be widespread.

What then? The scary thing about this is that it will mean the rich are suddenly fundamentally superior. The biological randomness that levels the playing field somewhat, say by making a poor person smart or strong, will be lost. Those who are born with the most money can be the smartest and the strongest. Which means they’ll make even more money. Which will let them buy even more hardware to become even stronger and smarter. And so on.

Will those who are poor at the start of this race be doomed?

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