Designing the extended human

Andy Goodman

Putting aside the subject of government’s role in science funding we can see technology as being value neutral until it is put to use in society. Long before this happens it is crucial for designers to enter the dialogue between Science, Industry and Governments as our role is to think about the human context and the consequences of the new.

We are rapidly approaching the age of the Extended Human. This era will be marked by the opportunity to invent a huge range of almost unimaginable technologies, many of which have deep moral questions at their core. The ability to create extended humans will be nearly godlike and fraught with dangers to the balance of society and the psyche.

We are now able to vastly accelerate evolution. Technology provides us with an armature to create the next evolutionary step. We are about to break nature’s grip and control the future of our species. Evolution is the mechanism by which organisms become more complex, as if there is a counter force to the universal law of entropy whereby matter somehow becomes more organised and complicated. Life can be seen as a way of passing information from one organism to another through the encoded messages within DNA. DNA – Brains – Consciousness – Language – Writing. We evolve more and more complex ways of passing on information until by necessity it needs to move outside the body. Now we have the ability to loop back into the structure of DNA and alter ourselves in even more fundamental ways. So is this just a continuation of this increasing complexity or a complete breakaway from the universe’s intended path?

I recently spoke at TEDx Madrid on this topic, this post shares the slides and a video of the talk. I talk about the ways that we will be extended and share some service provocations, some extreme future products to stimulate conversation and debate. These are also formed around technological trends which are emerging.

Fjord’s role as a design consultancy, is not to predict the future but to create it.

View mobile version of the slides

Hear Andy interviewed on Radio Espanola (Spanish)

See Andy on the TED website

 

View more presentations from Fjord
Andy Goodman

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