Stephen Hawking used to believe that developments in genetic science would lead to future generations of superhumans that could have the power to destroy the rest of humanity.
In recently published material, Hawking suggested that an elite class of physically and intellectually powerful humans could rise from rich people and choose to edit their DNA and manipulate their children’s genetic structure.
“I am sure that during this century, people will discover how to modify both intelligence and instincts such as aggression,” he wrote.
“Laws will probably be passed against genetic engineering with humans. But some people won’t be able to resist the temptation to improve human characteristics.”
In a collection of articles and essays that have been published by the UK’s Sunday Times Hawking predicted all these.
He said that people without the means would become a sub-class of unimproved humans. The wealthy on the other hand will have the power to tweak their genome and boost their strength, memory and also disease resistance.
The threat of artificial intelligence
Hawking predicted that all this could have severe social consequences.
“Once such superhumans appear, there will be significant political problems with unimproved humans, who won’t be able to compete,” he wrote.
“Presumably, they will die out, or become unimportant.”
He also said that if the human race manages to redesign itself, it will spread out and also choose to colonize other stars and planets.
Hawkins used to warn the world about the developments of AI, saying that it could become the best or the worst thing that has ever happened to humanity.
As a conclusion, the rise of superhumans won’t happen in our lifetime, but, on the other hand, new gene-editing technology already has the potential of designer babies.
CRISPR-Cas 9 is a recent technology that can basically alter DNA, enabling scientists to find and modify, or replace genetic defects.
Rada attended the courses in the Faculty of Letters, Romanian-English section, and finished the Faculty of Theatre and Television, Theatrical Journalism section, both within the framework of Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca. Up till now, she reviewed books, movies, and theatre-plays, enjoying subjects from the cultural niche. Her experience in writing also intersects the IT niche, given the fact that she worked as a content editor for firms that produce software for mobile devices. She is collaborating with online advertising agencies, writing articles for several websites and blogs.