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Technological evolution can be defined as the ongoing projection of our sensorimotor cortex through augmentation of our physicality – i.e., devices that enhance our arms, legs, eyes, ears, and so on. It’s clear that the next (and at least penultimate) frontier is our emerging ability to directly augment and extend our brain.
The current extension of location-independent cloud computing from data to applications (as instantiated in personal, portable, connected computational platforms that increasingly act as portals to off-device resources) forms the foundation for what I’ve termed Exocortical Cognition: the end game of accelerating progress in neuroscience, genetics, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, quantum physics, and knowledge virtualization – all converging to externalize neocortical cognitive function.
In other words, the question will soon be: Ask not what’s inside your head, but what your head’s inside of. (Yes, JJ Gibson said it first, and in a different context – Ecological Psychology – but it’s remarkably relevant.)
Synthetic genomics will allow us to design artificial genomic sequences that express as novel tissues and organs with predetermined technological functionality. Such endogenously-expressed neocortical enplants (as opposed to exogenous implants requiring invasive surgery) with communications and neocortical/binary translation capabilities will allow transhumans to engage in a nonlocal cognitive environment where cognition will be distributed over a network of distributed location-irrelevant resources.
Moreover, concomitant advances in quantum computing and communications will leverage quantum entanglement to provide the ability to have such cognitive interconnectivity operate independently of the distance constraints and consequent time delays associated with standard signal propagation technologies.
Finally, the incorporation of entangled sensors and sentient robotics into the exocortical network will enable spatiotemporally-independent telepresence to effectively support multiple exoselves to operate simultaneously.
Think Outside the Box is dead. Long live Think Outside the Brain.
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