Humans are the species that have been bestowed with brains and curiosity by mother nature. Humans have endeavored to explore new horizons and adapt to changing circumstances since ancient times.
In the modern age, one of the things that humans have leveraged to enhance their quality of life and also mitigate their efforts and multiply their natural abilities is technology. Humans have not left any stone unturned to use the available resources and tools to enhance their lives.
One such modern age marvel is Human Augmentation which if executed correctly can transform different facets and overall quality of our lives significantly.
Let's explore more about Human augmentation, its types, and how it can be applied to make our lives better.
What is human Augmentation?
You must have seen some high end science/fiction movies and that can turn into a reality in the future.. An elaborated definition would be that it is the technology that improves the productivity of humans by enhancing the cognitive and physical well-being of humans or by introducing a technology that advances the capability of the human body to perform those functions.
Human Augmentation has been a matter of curiosity and research for many scientists globally. Time and again, various experiments and researches have been conducted to study how human augmentation can bring a fruitful transformation for humans.
Categories of Human Augmentation
Even though the technology is a vast field, Human Augmentation has been categorized into three parts; Augmented Senses, Augmented Action, and Augmented Cognition.
Also, called as enhanced senses are the ones that mostly relate to presenting the content that has been interpreted from multi-sensory information deciphered through human senses. Various subcategories of Augmented Senses are augmented vision, haptic sensation, smell, and taste.
It is accomplished by inferring human actions and representing them to actions in familiar, remote, or virtual surroundings. Augmented Action is subcategorized into motor augmentation, movement, speech, amplified force, and gaze-based controls.
Augmented Cognition is attained by perceiving human cognitive state, utilizing analytical instruments to make a suitable understanding of it, and adjusting computer's feedback to the present and prognostic needs of the user.
Types of Human Augmentation
The human body can also be utilized to establish augmentation that transforms a person’s innate physical characteristics by making the body the host of the technology. Various subcategories of physical augmentation are
Sensory augmentation is the one that includes hearing, vision, and awareness. This broadly includes virtual reality, augmented reality, and to top it, the mixed reality.
Appendage and biological function augmentation
The appendage and biological function augmentation involve exoskeletons and prosthetics that are used to replace or enhance such Human capabilities. Various implants for hair, nail, and other body parts are being done based on this augmentation.
Brain augmentation is utilized to enhance brain capability and treating seizures. Along with this, it is also utilized to do a brain implant that is done to store memory or decoding the neural patterns and integrating speech. Brain Augmentation is a breakthrough that couldn’t have been imagined earlier.
Genetic augmentation is considered to be crucial for treating children with severe combined immunodeficiency by using somatic gene and cell therapies. As the technology will enhance, it will become more accessible and affordable to utilize.
Cognitive augmentation is a catalyst to improve the thought and decision-making process of humans. Cognitive augmentation can appear through retrieving data and developing applications on traditional computer systems and the emerging variety of experience interface in smart spaces.
Human Augmentation in organizations- Be watchful!
Technology is a boon and it can turn into bane, in almost no time, if proper measures are not taken. With Human Augmentation, there have been certain concerns that have been hovering around. Most of the companies that plan to install Human Augmentation in their system should be very careful before implementing it.
Security can become a big matter of concern if the organization is not vigilant and careful enough!There is a chance of security risk that may be carried by the augmented human personnel.
Technology can be a bit intrusive. Hence, the general privacy of people can be at risk. Therefore it is crucial that the private knowledge and data are not being threatened by introduction of human augmentation.
Getting compliance with technology can be a daunting task for organizations. Convincing Government and Regulatory authorities become difficult at times as Human Augmentation is just in the beginning process.
Impact on Health
Every technology is adopted after rigorous trials, still, there can be chances of health risks, that the human body becomes subject to, through the Human Augmentation. It can result in issues related to mental and physical well-being.
Human Augmentation can lead to an ethical divide where the prosperous section of the society can have the luxury of getting the facilities related to human augmentation for themselves and their families, whereas, less prosperous might not have the access to it.
Utilizing External Tools to Provide Augmented Abilities
There has been a recorded success when it comes to the usage of externals tools to enhance the augmentation. A variety of tools like eyeglasses, binoculars, microscope, and highly sensitive microphones are being optimally used to aid in the augmentation process. The plus factor with the facility of Augmentation has been that it has formulated ways to utilize non-invasive methods to augment humans unlike medicines and device installation that can be more critical.
Futuristic Implementations of Human Augmentation
Human augmentation is a process of continuous research and development, hence every day there is a yield of so many possibilities that can change the future life of the human race.
Synthetic Memory Chip
Scientists and doctors are working diligently to create synthetic memory chips that can be installed in human brains. This might enable humans to store more information and provide them the ability to retain it forever. It could be more or less like a computer hard drive that stores information and can utilize it whenever required.
The famous Harry Potter object that might have interested you looks like a dream. However, there is a team of researchers somewhere in the world working on this technology to make people vanish using the invisibility cloak. However, it is in a very initial stage and it may take years to develop this technology in a manner where it can make humans invisible.
Zapata Flyboard Air
This can be a new revolutionary product. It is a hoverboard that can lift a user more than 500 feet into the air. It has already been launched, but the high price makes it unaffordable presently. With time and technology, it may become more feasible, with more practical usage.