Fusion of ancient/indigenous (spiritual) tech with AI, implants, robotics

Hey, so I’m new to this world and utterly captivated. My background is in researching and implementing ancient human technologies (breath, movement, fasting, psychedelics, etc.) that enhance our capabilities as a species, and using them in my work as a therapist to help people (myself included) to heal, grow, expand.

I am currently in the process of creating an NGO dedicated to fostering a mutually enriching exchange between our past and future as a species, marrying ancient wisdom with current technological wizardry to create (hopefully) a better future. AI, robotics, implants, etc.

Currently have trips planned to Alaska and Namibia to lay the foundations for this project. I have lots of contacts and experience in this side of things, but precious little in programming, AI, implants, etc.

I’m writing here because I’m very interested in having insightful conversations about the existential, ontological, ethical, and practical implications of our inevitable fusion of biological and technological systems. You all here seem to be at the forefront. My best credentials are probably the interviews I just did with Dr. Michael Levin of Tufts (www.primalnature.eu/podcast) in which we explore the shared bioelectrical substrate of carbon-based and metals-based systems.

So yeah, looking for people willing to dig in deep. Could be something informal, just getting background info and sharing perspectives. Could be podcast interview. Whatever works for you. But…basically my question is this: what can we do as a species to push technology in a direction that will enhance human life rather than destroy it? Or is it time to give up our sentimental species-ism and childish attachment to inefficient carbon-based systems and embrace the matrix?

…bodymods… :wink:

I think it’s very similar - humans used whatever tools they had to “enhance”. In past times, it was psychedelics, trance experiences, pain, rituals, fasting and similar things, and now we have other things at hand to “improve”. While in past times, many of those tools were used for spiritual things like connecting to the gods, ancestors, dream-lands or something like that, we now, with religion (fortunately) on its decline, use it to connect to some sort of hardly-definied “future” or “technology”. Still, the meaning for the individual might be very similar, lots of people in this forum feel that their implants are a very intimate, important part of themselves.

Yes, with a significant difference arising once that tech is (neurally) connected and online and therefore hackable, right? it’s one thing to enhance sensory perception or unlock doors; it’s another, it seems, to have a brain-tech interface that connects to other brain-tech interfaces, revolutionizing what it means to be alive?

Maybe… but maybe it can also be compared to spiritual practices where people end up being “possessed” or losing their free will for a certain amount of time? The human body can be “hacked” as well, especially with the use of psychedelics and some superstition-based manipulation… I don’t know if there is that much of a difference.

Why should this revolutionize what it means to be alive? What hopes do you have about this? If we go into sci-fi, the instant transfer of knowledge or emotions might be something interesting, but this is merely a different tool to reach that - we can already transfer knowledge via speech or writing, and emotions, at least partly, via empathy. So maybe it’s just a tool that makes stuff easier, but I’m not sure if it really changes that much.
Singularity is a different thing, of course :wink:

Appreciate the push-back. I think the speed/integration of exchange is actually fundamental. Like before the printing press there were manuscripts, and before the written word there was oral tradition…but advances in what could be called simply an upgrade in speed, repeatability, etc. have consistently had incredible effects on consciousness, intelligence, human organization, etc.

I think it’s highly unlikely that connected brain interfaces would be an exception to the rule. If you can’t differentiate between “your” thoughts or emotions and those “put there” by others, for example, the entire self/other construct seems as though it would inevitably crumble.

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True, especially human organization and civilization benefited a lot from that, even if it was just a matter of different tools. The exchange of data was made faster and, ultimately, more or less instant. By now it’s possible to reach tons of information in the matter of seconds, while in earlier times you had to wait for skalds or bards or similar people to travel across the land, carrying information with them.

Definitely, but I think there must be measures to avoid just that. Otherwise it might feel similar to schizophrenia… I think some sense of “self” is absolutely neccessary for a living being.

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What types of technology would you like to integrate into your life/body? It’s nice to stay goals focused because then we can have a bit more nuanced discussion.

I also think a good resource for you is the United States Transhumanist Party (USTP). They spend a lot of time deliberating over the ethical and logistical considerations of future technologies. Unfortunately, despite marketing claims to the contrary, I think we’re still a decade or two away from a true brain computer interface (more than just a few neurons for button pressing)

Thanks for the reference; very interesting stuff.

The type of directly practical implants that allow you to open doors, etc. interest me mainly as a gateway to more involved implants that I don’t think exist yet. My focus is on trying to optimize body-mind function as an integrated unit. So I’m not hankering to get any implant just yet; more keen on understanding the ins and outs of where all this is going.

That said, I do fantasize about millions or billions of nanoparticle implants somehow connected to an aspect of cognition that would allow me to enhance my bioelectrical circuitry in all kinds of targeted ways at will, making my bodymind function far more advanced than it currently is. So I could cure disease at will, or run forever, or be instantly at peace. But yeah, that’s a long way off.

There may be many interesting steps along the way. Music and light, for example, have really interesting effects on mindbody function. A full-body vibrational music experience, for example, would only enhance that potential I imagine. Like cellular entrainment. But again, lots more research would need to be done before anything like that started to seem like a good idea.