by Sarah Griffiths
01 February 2016
The year 2050
is not so far away,
but by then, we may
have been replaced
by Homo Optimus - a
blend of human and computers
Is technology causing us
to 'evolve' into a new SPECIES?
Expert believes super humans
called Homo optimus
will talk to machines and be
'digitally immortal' by 2050
Futurologist Dr Ian Pearson has
predicted how humans will evolve by 2050.
He claims transhumanism will be normal and create Homo optimus
New species would be a mix of human and computer with superior
We could also turn our pets into talking 'real-life Furbies'.
If you're under the age of 40, there is
a good chance you will achieve 'electronic immortality' during your
This is the idea that all of your thoughts and experiences will be
uploaded and stored online for future generations.
That's according to a futurologist who not only believes technology
will let humans merge with computers, that this will create an
entirely new species called Homo optimus.
And, he claims this could occur as soon as 2050.
The predictions were made by Dr Ian Pearson as part of the
lead up to The Big Bang Fair 2016. He believes that within the next
35 years, humans will 'live' online, and our pets could even 'talk'
to us, like real-life Furbies.
He also claims transhumanism - the idea we can make people
technologically better - will be the norm by 2050.
'With optimized genomes and bodies
enhanced by links to external technology, people could be more
beautiful... more intelligent, more emotionally sophisticated,
more physically able, more socially connected, generally
healthier and happier all round.'
As humans embrace technological advances
and gradually become androids, we could gradually see Homo sapiens
being replaced by Homo optimus.
'We can expect our evolutionary
process to change in response to technology.'
'What's exciting is that it is no
longer nature which is forcing changes on us but our own
breakthroughs enabling changes we want, ' Dr Pearson explained.
Futurologist Dr Ian Pearson
claims that in the
next 35 years, humans will be able to communicate with computers
to evolve better
senses, memory and even intelligence.
Electronic gold skin
and tiny implants between cells could enable
a direct link with
devices, while we could 'wear' muscle too
As humans embrace
technological advances and gradually become androids,
we could gradually
see Homo sapiens being replaced by Homo optimus.
This conceptual image
shows four stages of human evolution (left to right)
Australopithecus, Homo habilis, Homo erectus and Homo sapiens
WE MAY TURN INTO
'FAIRIES' TO EXPLORE SPACE
Biotech and nanotech developments will make it possible to develop
small brains with far greater capabilities, so the rest of the body
could be scaled down accordingly.
There are big advantages in being tiny for space travel, Dr Pearson
explained, because it is a lot easier to accommodate and transport
'It is not frivolous to suggest that
most space travelers will be rather like fairies, and wings
would make it easy to get around in zero gravity too,' he said.
'This could give rise to some weird
and wonderful future forms and creations - from changing video
displays on our faces to controlling our own dreams - our
(evolving) imaginations are the only limit.'
Dr Pearson believes that with a full
link between the human brain and a computer, people could move their
mind into an improved android body.
'This would allow people to have
multiple existences and identities, or to carry on living long
after their biological death,' he wrote in the 'Future Human
While this technology could be available
as soon as in 2050, it may become cheap enough to be widespread by
Plus, by the end of the century, there will likely be several types
of humans, including human-machine hybrids, and people living in
android bodies, as well as 'smart creatures'.
Dr Pearson continued
that anyone under the age of 40 today
will have a good
chance of electronic immortality,
meaning they could
essentially 'upload' their personality
so it can continue
posting after their death.
In the film
Transcendence (pictured) the character played
by Johnny Depp
uploads his consciousness onto a computer.
Research from academics and experts,
collated by Dr
Pearson for The Big Bang Fair,
suggests humans will
be able to directly communicate with electronics
and we could clone
teeth, fix surfaces
and edit genes to
make them self-replace.
FUTURE COULD LOOK LIKE - FROM SKIN TO MUSCLE TIGHTS
Research from academics and experts collated by Dr Pearson for
The Big Bang Fair suggests:
We will be able to connect
directly with technology through 'electronic skin' or tiny
implants between our skin cells.
Electronic 'support tights' will
boost leg strength with wearable polymer gel muscles 1cm
Smudged make-up will be a thing
of the past with smart make-up applied on top of a membrane
on the skin surface to give a flawless, changeable look.
Nanotechnology will monitor and
repair our bodies from the inside, making self-replacing
teeth a possibility.
Technology will be used to
enhance pets and wildlife, with the potential to hear our
pets talk or to increase their IQ, and to create real
versions of kids-craze Furbies.
The predictions mean futuristic
characters such as Dug the talking dog in Pixar's Up and the
human-robot hybrids popular in hit TV shows like Humans could be a
The Big Bang Fair - the UK's largest celebration of science,
technology, engineering and maths (Stem) for young people - will
give access to technologies shaping these developments, from a
sensor placed on the skin that allows people to hear music using
bone conduction, to robot orchestras.
'We will certainly
technologically advance some of our pets
and even wildlife too
and we might create entirely new species
such as real Furbies,'
Dr Pearson continued
'It's the young people who come to the fair who will help drive
through the innovations our experts are predicting,' said Paul
Jackson, chief executive of EngineeringUK, organizers of The Big
'Today's young people will not only get to experience 'wearing'
muscles or owning smart-pets, they will decide what these look
The Big Bang Fair is free and
runs from 16 to 19 March at the Birmingham NEC.
HOW TO CHEAT DEATH -
TRANSHUMANISM TO CRYONICS
about how humans
could one day cheat
death have been proposed since the 1950s
The book 'Death and the Afterlife' by Clifford A. Pickover
charts futuristic ideas about how humans could one day cheat death.
It includes the idea of transhumanism, proposed in 1957, and is
considered to involve the use of technology to enhance human mental
and physical capabilities. This could gradually make people 'posthuman'
and means we could become immortal.
Cryonics, invented in 1962 offers hope that someone could be brought
back to life, after being frozen. The idea is that technology will
advance to a point where people could be revived and cured of
diseases that may have killed them to have a second chance at life.
The mind-boggling idea of quantum immortality was first devised in
1987 and relies on the 'many worlds interpretation' of quantum
The theory holds when the universe is
confronted with a choice of paths at a quantum level, it follows the
possibilities, splitting into multiple universes. This means if we
die, in most parallel universes we will be dead, but in a handful,
you will be alive.
Quantum resurrection is the idea that in
an infinite amount of time, anything is possible and that we will
reappear, according to physicist Katherine Freese.
It's possible it could take the form of Boltzmann brains -
self-aware brains floating through space.