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An Introduction to Human Augmentation

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  • Last Updated : 19 Oct, 2021

Future technology basically deals with the blurring lines between humans and their advancement in technology. In the coming years, technology will dominate the workplace with computational intelligence and smart assistants being common, while the use of augmented and virtual reality, continues to increase human augmentation, which is the key of emerging technologies. Not only does it help to improve the physical traits of the present human condition rather than it aims to improve the cognitive and emotional enhancement in humans. Human augmentation also called human enhancement can be defined as a field of study that focuses on methods and technologies that can be applied to improve the sensing, actions, or cognitive abilities of humans. This improvement is attained through the use of improved cloud and security-based technologies, artificial intelligence, and fusion and fission of information.

Human enhancement is additionally called human 2.0. The future is changing rapidly. New technologies will continue to emerge every year, and with the world becoming more reliant on computers and information technology this will pave the path for a better future for technology. Automation, cryptography, cloud computing, blockchain, and human enhancement are some of the biggest technology trends in the coming year that have the potential to power both transformation and optimization initiatives. Human enhancement is one of the leading technology out of all the future technology. This technology can bring a massive change in society and to a country like India which has a growing population and need of technological burst. This technological burst can be provided by proper analytical skills, data-driven results, critical thinking, and some academic debate. 

There are certain real-life examples that show the growth of human enhancement in India that has started and it is growing every year, for example:

Ekso-Works creates exoskeletons for industrial and rehabilitation purposes. Their products are usually the devices that users wear on their bodies for artificial strength and endurance. These devices come in multiple variations for different tasks, to help users in areas like construction, auto manufacturing, and even physical therapy.

Solar Ear: a cheap, solar-rechargeable hearing aid. It gives an affordable alternative to traditional hearing problems, bringing the technology into our country and to regions that previously were not able to afford such devices are now able to afford it.  

eSight: A wearable device similar to glasses that provide legally blind individuals with the ability to see their environment. The device has cameras on the front that takes in the environment in near-eye quality and display it on a screen that sits right in front of the wearer’s eyes.

All these examples show how human augmentation is in its growing phase and have a great positive impact on the future generation. Most people are confused between human augmentation and a cyborg. The main difference between both is that human augmentation basically focuses on enhancing the human quality of living and does not have any adverse effect directly just like any other day to day gadgets whereas on the other hand cyborg directly affect the human form as it is completely joined to the human and act as any other organ in the body including the senses. This difference makes human augmentation a better source of an asset than becoming a cyborg.   

To make certain improvements in the field of human augmentation many technological researchers tried to develop some algorithms like the SAC algorithm which is widely used in human augmentation applications since it just needs the information from the exoskeleton robot so that the complexity of the exoskeleton system can be reduced greatly, The experimental results indicate that the proposed device is able to assist a human by reducing muscle activity while drawing minimal battery power.

Every technology without a proper market value has no future. Human augmentation proved that it has a big market and can sustain in the near future and can support the economy in India with its growth every year and can truly be called the future of technology. In 2013 the total human augmentation market was valued at around $91.8 million. It has a growth rate of 43.52% between 2014 to 2020 as a result in 2020 its market value is $1135 million. This valuation shows the market demand and the future of human augmentation in the life of humans.  

Human augmentation is not only there to make advancements in the field of technology but also has an impact on technological growth as everything is moving towards automation. It also affects the body and social identity. Contemporary, western societies are nearly all characterized by a market economy, a consumer culture, and the liberal system of the government. These features of society strongly determine the way in which enhancements are made available. Moreover, this acts as a barrier in the development field of certain technology.

As everything has its own advantage and disadvantage, similarly the future technology can be destructive too due to the sudden advancement in the field of weapons – so to control and to put a check on the growth of future technology based on its needs Indian government has designed certain ethical frameworks which include justice, freedom and responsibility, public beneficence, responsible stewardship, fairness and equity, and utmost care should be taken to minimize social disruption. In addition to this, there were different missions started in India like Make in India and Startup India which not only help in the growth of entrepreneurs but also growth in technological knowledge and innovation this will act as the pillar of growth of technology by the year 2050. This growth in the field of different technologies will help the human to move one step ahead and think of automation. This automation will lead to a need for the development of human intelligence as cognitive skills which will ultimately lead to growth in the field of human augmentation and enhancement.

“Technology is best when it brings people together”. This quote conveys to us that while some technologies are reaching maturity now, many important technologies have enormous future potential in the coming years which have the power and capability to sustain the human race and bring it to one community. As more of India’s information is digital and more people and things are connected, the digital and networked economy will become ever more important. However whether to have a reason to promote a particular technology will require wisdom, dialogue, good scientific research, good public policy, and academic debate.

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