In the fall of 2018, Elon Musk made headlines once again. This time it wasn’t about his commercial rocket company, SpaceX, or his popular electric car company, Tesla. During an interview with Axios, a popular news service, Musk, referencing Darwin’s theory of evolution, declared that humanity must merge with AI in order to avoid becoming like the monkeys, which humans surpassed in complexity and might.
Musk’s plan for humanity includes adding a chip into our heads to upgrade our mental capacities, allowing us to keep up with the intelligence of future AIs as well as stopping bad actors on the world stage from hoarding all of the world’s information. But Musk is just one of the latest popular figures to propose a theory that has been around for generations: transhumanism.
Transhumanism is the term for humanity’s upgrading its abilities, both physical and mental. Known as the father of transhumanism, Julian Huxley, brother of famed writer Aldous Huxley, describes this concept in “Transhumanism,” his popular 1957 essay: “The human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself—not just sporadically, an individual here in one way, an individual there in another way, but in its entirety, as humanity.”
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