In the Avatar movie series, humans transfer their minds into alien bodies. But when will this type of capability become possible in real life? In this article, I’ll explain a potential and strange path toward that becoming possible.
Uploading Our Minds To Alien Bodies
In the distant future, perhaps thousands or millions of years from now, we could upload our minds to the bodies of aliens. Future human explorers and militaries could potentially infiltrate alien civilizations and even influence the directions of their societies. Despite the obvious ethical concerns, maybe, this is a common practice in our universe. There could be civilizations that are billions of years more advanced than ours that do this all the time.
One of the most logical ways we could accomplish this is by growing alien bodies on our own and then using them to integrate into alien civilizations. Or perhaps, we could have technologies well beyond that. Maybe, we could control the minds of other species from long distances away using specialized signals. Perhaps, we could disperse modified nanoparticles into the air they breathe, which would enter their bloodstreams and affect their thoughts and behaviors.
Some conspiracy theorists claim that aliens from other planets have already infiltrated our world governments. If this were somehow true, we could be completely powerless to detect this with our current technologies. This would mean that our world leaders, scientists, and inventors may get ideas that are transmitted by aliens. Perhaps, aliens could create perfect clones of anyone they wanted and mislead us for decades.
A civilization that is billions of years more advanced than ours could have powers of mind control that we can't even comprehend. They might alter the evolutionary paths and genetic dispositions of some humans. Perhaps, an advanced alien civilization could implant thoughts, belief systems, and values in us that we would have great difficulty changing.
Our every day lives may be observed by them without us knowing. It could be like a bacterium trying to understand the concept of a microscopic camera recording its movements. Or animals living on the plains of Africa trying to understand the concept of National Geographic.
For all we know, our technological progress in areas such as Artificial Intelligence could serve the purpose of benefitting an advanced alien civilization. Once we start merging with AIs using brain-computer interfaces, extraterrestrials could assume control of these AIs, making it easier to control the entire human population. Perhaps, species like ours are being used to eventually terraform surrounding planets, moons, and asteroids, which could make our solar system much more enticing to aliens. They could travel here in large numbers once there is a sufficient number of habitable environments in our solar system.
But before we can figure out how to upload our minds to the bodies of aliens, we'll need to figure out how to upload our minds to other species on Earth.
Uploading Our Minds To Genetically-Engineered Organisms
Within the next 200 years, we could gain the ability to grow genetically-engineered bodies of any species imaginable and upload our minds to those bodies. Inside these bodies, we could have genetically-engineered minds that are just as intelligent as human minds or, perhaps, vastly more intelligent. Who would sign up for this? Probably way more people than most of us would expect.
If this becomes possible, we could more easily integrate into the communities of other species. These species could include wolves, eagles, gorillas, and elk. And we could learn what it's like to live everyday life as these animals. The pheromones and biological functions of these bodies could fool surrounding animals into believing that we're authentic members of their species. We could even engineer these bodies to be disease-proof and have slightly enhanced strength and speed.
For example, we could find out what it's like to live in a wolf pack and experience the evolving dynamics of that group.
Governments could even use this capability to spy on foreign leaders. This is just one of many examples why genetic engineering could lead to a future that is far stranger to us than many of us can imagine.
Major downsides to using a biological body of another species are the risk of facing an early death because of a territorial dispute with another animal or being mistakenly hunted by humans. Many species also have dramatically different perceptions of time compared to humans because of how fast or slow they process sensory information. For example, dogs can take in visual information at least 25 percent faster than humans. That is why their perception time is much slower than ours.
Likewise, it could take months for human volunteers to adjust to how other species perceive sound, sight, and smell. For example, an eagle's eyesight is estimated to be 4 to 8 times stronger than the average human's. And dogs can smell 1,000 to 10,000 times better than people. Making the transition toward living in another species' body could be incredibly uncomfortable and disorienting. That's why it could take weeks or months for humans to get used to living in radically different, genetically-engineered bodies.
Technically, we may reach the point where we could engineer any species imaginable—even species that aren't real. Many hundreds of years from now, if we really wanted to, we could genetically engineer a dragon and upload someone's mind into it to see what happens.
But, before we upload our minds to genetically-engineered bodies, robots would be our best option.
Uploading Our Minds To Robot Bodies
Within a hundred years, or perhaps sooner, we could upload our minds to robot bodies.
These robot bodies could have any appearance imaginable. Over time, they could even have the appearances of many species on Earth. We might even have android zoos at some point. However, they might be less convincing than genetically-engineered bodies.
Further in the future, these robot bodies could have increasingly enhanced abilities such as super strength, impenetrable armor, retractable artillery, and infrared vision. Militaries and defense contractors worldwide would take full advantage of these capabilities. This could be yet another example of humans using technologies to take concepts from fiction and bringing them into reality.
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