Humans as Intelligent Machines or Real AI: A New Human-Machine World

Humans as Intelligent Machines or Real AI: A New Human-Machine World

Humans as Intelligent Machines or Real AI: A New Human-Machine World
What are we? Where are we coming from? Where are we heading for?

Origins of Transhumanism

According to Britannica, the term transhumanism was coined by English biologist and philosopher Julian Huxley in his 1957 essay of the same name. Huxley referred principally to improving the human condition through social and cultural change, but the essay and the name have been adopted as seminal by the transhumanist movement, which emphasizes material technology. Huxley held that, although humanity had naturally evolved, it was now possible for social institutions to supplant evolution in refining and improving the species. The ethos of Huxley’s essay—if not its letter—can be located in transhumanism’s commitment to assuming the work of evolution, but through technology rather than society.


Source: Santander Global Tech

There are several definitions that describe humans from a biological, social and transhumanistic perspectives:

  • Humans (Homo sapiens) are the most abundant and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality and large, complex brains enabling the development of advanced tools, culture and language.
  • Human is a bipedal primate mammal (Homo sapiens) with the human genome of 19,969 protein-coding genes.
  • The only extant member. H. sapiens emerged around 300,000 years ago, evolving from Homo heidelbergensis and migrating out of Africa, replacing local populations of archaic humans.
  • Genes and the environment influence human biological variation in visible characteristics, physiology, disease susceptibility, mental abilities, body size and lifespan.
  • Humans are intelligent beings, capable of episodic memory, flexible facial expressions, self-awareness and a theory of mind.
  • Humans are omnivorous, capable of consuming a wide variety of plant and animal material, and using heat to prepare and cook food.
  • Humans are highly social beings living in families and societies, communities, cities or countries.
  • Humans are intelligent beings, capable of memory, facial expressions, self-awareness and a theory of mind, introspection, private thought, imagination, volition and forming views on existence. This has allowed great technological advancements and complex tool development possible through reason and the transmission of knowledge to future generations.
  • Humans are intelligent beings with cognition, language, learning, technology making, art, trade, and the transmission of knowledge to future generations as the defining features.

All modern humans are classified into the species Homo sapiens sapiens marked by the human desire to understand and influence the environment and to explain and manipulate phenomena by the agency of science, philosophy, culture, mythology, religion, and other fields of knowledge.

They’re mortal creatures heavily affected or influenced by biases, emotions, feelings, wants, needs and other low-level factors instead of reason and judgement, knowledge and intelligence.

Again, humans are intelligent machines which are exceeding computers in general intelligence, creativity, common-sense knowledge, or deep causal understanding of the world.

The Next Evolution of Transhumanism


Source: futuristgerd

The transhumanism vision of 2030 aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Disease-free humans and the elimination of heritable diseases
  • Company sponsored wearables and nootropics for enhanced productivity
  • VR commonly used to make issues, information, and concerns more relevant
  • Nation state sponsored brain race for industry, military, and economic power
  • Quantification and optimization of most aspects of life
  • Intelligence, biology, happiness, and morality compete for human enhancement supremacy

Given the above, we are in need of a new high-tech definition of human beings, extending the existing ones and looking for the future humanity as a partner of superintelligent machines.

Reflecting on Humans Performing as Intelligent Machines

Humans are biological intelligent machines, trying to intelligently understand and interact with any possible environments, physical, social, digital or virtual.

As far as you are a well-trained, educated and cultured person, you already enjoy some version of real artificial intelligence (AI), as a brain-encoded general-purpose program, priors, background rules and knowledge, intuition or instincts, common sense, life experiences, learning algorithms, intelligent power and higher-level skills spanning across many tasks or new situations.


Source: e-Print archive

François Chollet breaks down intelligence into a hierarchy of three layers. Current AI systems are still struggling at the bottom rung of this ladder. 

Thus humans and machines both integrate symbolic and connectionist AI, at least. In other words, any human has a real/natural AI, which is em-brained, embodied, embedded, extended, enacted or situated.

Human’s natural artificial intelligence is:

  • Embrained involving the brain as the complex hierarchical causal neural networks.
  • Embodied involving more than the brain, including bodily structures and processes.
  • Embedded functioning in a related external environment.
  • Enacted involving not only neural processes, but also things an organism does.
  • Extended into the organism's environment.
  • Situated binding all knowledge and cognition to social, cultural and physical contexts.

Real AI implies the causal interactions of the mind, body, other minds and the environment, acting as an embodied entity. But the machine AI could act as a distinct semantic information processor which takes data/information/symbols/states in one form to transform/process into a meaningful by causal mechanisms and algorithms. It thus consists of the input data mechanism, the processor mechanism, the storage/memory mechanism and the output knowledge mechanism. It generalizes a physical symbol system (a formal system) which takes physical patterns (signals, symbols, data, bits or information), combining them into structures (expressions, data structures, thoughts) and manipulating them (using processes, programs, mental operations or formal rules) to produce new expressions. So, the mind can be modeled as a digital or quantum computer operating on its bits of information according to its encoded causal knowledge, laws, rules and algorithms. This decides the Chinese room argument; for a real disembodied AI program (as cybernetic-physical semantic system) could "understand" the symbols or data that it uses, emerging as a truly intelligent system without all biological restrictions.

Now, what machine learning (ML)/ deep learning (DL)/ artificial neural networks (ANN)–based models of connectionist AI are missing, it is a real AI itself, being a “blank slate” (tabula rasa) mind that turns its labelled narrow data (dubbed observation, experience or stimulus) into narrow automated behavior (output or response).

Human-Machine AI and 5th Industrial Revolution

Humanity has been progressing for the last 10,000 years thanks to scientific and techno-revolutions such as:

  • the language/communication revolution;
  • the agricultural revolution;
  • the industrial revolution;
  • the digital revolution, 4th industrial revolution;
  • the AI revolution, 5th industrial revolution of robotics, automation, machine learning, narrow artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, the internet of things, the industrial internet of things, fifth-generation wireless technologies, 3D printing, fully autonomous vehicles, cognitive computing, cyber-human machines, intelligent environment and smart communities.


If the digital revolution marked the beginning of the digital age, then the AI revolution marks the beginning of the new age of the human-machine world.

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Azamat Abdoullaev

Tech Expert

Azamat Abdoullaev is a leading ontologist and theoretical physicist who introduced a universal world model as a standard ontology/semantics for human beings and computing machines. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematics and theoretical physics. 

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