Several futurists, including myself, have predicted that by 2099 most humans will have strong-artificially intelligent brain implants and artificially intelligent organ/body part replacements. In my book, The Artificial Intelligence Revolution, I term these beings SAH (i.e., strong artificially intelligent human) cyborgs. It is also predicted that SAH cyborgs will interface telepathically with strong artificially intelligent machines (SAMs). When this occurs, the distinction between SAMs and SAHs will blur.

Why will the majority of the human race opt to become SAH cyborgs? There are two significant benefits:

  1. Enhanced intelligence: Imagine knowing all that is known and being able to think and communicate at the speed of SAMs. Imagine a life of leisure, where robots do “work,” and you spend your time interfacing telepathically with other SAHs and SAMs.
  2. Immortality: Imagine becoming immortal, with every part of your physical existence fortified, replaced, or augmented by strong-AI artificial parts, or having yourself (your human brain) uploaded to a SAM. Imagine being able to manifest yourself physically at will via foglets (tiny robots that are able to assemble themselves to replicate physical structures). According to noted author Ray Kurzweil, in the 2040s, humans will develop “the means to instantly create new portions of ourselves, either biological or non-biological” so that people can have “a biological body at one time and not at another, then have it again, then change it, and so on” (The Singularity Is Near, 2005).

Based on the above prediction, the answer to the title question is yes. Science will eventually make us immortal. However, how realistic is it to predict it will occur by 2099? To date, it appears the 2099 prediction regarding most of humankind becoming SAH cyborgs is on track. Here are two interesting articles that demonstrate it is already happening:

  1. In 2011 author Pagan Kennedy wrote an insightful article in The New York Times Magazine, “The Cyborg in Us All” that states: “Thousands of people have become cyborgs, of a sort, for medical reasons: cochlear implants augment hearing and deep-brain stimulators treat Parkinson’s. But within the next decade, we are likely to see a new kind of implant, designed for healthy people who want to merge with machines.”
  2. A 2013 article by Bryan Nelson, “7 Real-Life Human Cyborgs” (, also demonstrates this point. The article provides seven examples of living people with significant strong-AI enhancements to their bodies who are legitimately categorized as cyborgs.

Based on all available information, the question is not whether humans will become cyborgs but rather when a significant number of humans will become SAH cyborgs. Again, based on all available information, I project this will occur on or around 2040. I am not saying that in 2040 all humans will become SAH cyborgs, but that a significant number will qualify as SAH cyborgs.

In other posts, I’ve discussed the existential threat artificial intelligence poses, namely the loss of our humanity and, in the worst case, human extinction. However, if ignore those threats, the upside to becoming a SAH cyborg is enormous. To illustrate this, I took an informal straw poll of friends and colleagues, asking if they would like to have the attributes of enhanced intelligence and immortality. I left out the potential threats to their humanity. The answers to my biased poll highly favored the above attributes. In other words, the organic humans I polled liked the idea of being a SAH cyborg. In reality if you do not consider the potential loss of your humanity, being a SAH cyborg is highly attractive.

Given that I was able to make being a SAH cyborg attractive to my friends and colleagues, imagine the persuasive powers of SAMs in 2099. In addition, it is entirely possible, even probable, that numerous SAH cyborgs will be world leaders by 2099. Literally, organic humans will not be able to compete on an intellectual or physical basis. With the governments of the world in the hands of SAH cyborgs, it is reasonable to project that all efforts will be made to convert the remaining organic humans to SAH cyborgs.

The quest for immortality appears to be an innate human longing and may be the strongest motivation for becoming a SAH cyborg. In 2010 cyborg activist and artist Neil Harbisson and his longtime partner, choreographer Moon Ribas, established the Cyborg Foundation, the world’s first international organization to help humans become cyborgs. They state they formed the Cyborg Foundation in response to letters and e-mails from people around the world who were interested in becoming a cyborg. In 2011 the vice president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, announced that the Ecuadorian government would collaborate with the Cyborg Foundation to create sensory extensions and electronic eyes. In 2012 Spanish film director Rafel Duran Torrent made a short documentary about the Cyborg Foundation. In 2013 the documentary won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival’s Focus Forward Filmmakers Competition and was awarded $100,000.

At this point you may think that being a SAH cyborg makes logical sense and is the next step in humankind’s evolution. This may be the case, but humankind has no idea how taking that step may affect what is best in humanity, for example, love, courage, and sacrifice. My view, based on how quickly new life-extending medical technology is accepted, is that humankind will take that step. Will it serve us? I have concerns that in the long term it will not serve us, if we do not learn to control the evolution of SAMs, or what is commonly called the “intelligence explosion.” However,  I leave the final judgement to you.