With the scientific and technological advances in recent years following exponential development, science and expertise are converging to explore new research fields. NBIC (Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology, Cognitive Science) will form the base for developing future humanities.
The generalised digitisation of all human activity is deeply ingrained in our lifestyles, as well as our mental representation patterns and associated models. The increasingly important role of virtualisation, geolocation and continuous use of communication tools and machines are generating new interaction habits through protocols that often remain unclear. We involve these protocols with little resistance or awareness; weaving ourselves into an unprecedented relationship with interfaces, computers and all technological innovations, whether they are used in work, at home, or for medical, education, artistic or entertainment purposes. The scope for living, learning, care, action and relationships is increasingly expanding for digital natives. It is a hybrid space that promotes a detachment from reality and, paradoxically, a ground-breaking recurrence in spatial cohesion through geolocation and personal data. Our technology, economic and social models are altered without collectively considering their effects on civilisation.
For the first time, human beings can create a virtual environment and genetics that allow the creation of new life forms, while nanotechnology creates new materials.
Major technology providers promise a fully interconnected world where mankind can make full use of its physical, intellectual, sensory and even existential abilities. Industries aspire to surpass the performance of artificial intelligence by duplicating all cognitive and emotional skills produced by the human brain. New interfaces offer ground-breaking forms of sensory communication that unite man and machine. Digital media is increasing and moving closer and closer to the physical body. Will technological engineering of bodies replace the increasing number of objects embedded in our daily lives? These prospects have brought greater focus to the objectives already stated by different digital players, from transhumanism to the slow movement and science fiction to hybrid performances. They raise many ethical, social and economical questions that are vital for identification and analysis in order to open up the debate on development models and policies that hold promise for human progress.