As part of an AP Biology independent research project, I had the opportunity to learn more about AI technology, mechanical augmentation, and the transhumanist revolution brewing underneath us. This project gave me the chance to showcase what was inspiring me at the time, and I’m grateful for having done it. Sometimes you listen to a podcast and it changes your day’s focus, and sometimes you do a project in high school that makes you think more clearly about the world.
I never was much for math or hard science, even when I was taking an Advanced Placement course with more teacher freedom over activities in the curriculum. Chemistry, again, was my least favorite subject the year before, and I know that I wasn’t the only student feeling this way. A part of my wonderings about the future are about what life would be like had I been taught by a brilliant and creative science teacher and then pursued a science degree rather than an arts one in college. It’s a far stretch, but I wonder it sometimes. You never know what life would be like otherwise, and I think I’m old enough now to be able to ponder “What ifs?” without judgment.
Despite this, my interest in scientific studies has stayed the course. In video games like Deus Ex, the narrative reckons with deep existential questioning related to human technological advancement: the idea that all progress must be good, that the arc of the moral universe always points towards justice. This interest in these questions from a scientific perspective rather than a philosophical approach originates from video games as artistic outlets. I remember watching Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” series, listening to talks by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and exploring heated debates on internet forums. To me, there needed to be a correct answer to the questions I had about the universe, and as I watched, listened, and explored, I was an impartial observer, emotionally invested in the state of humanity but nothing too personal.