From video tattoos and electronic makeup, to subdural smart drug delivery systems, brain replication and even electronic immortality, Dr. Ian Pearson’s chapter “Body-Machine Convergence” covers the spectrum of physically combining man and machine in the future, and touches on the potential emotional and social ramifications such technologies could entail.
In the following short interview, Dr. Pearson, a globally acclaimed futurist and inventor, tells us a little bit more about himself and his contribution to The Future ofBusiness.
What is the focus of your chapter in The Future of Business?
I write about the ongoing convergence of man and machine. I look at superficial connections via active skin, a field where simple prototypes of some functions are already starting to appear, and go on to the further future with direct links into the brain. These might be used to improve our performance or allow the brain to be replicated, enabling a form of electronic immortality. I also look briefly at our increasing psychological attachment to machines, hinting how we will become attached to future robots.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
I am an engineer futurologist focusing on future technology and how it will change every aspect of our everyday lives.
What future-oriented topics or issues are you focusing on currently?
Last week I documented a new kind of transport system, then went on to design a feasible mechanism for Spiderman’s silk thrower. I just finished a piece on the future of the nylon industry, did an interview on future football and am about to do an interview on techno-sexuality. No two days are the same.
If you could bring about one change in the world to ensure a positive future – what would it be?
I would allow people sharing the same geographical region to be governed by different governments, with differing sets of responsibilities and benefits. Much of the political conflict we suffer today is because current democracy allows one bunch of people to dictate how another bunch lives and demand that other people pay for their lifestyle choices. If we enable parallel democracy, people can subscribe to the lifestyle that best suits them. We are not all the same and democracy doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-everyone solution.