I’ve been reading a fascinating (though unsettling) report from a military futures exercise on human enhancement. It argues for a view of human beings as platforms, rather than as the “interchangeable components of military units or the material with which to operate the platforms – vehicles, aircrafts and ships”. It suggests that human augmentation will be crucial to the future of warfare:
Human augmentation will become increasingly relevant, partly because it can directly enhance human capability and behaviour and partly because it is the binding agent between people and machines. Future wars will be won, not by those with the most advanced technology, but by those who can most effectively integrate the unique capabilities of both people and machineshttps://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/986301/Human_Augmentation_SIP_access2.pdf
It claims a competitive dynamic in which “Countries may need to develop and use human augmentation or risk surrendering influence, prosperity and security to those who will”. I’ve only skim read the rest of the document so far but I find this fascinatingly bleak. It frames this in epochal terms as a ‘Biotech Age’ in which we move from seeing people “as the means to operate the machine” towards a “human-centric approach to warfare where the person is armed with the capabilities to integrate fully into a single platform”.