Ramez Naam was born in Cairo, Egypt, and came to the US at the age of 3. He's a computer scientist, futurist, and an award-winning author.
He helped develop two of the most widely used pieces of software in the world: Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Outlook. Since 2002 he has served as a member of the advisory board of the Nano Business Alliance, and is a member of the World Future Society, The Extropy Institute, and the World Transhumanist Association. He holds 19 patents related to search engines, information retrieval, web browsing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Naam has spoken at dozens of conferences on biotechnology.
He has written a few science fiction and non-fiction books. His works include The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet, Nexus, Crux, More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement and Apex. Nexus won the 2014 Prometheus Award. He was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2014.
A resident of Seattle, he currently works on Internet search technology at Microsoft.
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An interview with Ramez Naam about his book More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement
What gave you the idea to write More Than Human?
I've always been both a fascinated observer of science the kind actually practiced in labs around the world, and an avid reader of science fiction. In 1999, a good friend of mine who I'd loaned a science fiction novel to commented that he expected that in 10 years we'd be walking around with electrodes in our heads, fully immersed in a William Gibson-style cyberspace. I scoffed at the idea, knowing that the brain is an incredibly complex organ and doubting that researchers would get us anywhere near the level of understanding of the brain necessary for that sort of thing until 50 or 100 years from now.
Later that year, a team at Duke University published a paper in the journal Science one of the top two scientific journals in the world where they'd wired electrodes into the brain of a living rat and given it control over a robot arm. And in the same year, a researcher in Atlanta implanted electrodes in the brain of a man named Johnny Ray, a patient who'd been paralyzed from the neck down by a stroke, ...
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