Genetically Engineered Superintelligent Humans Could Have an IQ of 1000
Could future humans be ten times as intelligent as the average human? In a new study, Michigan State theoretical physicist Stephen Hsu theorizes that genetic engineering could give the next generation of humans an IQ score of 1000. To put that into perspective, Stephen Hawking has an IQ of 160, Albert Einstein is estimated between 160-190, and the highest IQ ever recorded was between 250 and 300.
"The possibility of super-intelligence follows directly from the genetic basis of intelligence. Characteristics like height and cognitive ability are controlled by thousands of genes, each of small effect," said Hsu. In his paper, he estimates that 10,000 gene variants have an impact on a person's intelligence, and that certain tweaks to optimize the expression of all of these genes could yield a race of humans who "exhibit cognitive ability which is roughly 100 standard deviations above average. This corresponds to more than 1,000 IQ points."
Hsu is also an advisor for BGI, a genomics lab that is rumored to be sequencing the genomes of the world's 2,000 most intelligent people in order to genetically engineer superintelligent designer babies.
His research has not yet been peer reviewed, but if it does have merit, then the implications on society would be enormous. Hsu speculates that these posthumans could have savent-like abilities that are essentially beyond our current comprehension, including "nearly perfect recall of images and language; super-fast thinking and calculation; powerful geometric visualization, even in higher dimensions; the ability to execute multiple analyses or trains of thought in parallel at the same time; the list goes on."
He also, rightly, in all likelihood, warns that there could be dire ethical and social consequences, particularly since realistically, the wealthy and elite would be able to obtain this technology before those of average or below-average wealth. "[T]he corresponding ethical issues are complex and deserve serious attention in what may be a relatively short interval before these capabilities become a reality."
He insists that the technology must be equally available to everyone for the sake of social justice. "The alternative would be inequality of a kind never before experienced in human history."