Technologically, we're nowhere NEAR that particular standard, let alone 15 to 25 years. Closer to a century, at least, before technologies like brain-machine interfaces performance enhancing prosthesis becomes available to anyone, and even those are EXTREMELY likely to be accessible only to the very rich at first. Genetic modification, on the other hand, is even farther off; the technology is more mature, but the motivation for actually tinkering with human genes just doesn't exist. Genetic engineering is considered too hit and miss and the ethical considerations are staggering, even for transhumanists. Those are hurdles that aren't going to be overcome in the next 25 years. At least, until they too are wiped out in a mass extinction event. That's the transhumanist position. The far more likely scenario is that a new power structure (probably including portions of the old one) will use those technologies to cement their own advantage and then lord it over the rest of humanity as a collection of empires and/or corporate fiefdoms. This is basically the scenario predicted by the Eugenics Wars: the modified supermen simply carved up the world between them in a series of dictatorships that devastated the rest of the human race. There's likely to be a stark factionalization when this happens. The transhumanists will find their natural enemy in humanists who have an almost religious obsession with "natural evolution" and denigrate attempts to defy nature. Caught in the middle will be populist movements, excluded from the upper class, who try to use those new technologies for their own benefit. Some of these will be progressive/socially conscious movements like UNICEF or One Laptop Per Child, others will be less enlightened groups like Al Qaida or the Kurdistan Workers Party. And of course there's the legitimate freedom fighter who will use that technology to overthrow his oppressors... The point is, humanity is too large a thing for that technology to be distributed evenly, and humans in general are too small-minded to ensure otherwise. It's sort of a catch-22 that we have to achieve enlightenment before we are mature enough to pursue it in the first place. When indoor plumbing and electricity are counted as "luxuries" in the 21st century, you know there's something wrong with your measuring standards. There is a difference, but it's hardly gigantic. Both depend on the same basic (flawed) assumptions about the nature of technology and the markets it serves, the same mistakes futurists are ALWAYS making, which is why their predictions are often so wildly inaccurate. Not necessarily. Considering there's no practical reason to imbue a machine with artificial personality EXCEPT to have that machine act as a surrogate for real people. This can only be accomplished if those machines are designed from the outset to be as similar to human beings as possible, with most of the same limitations and scope of intelligence. It is NOT a foregone conclusion that those AIs would eventually choose to transcend their built-in limitations; even if it were possible, they may not find it desirable. I'm loathe to use a Disney reference, but consider the AI that drives a garbage robot like Wall-E. Evidently this is a machine intelligence bordering on sentience, with the capacity for introspection, genuine curiosity and the ability to form friendships and loyalties. He can even set his own goals in life, to a certain limited extent. Yet, at the end of the day, Wall-E is still, basically, a self-propelled garbage truck, and that basic function pretty much drives every other facet of his personality. Why would he choose to transcend his garbage collection duties in favor of becoming, say, an omniscient cosmologist with knowledge spanning the farthest limits of the universe? From his point of view, collecting the leftover knicknacks and trinkets from the Old World is probably a lot more fun. Not even all humans subscribe to transcendentalism; it's fallacious to assume all of the machines would. And you don't think the fact that you're LOOKING for them every single day has anything to do with that? Oh, but it does. They key word in artificial intelligence is Artificial. That is to say it's something that humans created for a very specific purpose. We would have no reason to develop an artificial personality that DOESN'T closely resemble our own, even if we knew how. I disagree. I think our first and best hope for space exploration are are crazy SOBs with under-developed self-preservation instincts. It didn't take Von Neuman machines to spread humanity through every corner of the globe. What it really took was BALLS, and once space exploration is no longer the purview of governments, we will again start seeing those rugged half-crazy pioneer types put their balls on the line.