Having a child without having to be nine months pregnant. Dream or nightmare? EctoLife imagined how the children of the future could be conceived using technology and artificial intelligence.
The future of humanity according to Hashem Al-Ghaili will be without pregnancy thanks to EctoLife. Based in Berlin, he defines himself as a producer, director and scientific communicator. It therefore has a marketing approach of the future and not a scientific one. His personal website highlights its views, reach and followers on social networks rather than the list of his academic publications. And with EctoLife, a project he revealed preview at Science and Stuff, he succeeded. Make people talk about him and his project so far removed from our reality that it necessarily arouses strong emotions, whether positive or negative. Personally, watching the EctoLife promotional video sent shivers down my spine.
The EctoLife project. © EctoLife, YouTube
Overcome infertility and facilitate procreation
EctoLife has nothing concrete, but it intends to solve problems that are. Recently, researchers calculated that the number of sperm in semen decreased by 51.6% between 1972 and 2018 across the world. This finding has prompted some scientists to speak of ” impending crisis » infertility. A problem that also concerns women who, in addition, suffer and stress during childbirth while being exposed to the occurrence of sometimes serious or fatal complications. Hashem Al-Ghaili thinks that EctoLife can help humanity to overcome these problems, since the number of sperm will not be a problem to procreate, it will only take one, and the “childbirth” will be done by pressing a single button.
As for fertilization in vitro, an EctoLife baby is born from the meeting, under a microscope, of the sperm and egg of its parents. But rather than growing in a placenta, it grows in an artificial environment, a pod, which contains everything needed for normal growth. An artificial intelligence controls all this closely and an application even allows parents to follow the growth of their baby on their smartphone screen. A must for technology, the pods are equipped with loudspeakers to rock your baby, who is growing up away from you in a factory alongside thousands of others, with music or the sound of your voice. ” Our goal is to provide you with intelligent offspring that reflect the sagacity of your choices. “, narrates the voiceover of the video. Virtual reality helmet and vest that reproduces baby’s kicks, everything is done for parents to establish a connection with their child.
The perfect baby
The EctoLife baby must also be genetically perfect, without any genes that could make it sick. The video explains that the embryos can be genetically edited by CRISPR-Cas9 before being transferred to the pod. Genes known to cause illness can be excised from the genome and thus “ repair any inherited genetic diseases that run in your family; your child and his offspring will live a healthy and comfortable life, free of genetic disease “. That’s not all, a Elite Package will allow parents to choose the color of the eyes, the skin, the hair but also the physical form, the size and the level of intelligence of the baby.
The goal here is not to have a child who looks like you, but a perfect child. Without being pregnant, without giving birth and without suffering but staying on your couch. A science fiction project that may never become reality, but the fact that some imagine the future of humanity in this way has us wondering, because artificial wombs already exist.
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EctoLife, the disturbing science fiction project that wants to eliminate pregnancy
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