MetaHumanity — A New Humanity Narrative with AI, Metaverse, tech?

Dinis Guarda
10 min readJul 27, 2023

“One of the real truths of the 21st century, and earlier, is that history is speeding up. We’re all on a sort of rollercoaster now. There are existential threats that weren’t fully acknowledged not so long ago. We are sort of hurtling forward. It’s more of a task to ask people to slow down.” Martin Amis

Humanity has been always trying to transcend its limitations. With the invention of the #metaverse #AI and its adoption with the potential to become Humanity’s way of communication, doing business, playing, learning, humanity is faced with a new possibility of reinventing itself. Are we on the cusp of transitioning to a new ideation of what it means to be human?

I call that new iteration of humanity Metahumanity.

Metahumanity is a concept that describes how humanity is developing itself, as it adapts to the challenges and possibilities that come with the reality of the Metaverse.

Metaverse comes from a word that is made up with 2 words: Meta and verse. The prefix meta comes from Greek “beyond,” “after,” or “behind” and combined can also be added to “change, transformation, substitution. The English word transports one thing into another, linguistically; the Greek transports things physically. Verse, on the other hand, means “to turn” resulting from the latin word “versus” a line of writing. Verse is the same term used in “Universe”. It is based on the Proto-Indo-European “root wer”, meaning to turn or bend.

The word humanity is from the Latin “humanitas” for “human nature, kindness.” Humanity can also refer to the kind feelings humans often have for each other.

Defining Human

The word human is a as a vocabulary, a noun, referring to a given person; it can be a man, woman, child, or baby. We often use the word “human” to differentiate us from animals or aliens.

Defining Humanity

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Humanity is the human race, which includes everyone on Earth. It’s also a word for the qualities that make us human, such as the ability to love and have compassion, be creative, and not be a robot or alien. Humanity is also a vision and narrative of faith and hope on values that integrate intelligence, respect, kindness and forward thinking for sustainable innovation and creative DNA.

Humanity = Human nature

“Let’s instead define life very broadly, simply as a process that can retain its complexity and replicate.” Max Tegmark

The two are not interchangeable — humanity is human nature, humans in their true form of life. Humans are people, with a very broadly process that integrated complexity, replication and management of intelligence, emotions and morals and ideas–they are more than humanity.

Definition of humanity in philosophy:

Humanity is a virtue linked with basic ethics of altruism derived from the human condition. It also symbolises human love and compassion towards each other. Humanity differs from mere justice in that there is a level of altruism towards individuals included in humanity more so than the fairness found in justice.

“Life 1.0: life where both the hardware and software are evolved rather than designed. You and I, on the other hand, are examples of Life 2.0: life whose hardware is evolved, but whose software is largely designed. By your software, I mean all the algorithms and knowledge that you use to process the information from your senses and decide what to do — everything from the ability to recognize your friends when you see them to your ability to walk, read, write, calculate, sing and tell jokes.” Max Tegmark, Life 3.0

Humanity history:

The Human history is a narrative of change and change with evolution of the humankind’s species that interacts with the world nature ecosystem with a past, present and future. The history tell us that Humans evolved in Africa c. 300,000 years ago and initially lived as hunter-gatherers and evolved to Homo Sapiens and the present stage of development with the inception of advanced technologies and AI.

The narratives of Human history (or the history of humanity), needs to integrate the description of humanity's past thousand of years. Humanity’s history tells all the fast growing changing experiences of humans throughout time and history. And through most of human history, human beings have had to struggle with nature, climate, it’s natural variability and its extremes.

Humanity History Timeline from Society 1.0 to Society 5.0 my research infographic

Humanity history has been our intelligence and creative ways to adapt, change, learn, invent and evolve.

“As the ancient Greeks replaced myth-based explanations with mechanistic models of the Solar System, their emphasis shifted from asking why to asking how.” Max Tegmark

The major word of our times: the powerful concept “technology” comes from two Greek words, transliterated “techne” and “logos”. “Techne” is a Greek word that means art, skill, craft, or the way, manner, or means by which a thing is gained. “Logos” means word, the utterance by which inward thought is expressed, a saying, or an expression.

These concepts can be tracked with human history and again particular meaning, when we associate and apply them to our quest to look at what drives human nature, what limits humanity, and how humanity transforms and creates new worlds, in its deep quest towards immortality.

The way humans dream, imagine and create virtual ideas, personalities, gods, angels and worlds is what we will look at and call Meta+Humanity = Metahumanity. Our point is that Metahumanity is what is preparing itself as the new iteration of Humanity. And the Metaverse is what is preparing that iteration.

In ancient Egyptian mythology, the concept of “Metaverse” was associated with a divine architecture of existence where the gods resided. Today, the Metaverse is a digital universe where humans can interact, play and create with each other in technological immersive spaces while managing or creating their own avatars.

In ancient Egyptian mythology, the Metaverse was the expanded divine stage of existence where humans could visualise and pray to the visions of the places where the gods resided. Today, the Metaverse is the digital technological embodied universe where women and men can expand what it means to be human.

“A long-term timeline of technology” Graphic by Max Roser “Technology over the long run: zoom out to see how dramatically the world can change within a lifetime

Human Augmentation and Transcendentalist Impulses

Throughout history, humanity has always looked at ways to transcend itself. These efforts that Nick Bostrom, highlights as transcendentalist impulses have been expressed at least as far back as the quest for immortality in the Epic of Gilgamesh, as well as in historical quests for the Fountain of Youth, the Elixir of Life, and other efforts to stave off ageing and death. All these concepts have been ways to imagine senses, ideas, create new worlds, and through all those kinds oof efforts, enable humans to somehow expand their vision, create new capacities and realities.

Religious personalities, poets, writers, Sci-Fi authors have been working on this set of concepts and ideas since the dawn of humanity.

Since the 19th and early 20th century human creativity has pushed these concepts to another level, integrating in the past mythological visions, new immersive technology advances, new ideas, narratives and standards.

These concepts lead to the idea of transhumanism at large. This concept: transhumanism was highlighted by British biologist and philosopher Julian Huxley in the 1957 essay of the same name. The concept opened a philosophical and scientific movement that advocates the use of current and emerging technologies — such as genetic engineering, cryonics, artificial intelligence (AI), and nanotechnology — to augment human capabilities and improve the human condition.

“With each advance in understanding come new questions. So we need to be very humble. We shouldn’t have hubris and think that we can understand everything. But history tells us that there is good reason to believe that we will continue making fantastic progress in the years ahead.” Max Tegmark

The concept of Metaverse

The concept of Metaverse is now the advanced embodiment of human expanded transhumanism in a first iteration as a sensory physical and mental systems using cutting edge technologies where humanity’s multiple capacities are augmented in a post-reality universe. In this present iteration, the metaverse concept humanity can get a more powerful, perpetual and persistent multiuser environment merging physical reality with digital virtuality while enabling creativity, imagination, social economic modelling, gamification, new systems and special use of the full organic, physiological full scope of their senses.

The term Metaverse as we have it now was invented and first appeared in Neal Stevenson’s science fiction novel Snow Crash published in 1992. It represented a parallel virtual reality universe created from computer graphics, which users from around the world can access and connect through goggles and earphones. The backbone of the Metaverse is a protocol called the Street, which links different virtual neighbourhoods and locations using an analog concept to the information superhighway. In this platform and met game users materialise in the Metaverse in configurable digital bodies called avatars. Even if Stevenson’s Metaverse is digital and synthetic, the platform’s experiences in it can have a real impact on the physical self. A literary precursor to the Metaverse is William Gibson’s VR cyberspace called Matrix in the 1984 science fiction novel Neuromancer.

Metaverse is based on the convergence of technologies that enable multi sensory interactions with virtual environments, digital objects and people such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Hence, the Metaverse is an interconnected web of social, networked immersive environments in persistent multiuser platforms. It enables seamless embodied user communication in real-time and dynamic interactions with digital artefacts. Its first iteration was a web of virtual worlds where avatars were able to teleport among them.

The contemporary iteration of the Metaverse features human augmented solutions, social, immersive VR platforms compatible with massive multiplayer online video games, open game worlds and AR, VR, MR collaborative spaces.

A modern literary reincarnation of the Metaverse is the OASIS, illustrated in the 2011 science fiction novel Ready Player One authored by Ernest Cline. OASIS is a massively multi user online VR game that evolved into the predominant online destination for work, education and entertainment. It is an open game world, a constellation of virtual planets. Users connect to OASIS with headsets, haptic gloves and suits. Regarding education, OASIS is much more than a public library containing all the worlds’ books freely and openly accessible to citizens. It presents a techno-utopian vision of virtual online education. Hundreds of luxurious public-school campuses are arranged on the surface of a planet dedicated exclusively to K-12 education. Online school classes are superior in comparison to the grass-and-mortar schools as they resemble holodecks: Teachers take students for virtual field trips to ancient civilisations, foreign countries, elite museums, other planets and inside the human body. As a result, students pay attention, are engaged and interested.

Meta + humanity — Metahumanity

Meta + humanity — Metahumanity is my concept and research with my upcoming book that looks at how humans are and need to expand their ability to use their intelligence, imagination, communicate with their evolutionary AI, machines, immersive metaverse digital twins and transform and manage our emotional intelligence and integrate data, or access to new artificial enabled intelligence and information instantaneously.

The Metahumanity concept looks at how humans can or not reinvent themselves with the acceleration of technology and special how AI and Spacial Computing, Metaverse will leapfrog what means to be humanity.

Karel Capek was a visionaire of what we are now starting to have in society when it comes to the vision of humans and machines. What Karel Capek saw in the 1920s with the second industrial revolution we are now getting in exponential scale with the 4IR the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Karel Capek “science fiction” works such as R.U.R The War of the Newts, and The Insect Play were super advanced visions of the world we are starting to live in. Karel Capek introduced the word “robot” to the languages of the world in his 1920s science fiction play R.U.R., which stands for Rossum’s Universal Robots.

The challenge we have now as humans is how Humanity and the artificial intelligence we created and are exponentially scaling with machines and digital systems. How can we cope and how can we manage our own exponential AI machine intelligence that was released?

This quote by Max Tegmark in the seminal book Life 3.0 explains the complexity and challenges when it comes to humans and machines:

“The robot misconception is related to the myth that machines can’t control humans.Intelligence enables control: humans control tigers not because we’re stronger, but because we’re smarter. This means that if we cede our position as smartest on our planet, it’s possible that we might also cede control.”

And what it means to be humanity?

Humanity is about love, hate, conflict, peace and creativity in parallel with destruction while fostering ambition desire, frustration and all things that comprehend the duality and contrast of each of us as human.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Metahumanity as a concept needs to make us rethink how we can be and continue fostering as humans when the technologies we created are surpassing our very own intelligence and capacity to use language to foster innovation and creativity.

The concept of Metahumanity raises important questions about the very nature of what means to be human, the important universal concepts of what are the ethical, social, and cultural implications of human enhancement. Metahumanity needs to be a gamification innovative game changer of redefine and disrupt our own DNA and brains while the fast paces of technology and related ideas and consequences are blurring the line between what means to be human as an organic organism and mind and its new evolutionary augmented artificial machine intelligence digital intelligence technology and machine exponential folder velocity of evolution.

“What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly — that is the first law of nature.” — Voltaire