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2 minutes reading

We Are Becoming Cyborgs

We Are Becoming Cyborgs We Are Becoming Cyborgs
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The Singularity Is Near
From a book
The Singularity Is Near
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Our species has already augmented our natural lifespan through our technology: drugs, supplements, replacement parts for virtually all bodily systems, and many other interventions. We have devices to replace our hips, knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists, jaws, teeth, skin, arteries, veins, heart valves, arms, legs, feet, fingers, and toes, and systems to replace more complex organs (for example, our hearts) are beginning to be introduced. As we learn the operating principles of the human body and brain, we will soon be in a position to design vastly superior systems that will last longer and perform better, without susceptibility to breakdown, disease, and aging.

One example of a conceptual design for such a system, called Primo Posthuman, was created by artist and cultural catalyst Natasha Vita-More. Her design is intended to optimize mobility, flexibility, and superlongevity. It envisions features such as a metabrain for global-net connection with a prosthetic neocortex of Al interwoven with nanobots, solar-protected smart skin that has biosensors for tone and texture changeability, and high-acuity senses. Although version 2.0 of the human body is an ongoing grand project that will ultimately result in the radical upgrading of all our physical and mental systems, we will implement it one small, benign step at a time.

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So What's Left? Let's consider where we are, circa early 2030s. We've eliminated the heart, lungs, red and white blood cells, platelets, pancreas, thyroid and all the hormone-producing organs, kidneys, bladder, liver, lower esophagus, stomach, small intestines, large intestines, and bowel. What we have left at this point is the skeleton, skin, sex organs, sensory organs, mouth and upper esophagus, and brain. The skeleton is a stable structure, and we already have a reasonable understanding of how it works. We can now replace parts of it (for example, artificial hips and joints), although the procedure requires painful surgery, and our current technology for doing so has serious limitations. Interlinking nanobots will one day provide the ability to augment and ultimately replace the skeleton through a gradual and noninvasive process. The human skeleton version 2.0 will be very strong, stable, and self-repairing.

We will not notice the absence of many of our organs, such as the liver and pancreas, since we do not directly experience their operation. But the skin, which includes our primary and secondary sex organs, may prove to be an organ we will actually want to keep, or we may at least want to maintain its vital functions of communication and pleasure. However, we will ultimately be able to improve on the skin with new nanoengineered supple materials that will provide greater protection from physical and thermal environmental effects while enhancing our capacity for intimate communication. The same observation holds for the mouth and upper esophagus, which constitute the remaining aspects of the digestive system that we use to experience the act of eating.

[…]

We Are Becoming Cyborgs.

The human body version 2.0 scenario represents the continuation of a long-standing trend in which we grow more intimate with our technology. Computers started out as large, remote machines in air-conditioned rooms tended by white-coated technicians. They moved onto our desks, then under our arms, and now into our pockets. Soon, we'll routinely put them inside our bodies and brains.

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