The development of man - machine functionality is very rapid. It spans over almost any technological aspect and is ongoing right now, as you read this text. The intention of all this development and progress is to make things better for people and society. What are in the developing loop then? Let us have a brief look.
Nano medicine is about to use extremely small particles and materials. To create methods to transport the medicine to only to the defect/infected part of the body. This is mainly for curing cancer, but investigation to create nano-antibiotics is ongoing. Nano technology within the medical area can be used for a different range of areas. It could be used to deliver drugs, conduct diagnosis, antibacterial treatments, wound treatments or even for cell repair.
In parallell with this development examination of the possibility to use the bodies owns ”nano-bots” is ongoing, the Vesicles as transporters or analytical tools.
Technology makes it possible for people, disabled from birth, from disease or injuries during life to regain functionality lost. Maybe not with full capacity or exactly the same functionality as before, but nevertheless. The development of prosthetic limbs, hearing devices and even devices to regain sight is going fast. We already have mind-controlled artificial limbs and work is ongoing with brain implants that will help restoring hearing for deaf people or restore sight fore some blind people as well.
But the development does not stop there. Development of exoskeletons are moving forward. Helping paralysed people to be able to walk or to help old people that has difficulties to walk. In the future you can imagine exoskeletons helping persons with assistans in heavy lifting.
There is also a development ongoing with features that can be implanted in peoples bodies, features beside the ones for replacement or augmentation of normal activity.
The ”first” official cyborg, Neil Harrison has an antenna like sensor built into his scull and it translates different wavelengths to vibrations on his skull, which he then perceives as sound. He has increased the area of ”sight to span also over infrared as well as ultraviolet spectra.
Implementation of things as usb port, microchips, other types of sensors and digital tattoos. With functionality that is not part of the normal biological functions. You could use those gadget to open your door, open and star your car or pay for your purchases.
Development of gadgets or functionalities with non reversible changes is alson ongoing. Technologies that are changing fundamental things as DNA is one example. These things will be very hard to reverse, if even possible, and they will have an impact on coming generations. Another example is to restore sight by implementing working genes back into the body.
All of this sounds very promising and will help people to get healthier lives, more precise medical treatment. It will be beneficial for society as well as for individuals. And there is no end of what can be achieved from the technological development. But very soon, if not already now, people will not be satisfied with just support or restoration of deficiencies. They want to have more abilities and more advanced augmentation. Possibility to see other spectra, jump higher, be stronger, be protected, become smarter, be able to design their bodies, or their offspring.
When the technology will let us actually start to design matter itself, atom by atom, we need to start to ask questions. Is this beneficial for humanity? If yes, in what way? If no, what to do? When we can integrate parts of our body to computers, or even, in a far fetched future, actually upload your mind into the cloud. The most advanced ideas is to upload a copy of your self into the cloud. A better, and a smarter version of yourself. A copy that might keep your memories and significant parts of who you are.
There has been an experiment where an interface between brain neurons has been integrated with an implanted microchip in the brain. The chip in turn interacts with a computer. A direct interface between a brain and a computer. The chip will be able to ” restore” any brain damage according to Elon Musk.
The technological development raises some questions we need to relate to. We most likely will be able to develop all smart things we can imagine. Things that have been impossible before is suddenly possible. The examples are many. Im am convinced that we will find technical solutions to things that really is not a problem. I also think that coming generations of humans might want to integrate with supersmart AI systems. Becoming real smart cyborgs with the capacity of things we would not even imagine. Reducing human to a mixture of man-machine.
Does all of this force us to become ”Cyborgs” in the future? It might if we do not engage of what is ongoing. Not trying to get at bigger view of what is ongoing and what might be possible might be a big mistake. Only because something is possible from a technological point of view does not mean that it is necessary to do.
There might be other ways to follow. Other areas that are scientific but not necessarily technical in the sense mechanical. According to Gregg Braden we already have the functionality to interact with the braincells remotely. We all are equipped with mirror neurons, that actually cannot see the difference of things you experience inside with your body by events that occur outside your body and gives you the same sensations that if they where experienced by you directly. A form of wireless communication already built in our bodies. Maybe there are other functions within that we yet have to discover? Things that already can conduct some of the things we try to achieve by technology. Let us use and develop technology that benefits us as individuals and as society.
Keep you updated and engaged.
In the long term the technological development might make it possible to upload a copy of yourself into the cloud. A copy that never have to sleep and that conduct things not physically possible for the in flesh you. Occasionally you can shake hands with yourself.
Our physical bodies are fragile and limit us to fulfil some of our dreams. Technology has developed new materials that can be integrated into our bodies and let us have functionality from our dreams. Getting us stronger, more resilient and smarter. Creating a new version of ourselves.
Communication is essential for us humans. Interaction between computers and human brains with neuron interfaces might lead to wireless communication between humans. Mirror neurons might already have that functionality, let us find out how to use them and extend our ways of communication..
"This Could Be a Tragedy For Humanity" | The First Brain Chip Implant | Be Inspired | Gregg Braden
CAN NANOBOTS ACTUALLY EXIST? | TRANSHUMANIA
From Human To Cyborg: Are You Willing To Augment Your Body? | The Medical Futurist
Cyborgs will replace humans and remake the world, James Lovelock says | Mach
How a colourblind became the first Cyborg
Readings Robin Hanson | The age of EM
Innovative Diagnostics and Treatment: Nanorobotics and Stem Cells | Tomasz Jadczyk, Ewa Bryndza Tfaili e.al
Natural-Born Cyborgs : Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence | Andy Clark