Major from the anime, Ghost in Shell

We are already cyborgs

Over at CNet, they’re highlighting a few things to watch from Google. Two stand-out–the new “google glass” and a super-search engine being designed by futurist Ray Kurzwell.

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First glasses, next contact lenses, next implants?

I am  fascinated by this.  I am not saying it is “good” or “bad”  as I tend to be neutral on technology. I am not all in with technology determinism nor am I a techno-skeptic like, say Evgeny Morozov. I was listening to a talk a few months ago, I cannot remember who it was, but the speaker was arguing that in many western and Asian societies, we’re already on the path to being cyborgs. His argument was that for all intents and purposes, phones have become part of people. If you don’t answer a text right away, it’s received in the same was as if you were snubbing the person face-to-face in conversation  Or if you look at any line anywhere when you’re out, people will be fiddling on their phones–they’re daydreaming through their phones.  I would argue that this  extension transference has already set us on a path to being hybrid robots–and I don’t mean having bionic arms, but what I mean is that in terms of functioning, computing devices are clearly integral to our sense of self and for routine tasks (for example, you don’t have to think of where the post office downtown is, just put in the GPS and it will walk you there).

You can see this with fashion too, the iPhone, iPod, etc are like clothes now, I mean, chic, swanky ladies don’t roll with blackberries–notice how they all are outfitted with iPhones?  Technology is already having an impact on the morphology of the human species, I wonder where this will lead to in a few years–these changes are happening very fast.

This will have future policy implications for cyber-security,  intellectual property rights, human rights and international commerce. For example, as it is, mobile phones are already wicked problems–see net neutrality in USA or Europe, the weaponization of cellphones in conflict zones such as in Iraq, etc.

Read the CNet article here.

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