Life as a Cyborg
Moore’s law predicted the exponential growth of technological advance, resulting in an ever increasing pace of change. As humans keep up with this pace and look to technology to help solve our problems, it begins to raise questions around an innate human quality - identity. As the lines begin to blur between human and machine, the debate about how we recognise ourselves has just begun.
British-born artist Neil Harbisson is the first person to be recognised as a cyborg by a government. He was born with achromatopsia, or complete color-blindness, but now has the ability to perceive colour through an antenna-like sensor implanted into his skull. The antenna allows him to distinguish visible and invisible colours such as infrareds and ultraviolets via sound waves, creating a sensory experience that no other human has perhaps ever experienced.
“I don’t feel like I’m using technology, I feel like I am technology,” says Harbisson. By definition, cyborgs are the union between cybernetics and organisms – and Harbisson is a prime example of how humans are shaping our own evolution. Rapid advances in technology have made it easier than ever for humans to use augmentation as a means of expressing themselves, by using cultural and technological influences to shape and create their own identity.
As Harbisson concludes: “In the future, many more people will see it as ethical to design yourself. It will be normal.”