Implants and the extended body

15 Jan

Like we have mentioned in our last post … here’s our article on ‘Body Enhancement‘. Please read through it and become a part of the discussion by sharing your opinion with us.

One vision of transhumanity is extending the human body. For example with artificial limbs, or implanted chips. When will humanity be able to extend a body. When will we be able to do what ever we want, when ever we want? A human is to be able to overcome his/her shortcomings. One of our visions is the implant of chips. This chips enable you to adopt any skill or feature you might want to acquire. Running as fast as Usain Bolt will be able, or swimming as fast as Michael Phelps. Or maybe you want to play Basketball like Michael Jordan. Only premise will be that you are already in kind of good shape. But maybe you don’t want physical skill but practical skills like talking another language or sing like a star. By implanting the chip, it builds up a connection with your brain. In our brain there are certain areas that allow us to perform in a special way when activated. The chip will directly activate this areas and make the yet impossible possible.

Some people already have implants in their bodies like RFID chips, i.e. Dr. Mark Gasson, a researcher at the UK’s University of Reading. He has self-implanted a RFID-Chip and then purposely infected it with a computer virus. The purpose of this experiment is to proof, how dangerous such a technology will be, if it develops further.

By installing the virus onto the RFID chip, Gasson showed how some might use this “new kind of convenience” to hack and spy into other technologies just by simply standing next to a device. He also thinks that the concern where viruses are and could be smuggled, is to little, if you consider the chip below the skin of a terrorist to infiltrate the government. “I think we have to be careful,” he said of the threat. “You wouldn’t expect a virus in your home computer to necessarily be able to transfer to your phone.

Prof. Rafael Capurro of the Steinbeis-Transfer-Institute of Information Ethics in Germany pointed out during an interview with the BBC: “If someone can get online access to your implant, it could be serious.”

What is your opinion on extending your body or increasing your intelligence? Are we ‘playing God’? What are the moral aspects? Would you implant chips into your body? Will everybody be able to do it? How much does it cost?

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2 Responses to “Implants and the extended body”

  1. Mazzaroth January 15, 2011 at 5:08 am #

    Playing God? First, there is no more god than there is a tooth fairy or licorn. Unless proven otherwise (good luck!).

    Body or intelligence extension is inevitable. It is already hapening. It will just reach new levels. The real question will be to redefine what it is to be human, and how much will it cost not to be human anymore.

    We have great challenges ahead of us. We will need all science and technology can provide us, including side-effect moral and ethical issues, which are relative to culture.

  2. peterwicks January 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    I think Mazzaroth is essentially right. It’s difficult to see how you really stop this happening, barring some kind of civilisational collapse, and notions about “playing God” are certainly not the best reasons to be cautious. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t carefully consider the risks…

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