News. As nascent technologies fuse physical, digital and biological worlds the question arise: What does it mean to be human? We have already began transforming man to machine, and some people believe in the ‘singularity’ – that artificial intelligence advances so much that humanity will be irreversibly disrupted.
The UK-based media Raconteur describes the reactions that one of the world’s first ‘cyborg artist’, Neil Harbisson (picture), has experienced during 13 years with an antenna fixed to his skull in order to ‘hear’ colour. And then follows up describing the ‘transhumanism’ trend going on these days:
- At March’s South by Southwest 2017 in Austin, Texas a draft of the declaration of cyborg rights was introduced accompanied by a flag “which you can only detect if you can sense infrared”.
- Cyborg Nest is a company among a growing cluster of ‘biohacker’ startups offering a variety of sense-augmenting implants, with body enhancements, prosthetics and genetic modifications.
- Some tech billionaires are already considered ‘transhumanists’, eg Peter Thiel, the PayPal co-founder, Elon Musk, Tesla, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
- ‘Cryonics’ is the deep-freezing of recently deceased people in the belief that scientific advances will revive them. Dr. More’s Alcor, the largest of the world’s four cryopreservation facilities, houses 117 ‘patients’, who are ‘considered suspended, rather than deceased. A whole-body preservation cost $200,000.