About Cyborgs

“Human beings are already natural-born cyborgs,” says Andy Clark, a philosopher at the University of Edinburgh who writes about the metaphysical problems posed by BCIs. For as long as we’ve been humans, we’ve been intermingling our minds with technology. In fact, it’s one of the most essentially human things we do. What are pen and paper if not cognitive prostheses? What was the invention of algebra if not a “mindware upgrade?” And what are books if not external repositories for the contents of our brains?

I’m typing this on a laptop, which is doing all sorts of thinking so that my own brain doesn’t have to, and whose hard drive contains a trove of documents that are, in a very real way, an extension of my own memory. I’ve already got a brain-computer interface: my eyes and my fingers. Yes, it’s primitive, and yes, it’s noninvasive, but it’s on the same evolutionary continuum as Kennedy’s electrode implants. We’re all, as Clark puts it, “cyborgs without surgery, symbionts without sutures.”

From this article: The unspeakable Odessey of the motionless boy

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