In this final part I want to investigate one final common assumption-that there is a fundamental difference between the artificial robot and the natural human being. In reality the lines between the biological and the machinic have been blurred for some time, and any future scenario must acknowledge that rather than the quaint sci-fi B-movie vision of a world of easily distinguishable humans and robots, we must also account for the possibility of cyborgian hybrids of flesh and technology. This corporeal transformation, coupled with the societal impacts of robotics can be seen as paving the way for an effectively posthuman future.
Which, if you’ve never read my blog before, I think sounds brilliant fun. Having written a fair bit about posthumanism on this blog I’m not going to try and sum it up here. Instead, let’s just keep that background knowledge in mind while considering some concrete examples of the cyborg in action, because just like robots cyborgs are creatures of social fact as much as science-fiction.
Starting small, how about some remote controlled insects?
Or this monkey controlling a prosthetic arm with its own brain. By the way, if you’ve been reading these posts and quietly worrying about the robot uprising, I hope you will now include roving armies of techno-monkeys and swarms of insectobots into your paranoid and pessimistic fantasies. Continue reading