As a digital native, it’s impossible to imagine a world without abundance and technology. The joining of humans and technology are an every day unavoidable part of life and something to which has not been given much mainstream thought since some big action flicks from the 1980s. The ideas brought up the question of what constitutes a cyborg are interesting and far away from the traditional ideas one might hold of thinking of a cyborg being purely like the Terminator or a replicant out of the movie Bladerunner.
As pointed out in The Cyborg Handbook (1), it is folly to base our notions of what a cyborg is based on the musings of science fiction alone.
However, how we view cyborgs today has been in part influenced by popular medi and science fiction. For example, the movie Terminator 2 gives an example of the extreme – a robot with a human skin. However, this robot can learn and interact with humans, even becoming a sort of father figure for the movie’s protagonist John Connor. This may show a sort of future for cyborgs – humans becoming more and more robotic, or the alternative of cyborgs becoming more and more like humans.
Cyborgs are now a part of daily life; it is argued that not only is someone with an implant a cyborg, but so to is someone who uses something as common as glasses – technology enhancing our senses. It’s an idea that might be scoffed at by the average person, especially someone younger and a digital native, but it is none the less how we run our lives. It is almost impossible for someone to imagine a time before a certain technology that they now posses – even if they did not have that technology before. As was discussed, technology makes us masters of nature and while we consider it our slaves, we are still dependant on it and society is structured on it – it is hard to see every day cyborgs not existing, as many people depend on it for medicinal reasons, either for someone like glasses, or for something like an implant, but one can imagine how we could see cyborgs in the future for all sorts of reasons – embedded chips with information on the person and so on.
1. Gray, Chris Hables, The Cyborg Handbook, New York: Routledge, 1995
2. Terminator 2: Judgement Day, 1991, Dir James Cameron