Are Cyborgs Old News?

by Tracy R. Walsh

Anthropologist Kathleen Richardson is skeptical of futurists who think technology will “irrevocably change what it means to be human”:

In books such as The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, [Ray] Kurzweil is forever predicting that we will merge with machines and be able to upload our “complete” consciousness into machines. This idea is emerging as the next big challenge in robotics, but it could equally be viewed as a basic feature of human cultural existence. I’m “uploading” my consciousness right now into this article. A visual artist, when she paints is also “uploading” her consciousness. Consciousness is just another way of saying psychic life – the life and impulses of the individual as a member of a family and collective. Arguably, any human being that has ever created anything has transferred aspects of their consciousness to artificial materials.