Cyborgs, Robots and Society: Implications for the Future of Society from Human Enhancement with In-The-Body Technologies

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    Abstract

    Some well-known scientists and technologists have expressed concern that robots may take over the world. More generally, there is concern that robots will take over human jobs and leave billions of people suffering long-term unemployment. Yet, such concerns do not take into account the potential for human beings to enhance their natural capabilities with in-the-body technologies and so become cyborgs with superior capabilities to robots. Types of cyborgs include: human beings with mass produced biomedical implants; human beings with mass imagineered body hacks; and human beings with mass customized insideables. In this paper, human enhancement with in-the-body technologies is analyzed through the theoretical frameworks of mass paradigms, technology domestication, and cultural capital. The implications of the findings of these analyses are related to debates about the future of society. In particular, opportunity versus exploitation, utopia versus dystopia, and emancipation versus extinction. It is explained that that debates about the future of society are flawed if they focus more upon robots than cyborgs. This is because cyborgs can provide more highly advanced embodied cognition, and the number of cyborgs continues to increase as enterprises introduce new in-the-body technologies while individuals seek to increase cultural capital through body projects. Accordingly, debates about the future of society should consider the potential of cyborgs, as well as robots, replacing human beings
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages11
    JournalTechnologies
    Volume6
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2018
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Keywords

    • body hacking
    • cyborgs
    • cultural capital
    • implants
    • insideables
    • mass imagineering
    • robots
    • sensors
    • technology domestication
    • wearables

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