John Tuttle

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Cybernetic Organisms: The Difficulties of Compatibility Between Man and Machine

Computer Chip Matrix. Source: technologynewsextra.

Cybernetic organisms, or “cyborgs” for the breath-savers, are creatures which have organic body parts as well as mechanical elements. The terms like “creatures” and “organisms” can mean either animals or people or both.

In the case of the Animal Kingdom, scientists have already altered insects and other small creatures into controllable cyborgs, manipulating their movements. The sheer concept of a mechanized device controlling anything’s movements, let alone anyone’s mind, can be found alarming to certain people, myself included.

Some futurists and scientists genuinely think that a century from now the majority of humanity will be implanted with computer chips in order to link the human brain with an AI of some kind. In effect, these miniscule computer chips would be a fantastically convenient form of brain-computer interfaces.

These implants could potentially allow the patients to communicate via an updated version of mental telepathy. Such is one of the very points made by Jeff Stibel in his Forbes article “Hacking The Brain: The Future Computer Chips In Your Head.” Stibel proceeds to mention a few more legitimate concerns about the futuristic installment of a standard human computer chip.

One of his worries is regarding the possibility of one’s memory actually being hacked, even deleted. I hope humanity’s posterity has the sense to consider some sort of a backup drive for people’s memories.

But think about it: People, world leaders and foreign scientists for example, who would have had a difficult time talking to one another previously, could now communicate flawlessly and breathlessly. There would be no language barrier. In addition to being able to solve many communication problems, the mini brain-computer interfaces would be a medium which could have the capability to boost creativity and problem solving.

On the flip side of this notion, such computer chips could also become a means of manipulating our brains in a different fashion, the way scientists have manipulated small organisms. Again, if someone’s mind could be “hacked,” the question of someone else being able to control it would likely come up.

Someone with devious motives or an AI gone amok taking control of someone’s brain is a dissettling idea, one I hope no one ever has to explore. But if such a seizing of the human mind were possible, it would remove a vital element of what makes people human: our free will.

We choose whether we go left or right, what time we get up in the morning, what we plan to do during our day. If modified into cyborgs in the future, the choices human beings would make might not be their own. A billion questions arise out of this computer chip scenario. “Would a person who has been hacked even be aware of it?” — for example.

Or, in regards to a much more likely mishap, “What if a person’s computer chip was accidentally damaged or malfunctioned of its own accord?” What would happen to a person in this situation? Would it be life-threatening? Would the human body be able to survive in the absence of a perfectly functional chip? The list does, by all means, go on. But time is a gift to be spent in moderation.

In conclusion, a physical merging of man and machine has its ups and downs. But I’m afraid the downs have it on this one. There are a good deal of moral as well as logical flaws in the concept. And these must first and foremost be examined.

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