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Technologies 2018, 6(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies6020050

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

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Vuorimiehentie 3, 02044 Espoo, Finland
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 19 May 2018
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: body hacking; cyborgs; cultural capital; implants; insideables; mass imagineering; robots; sensors; technology domestication; wearables body hacking; cyborgs; cultural capital; implants; insideables; mass imagineering; robots; sensors; technology domestication; wearables
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Fox, S. Cyborgs, Robots and Society: Implications for the Future of Society from Human Enhancement with In-The-Body Technologies. Technologies 2018, 6, 50.

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