Augmentation

Imagine Beyond: Human Augmentation

Imagine Beyond: Human Augmentation

Human augmentation: Wonderful and unusual stories

Human augmentation means altering the human body, for medical, disability or any other reason. Think bionic eyes or Wi-Fi legs. These stories of human augmentation feature the most impressive cyber upgrades you could ever want. Welcome to the future.

Where are the best human augmentation stories?

We love a good human augmentation story at Tomorrow Unlocked. From bionic eyes to Wi-Fi legs, we've picked our favorite cyborg videos from across the web. Which cyber upgrade would you want?

Viva la bionic revolution

Bionics isn't just about prosthetic limbs – we can use our thoughts to communicate with computers.

Eight cyber upgrades you might consider

Thinking about augmenting yourself? These cyber upgrades are essential viewing for future bionic folks.

For more on human augmentation, our Imagine Beyond series covers the latest and most incredible advancements – but it's not for the faint-hearted. Check out Imagine Beyond episode 3: The mind.

Can you hear color? You can now

Neil Harbisson was born color blind. Now, with the help of this cyber upgrade, he hears colors through bone conduction.

Store data in your leg

Store data, stream music and power a Wi-Fi hotspot through this 512Gb leg implant. Want one?

Bionic arms for those with disabilities, cyber upgrades to experiment with biology's boundaries, even augmentation for athletics – it's clear this technology could play a big part in our future. But what do the augmented think? Watch our recent Tomorrow Unlocked human augmentation live event.

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Will we accept a cyborg future? What people think

Recent Kaspersky study shows some interesting numbers

Will we accept a cyborg future? What people think

Recent Kaspersky study shows some interesting numbers

Will we accept a cyborg future? What people think

Recent Kaspersky study shows some interesting numbers

Are you optimistic or worried about the impact of human augmentation? A recent Kaspersky study reveals interesting statistics on how we feel about human augmentation, and why these views might be holding us back.

Would you befriend a cyborg?

Rubbing mechanical shoulders with cyborgs, shaking bionic hands over a coffee or befriending people with implants – as human augmentation capabilities grow, a future with augmented people looks likely. Are we ready for that?

What do we mean by human augmentation? Put simply, it's the natural, artificial or technological alteration of the human body. It's either used for disability or health reasons, like bionic limbs for those who need them, or for convenience, like walletmor's cashless chip implant.

Recent Kaspersky research, Our bionic future: What do Europeans think about an augmented world, involved interviewing 6,500 people about their hopes and fears for the future of human augmentation, with mixed results. While nearly half of European adults think people should be free to enhance their own bodies, many were concerned about augmentation technology's impact on society.

Human augmentation - help or hinderance?

39 percent of European adults felt human augmentation could lead to social inequality or conflict. At the same time, 12 percent said they wouldn't work with augmented humans because of potential unfair advantages.

And there's another side to the bionic coin. More than a third said they've 'always been accepting' of augmented humans, while half of European men (compared to 40 percent of women) say they're either "excited" or "optimistic" about a future with human augmentation.

The future of human augmentation gets mixed reactions across Europe. While some are excited, others feel unsafe with never-before-seen developments. It's down to governments, industry leaders and the augmented to shape a future where human augmentation technology can develop freely and safely.

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Cyborgs: Would you trust this implant?

Live Q&A on human augmentation's future

Cyborgs: Would you trust this implant?

Live Q&A on human augmentation's future

Cyborgs: Would you trust this implant?

Live Q&A on human augmentation's future

Cyborg, cyborg, where art thou? Right here. I'm joined by Kaspersky's Marco Preuß to discuss the future of human augmentation with two people living augmented lives.

What’s the future of human augmentation?

Will the future be focused on human augmentation technologies meant to expand independence for people with disabilities, or as a launchpad to help push biological boundaries? Could it be both? That's what we'll be discussing on today's edition of Tomorrow Unlocked livestream talks, this time in association with Kaspersky NEXT, the event about the latest research and technology realities of tomorrow.

Rainer Bock and Marco Preuß talk to two people living augmented lives that are worlds apart. Tilly Lockey lost her limbs at a young age to an illness no doctor thought she would survive. Now she's one of the most important bionic influencers, leading a better life through AI-assisted arms. We're also joined by Wojtek Paprota, founder of Walletmor. This tech startup installs a legitimate payment solution for its users in the form of a bio-implant. Cashless cyborgs built out of sheer curiosity.

What do Tilly and Wojtek have in common, and where do they think the future of human augmentation lies?

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Games could help develop better assistive tech

"My brain became part of the machine."

Games could help develop better assistive tech

"My brain became part of the machine."

Games could help develop better assistive tech

"My brain became part of the machine."

For disabled people, high-tech assistance systems are breaking barriers. Competitors in multi-sport championship Cybathlon are showing how these technologies are changing the game.

State-of-the-art 'pilots' are opening doors

It's easy to take independence for granted, but for someone with a disability, a new piece of assistive technology that lets them perform an everyday task without help can never come soon enough.

To show the power of technological assistance systems (known to many as 'pilots,') every four years in Zürich, Switzerland, disabled people with software developers, engineers and neuroscientists use state-of-the-art assistance tech to compete in the multi-sport championship Cybathlon.

Of course, there are medals at stake. But Cybathlon exists to promote experimenting with assistive technologies to extend disabled people's access to all parts of life. From using brain power to control avatars, to navigating obstacle courses with augmented limbs, Cybathlon wants to make sure we can all expect independence, regardless of impairment or injury.

Even Covid couldn't stand in the way of Cybathlon 2020. Here's how Cybathlon's organizers and competing teams changed tack to deliver its most inclusive events yet.

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Will robots one day satisfy our need for love?

Look into the future of pleasure, lust and connection

Will robots one day satisfy our need for love?

Look into the future of pleasure, lust and connection

Will robots one day satisfy our need for love?

Look into the future of pleasure, lust and connection

Until now, scientists and developers have pushed to discover whether artificial intelligence can love humans, and vice versa. Welcome to the age of robot relationships.

AI loves me; AI loves me not

In Steven Spielberg's 2001 blockbuster science fiction film A.I. Artificial Intelligence, a highly advanced robot boy pursues a loving foster human who abandoned him. At the time it seemed far fetched. Today, it looks more like reality.

Imagine Beyond: Build me Somebody to Love looks at how AI is changing the way we look at love, lust and human connection. Could you marry a robot? Will a hunk of metal look after you in your dying days? Let's see how human machines could become.

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Where do You Stop Being Human?

Where do You Stop Being Human?

Where do You Stop Being Human?

Remember when you were a kid, running around with your friends, imagining having superpowers and fighting the bad guys? Eventually you outgrew it and are now having a regular human job, but a lot of scientists are driven by their imaginations and are working on technologies to augment ourselves into superhumans.

Human augmentation can aid produce better prosthetics or reduce genetic disorders, and could create a better life for a lot of people – but it also raises the question of where to draw the line: Where does a human stop being human and start becoming a machine?

Creating Joy

We humans have been augmenting our bodies for thousands of years. And we have come a long way from wooden legs to microprocessor prosthetics. It is not just about giving people the opportunity to be independent, after losing an arm or a leg – it is giving back the quality of life everybody deserves. In the future robotic limbs could be integrated into the human body, boosting our biological capabilities. Similar to an upgrade: Human 2.0.

Technology Has its Price

State-of-the-art technology and design have their price. You get what you can pay for. If you cannot afford it you are not getting it. Nowadays it may be that you cannot afford to get a modern and perfectly fitted microprocessor prosthetics. In the future it may lead to parallel universes in one world. An example of this dystopian view is the Netflix series Altered Carbon: The wealthiest people can afford to choose every type of body they want or what kind of augmentation they want to integrate in those bodies, while the rest of humanity has to take what is given to them – like the 8 year old girl which was "resleeved" into the body of a middle aged woman.

When Does Humanity Stop?

Humanity may had millions of years to evolve, but can we still stay human, if we are filled with technology? Imagine if you could preserve yourself, the way you think, the way you talk, what you like or dislike and be able to live forever in different synthetic bodies. Would it still be you, or just a copy of who you used to be– an artificial intelligence which got fed with the data of you and how you process information? If someone has his genetics transformed so that they could process information faster and remember things better than anyone around him, are they still the same person they were before? Will genetically engineered people be a normality, and regular born humans discriminated, like in the movie Gattaca?

For now, we cannot say if our future will be more a utopia or dystopia. For all we know scientists are creating technology to improve our lives day by day, which makes me optimistic about how our society will be tomorrow.

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Want to hack your brain?

Imagine Beyond, episode 3: The Mind

Want to hack your brain?

Imagine Beyond, episode 3: The Mind

Want to hack your brain?

Imagine Beyond, episode 3: The Mind

Our brain is a miracle of nature. It is the central point from which our senses and all functions of the body are controlled, most of them subconsciously. In the course of evolution, we have developed our consciousness, learned to communicate with each other in different ways, and designed tools to help us with our daily tasks. Our brain is unique in the animal world. But what happens when you combine this miracle with the latest technology?

In the third part of our Imagine Beyond series, we deal with the augmentation of our mind. What is already possible today in the field of brain research? What would a future look like, in which people connect more than ever before with technology? What would be the downside of such a development? But first of all, we want to look at how the mental connection between humans and machines can be created.

Our Mind

geralt - Pixabay

Raise your left hand and clench a fist. It doesn't sound difficult at first, isn't it? After all, you do this movement several times a day without thinking much about it. But do you know what happens in your body and especially in your brain to make this movement possible? About 86 billion neurons in our brain constantly communicate with each other so that we can feel, act and think. For a single action, like the clenching of a fist, complex chemical and electrical processes take place on thousands of cells in milliseconds.

What is a Brain-Computer-Interface?

Imagine you are a brain scientist and want to develop a robotic hand that responses just to the same to brain impulses like a human hand. How will this work? It requires an interface between the human brain and the technology, a so-called brain-computer interface (BCI). BCIs are based on the observation that the imagination of an action triggers measurable changes in electrical brain activity. The imagination of clenching our hand, for instance, leads to an activation of our motor cortex. However, communication between humans and machines has so far only been possible in one direction. We can see that something is happening, but we do not feel it.

Giphy

Do we need this Technology

The application possibilities of this technology are manifold. Rehabilitation is one area. Tesla founder Elon Musk and his company Neuralink are advancing into the field of BCIs in order to create new ways of healing in medicine and even more...

The technology could also be used for entertainment or in everyday life. We could enormously improve the performance of our brain, communicate with our partner through thoughts, control devices with our senses or immerse ourselves in deeper virtual worlds than ever before. But how will technology affect us humans and how will we behave?

The question is: Do we want that? This may sound very futuristic now, but the only thing that might distinguish us from machines in the future could be our mind.

 

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Could immortality be this easy?

Could immortality be this easy?

Could immortality be this easy?

Eat turmeric, exercise regularly, sleep well – a few of many tips to increase your lifespan. But if they work, they will probably only give you a handful of extra years. If you want to drastically prolong your time on earth, here's what you might do instead.

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The joy of getting your leg back

The joy of getting your leg back

The joy of getting your leg back

Meet Mike Jones who lost his leg in a motor accident but with the help of an artificial limb, he felt as if he had his leg back again. Scientists across the world are working hard on robotic limbs that can be integrated into our human bodies in a way that they become better than our biological limbs. Leaving us with the question... will we be able to become super humans at some point?

Imagine Beyond is a new web series about human augmentation. We are at an exciting stage of evolution. What was science-fiction is now becoming fact and it is happening faster than most of us expected. Missed the first episode? Check it out here.

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