Human bodies married to metallic bodies – one complex technological system intertwining with our elegantly complex human systems. This is happening with more frequency these days.
Samsung revealed research this month on technology that would allow people with physical disabilities to control their TVs with their thoughts. Johnny Matheny became the first man to receive a robotically controlled arm earlier this year.
But in some ways, movement toward cyborg (cybernetic organism) applications sounds like a leap into dystopian science fiction. Businessman Elon Musk aims to connect the brain to computers, and one neurologist was even willing to hack his own brain to further research on human speech, hoping to one day attain life extension itself.
While recent advances in medical science have shown just how complex the human body is, and therefore how difficult this will be, computers continue to become more and more complex. The study of these two systems developing together over time is called cybernetics, a term coined by the mathematician-philosopher Norbert Wiener in an attempt to explain the newfound technological ability to “command and control” machines – including biological organisms.