SmartPlanet | When brain implants arrive, will we still be us?
November 19, 2012
SmartPlanet — November 19, 2012 | Reena Jana
What happens when non-biological implants in our bodies — along the lines of cochlear implants to improve hearing in the deaf — include brain-related devices that might enhance our memories? Will we still be “us”? Will we be more of a cyborg than we were if, say, we had another type of implant? And for those who believe we would not be, at what point do we lose our selves to a more machine-like incarnation? When do we stop being human?
This is all pretty heavy, mind-bending stuff. But while such thoughts might seem like the domain of science fiction, when considering the trends toward smaller and more powerful computer chips and wearable computing, such theoretical musings might be relevant in innovation theory.
And Ray Kurzweil, the often controversial author and futurist, has some opinions on this scenario in his new book How to Create a Human Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed. (Andrew Nusca, SmartPlanet’s editor, recently reported on his talk at the Techonomy conference). Kurzweil argues that even without any non-biological implants, our physical selves are always changing. [...]