Sociology Index

CYBORGS

The cyborg is seen today as an organism that has technologically enhanced abilities. The Cyborg is a new structure of technological fusion. Cyborgs are people who use cybernetic technology to overcome constraints of their bodies with bionic implants. Cyborgs are also often portrayed with physical or mental abilities far exceeding humans. We have the restorative Cyborg and the enhanced Cyborg. In 1998, Kevin Warwick, regarded as the world’s first Cyborg, a professor of cybernetics at the University of Reading, inserted an RFID tag into his arm enabling him to open doors and turn on lights as he walked around campus. A Cyborg or a Cybernetic Organism that is organic and biomechatronic.

Will humans eventually become cyborgs?

Neuroscience startup Neuralink unveiled a pig that has had a coin-sized computer chip in its brain for two months, demonstrating an early step toward the goal of curing human diseases with implanted computer chips. An implantable device can actually solve problems such as memory loss, hearing loss, depression and insomnia. Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, thinks that we as humans need to embrace cyborgs and metabolic advancements. Elon Musk recently shared his prediction for humankind at the World Government Summit in Dubai. He warned that humans must become cyborgs to stay relevant in a future dominated by artificial intelligence.

Cyborg is the mascot of cyberculture, as Donna Haraway asserts in her discussion of feminism, technology, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women. According to Donna Haraway we are all cyborgs and the cyborg holds the promise of freedom from established categories by removing distinctions based upon class, race, sexuality, and gender. The potential offered by technology into cybercultural social structure. The enhanced cyborg intends to exceed normal process. A cyborg is a system with both organic and biomechatronic body parts in which the control mechanisms of the human portion are modified by drugs or regulatory devices enabling the being live in an different environment. Donna Haraway asserts that she would rather be a cyborg than a goddess. Donna Haraway's vision of the cyborg in a postgender world may have come true. In many instances cybernetic fusion posits a realm where previously contested paradigms have become reinstitutionalized.

What is a cyborg?

Cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a being made up of biological and biomechatronic parts. Cyborg is a human-robot hybrid. Associate Professor and Roboticist, Matthew Joordans, from Deakin University’s School of Engineering, explains that, ‘Generally speaking a cyborg is anything that’s part biological and part machine, though they generally have human brains. A grandparent with a pacemaker could be termed an early cyborg. So could a young child with a cochlear implant.’ What about an artist with an antenna surgically implanted into his skull? ‘Definitely a cyborg’ he says. A new generation of cyborgs, and Common Gateway Interface celebrities has been born before our eyes and their future looks promising. Cyborgs are unlikely to have much time for ordinary humans who are relatively stupid in comparison. These cyber beings are pointing to a possible coming population of digital citizens living between the virtual world and our material reality.

Are cyborgs our next evolutionary step?

Cyborgs are aleady walking amongst us. We can call them augmented human species. Once considered science fiction imagination, Cyborgs are fast-becoming a new breed of humans, making us wonder if Cyborgs are our next evolutionary step. One of the world’s most famous real-life Cyborgs was artist Neil Harbisson who was born with achromatism. In 2004, at the age of 21, he underwent surgery to implant a metal antenna into the base of his skull. On the tip of the antenna, hanging just in front of his forehead, was a sensor that picked up and converted light into sound waves. Harbisson was able to hear and feel colour, which he then translated into his art.

Where are the Cyborgs in Cybernetics? Ronald Kline, Social Studies of Science.
Abstract: Cyborgs, cybernetic organisms, hybrids of humans and machines, have pervaded everyday life, the military, popular culture, and the academic world since the advent of cyborg studies in the mid 1980s. They have been a recurrent theme in STS in recent decades, but there are surprisingly few cyborgs referred to in the early history of cybernetics in the USA and Britain. In this paper, I analyze the work of the early cyberneticians who researched and built cyborgs. I then use that history of cyborgs as a basis for reinterpreting the history of cybernetics by critiquing cyborg studies that give a teleological account of cybernetics, and histories of cybernetics that view it as a unitary discipline. I argue that cyborgs were a minor research area in cybernetics. Most of the research on cybernetics focused on the analogy between humans and machines, not the fusion of humans and machines, the domain of cyborgs.

Gray, Chris Hables (ed.) (1995) The Cyborg Handbook New York: Routledge.

Haraway, Donna (1985) A manifesto for cyborgs: science, technology, and socialist feminism in the 1980s, Socialist Review 80: 65-107.

Haraway, Donna (1991) The actors are cyborg, nature is coyote, and the geography is elsewhere: postscript to cyborgs at large, in Penley, Constance and Ross, Andrew (ed.) Technoculture Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 21-6.

Jamison, P. K. (1994) Contradictory spaces: pleasure and the seduction of the cyborg discourse. Arachnet Electronic Journal.

Morse, Margaret (1994) What do cyborgs eat? Oral logic in an information society. Discourse 16 (3).

Rayner, Alice (1994) Cyborgs and replicants: on the boundaries' Discourse 16 (3): 124-43.

Yeaman, Andrew R. J. (1994) Cyborgs are us, Arachnet Electronic Journal on Virtual Culture 2 (1).