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Category: Augmentation

Robotics | IoT

Are We Ready for Cyborgs? The Tech Is on Its Way

Are we ready for cyborgs? More specifically, people with implants that enhance beyond the superficially cosmetic and into the realms of evolved beings? Jorge Pelegrín-Borondo (Universidad de La Rioja), Eva Reinares-Lara (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos) and Cristina Olarte-Pascual (Universidad de La Rioja), in cooperation with Professor Kiyoshi Murata, from Meiji University in Tokyo, believe society […]

This Smart Vest Lets the Deaf ‘Hear’ With Their Skin

What are the limits of human perception? Take a second and concentrate on your surroundings: the subtle flickering of your laptop screen, the faint whiff of lingering coffee, the muffled sounds of traffic, the warm touch of sunlight peeking through you…

How Transformative Tech Can Bring Out the Best in Us All

We now live in exponential times. Technological ability is accelerating. Communication is instant. Interconnection is global. Great change is coming hard and fast. To navigate these conditions, we need to be present, creative, brave, calm, and collaborative — in other words, our best selves. Rather than just an outcome, mental and emotional wellbeing is also a key input for a better future. But while technology is accelerating, our approach to the development of inner wellbeing… read more

Hacking Our Senses Will Transform How We Experience the World

For millennia the human experience has been governed by five senses, but advances in neuroscience and technology may soon give us a far broader perspective. What counts as a sense in the first place is not clear cut. Sight, hearing, taste, smell, and t…

Here’s How to Convince the Brain That Prosthetic Legs Are Real

The carbon fiber legs or “blades” used by lower limb amputee runners have arguably become one of the most iconic symbols of the Paralympic Games. Although different lower-limb sports prostheses are used for running, jumping, and other activities, they share a single common aim: they are designed to help paralympians run faster and jump higher or further than other competitors. Form follows function. For those who have prostheses for more everyday uses, however, their replacement… read more

Biohacking Will Let You Connect Your Body to Anything You Want

How many cyborgs did you see during your morning commute today? I would guess at least five. Did they make you nervous? Probably not; you likely didn’t even realize they were there. In a presentation titled “Biohacking and the Connected Body” at Singularity University Global Summit, Hannes Sjoblad informed the audience that we’re already living in the age of cyborgs. Sjoblad is co-founder of the Sweden-based biohacker network Bionyfiken, a chartered non-profit that unites DIY-biologists, hackers,… read more

Ray Kurzweil: To Merge With Technology Is to Enhance Our Humanity

Technological shifts outpace our awareness of them. While we’re busy with our day-to-day lives—getting a new smartphone or downloading the next updates—we often don’t notice how these incremental changes shape our relationship with technology. According to Ray Kurzweil, this trend will continue as we become more closely integrated with the tech around us. “At some point, we’ll be literally a hybrid of biological and nonbiological thinking, but it’s a gradual transition,” Kurzweil says. Instead of… read more

This Is the Olympics On Technology—When Enhancement Is the Norm

For the purpose of this post, I’d like to suspend moral and ethical considerations for a moment — let’s call this a fun thought experiment. As we enter Olympics season, I find myself thinking about what you might call the “unlimited-class” Olympics or the “anything goes” Olympics — where genetic manipulation, drugs, robotic prostheses, and AI are not only allowed but encouraged. This post is a quick look at what this might look like. And, finally, after… read more

Can Tracking Our Hormones Make Us Smarter With Money?

Let’s face it: most of us suck at managing money. According to a National Bureau of Economics working paper published this March, roughly three quarters of all American households carry some form of debt. 40% haven’t paid off their credit cards. Nearly half have no savings at all. And the US isn’t alone: Canada, the UK and Australia are in roughly the same debt-ridden neighborhood. There’s no doubt that we’re bad with money. But according to Richard Thaler, an economist at the University Chicago, we’re not (entirely) to blame. Economists have traditionally looked at human behavior through a distortion field, he explains…. read more

Can You Download Knowledge Into Your Brain With Electricity?

A cognitive neuroscientist and his team at HRL Laboratories in Malibu, California, seem to have achieved the impossible. According to a press release, the team “measured the brain activity patterns of six commercial and military pilots, and then transmitted these patterns into novice subjects as they learned to pilot an airplane in a realistic flight simulator.” If you’re picturing people downloading knowledge directly into the brain Matrix-style, sorry to hand you the blue pill — it’s utter nonsense. Which is a total shame, because the brain-boosting technique used in the study — transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS, is nothing… read more