How Far will Humans' Love of Technology Go?

What’s your feeling about becoming a cyborg?

As you probably know, a cyborg is a combination of man and machine, like Steve Austin or the DC comic book character with that name.

When I was a little kid, I pretended to be Steve Austin, “The Six Million Dollar Man,” but now that I’m (significantly) older, the thought of giving up my two real legs for two mechanical ones -- even if it meant the ability to run 60 MPH or leap to the top of a five story building -- does not seem like an appealing exchange.

Even on a vastly lesser scale, that’s the general response from the public, according to a Pew Research Center poll released in the Washington Post this week,

The poll shows that Americans love their technology, no question, but are not so enamored with implanting new technology into our own bodies. “Do people who never let their smartphone out of their grip necessarily want a chip in their brains?” as the article asks.

There are three biomedical technologies that specifically give Americans the willies, according to Pew:

  • Gene editing

  • Brain chips

  • Synthetic blood.

There were two large contingencies of people who were against the human-integrated technology: People committed to a religion, and people unsettled by the the creation of superhumans or a Nazi-esque pursuit of eugenics (put me in both camps).

But perhaps the most concerning response from the poll is that, whether this stuff is good or bad, whether people want it or not, the overall feeling is that we’re getting it either way. As the representative of Pew says to close the story: “Even if people are cautious about potential changes, about half think they’re likely to become a reality within the next 50 years.”