What is a Cyborg?

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What is a Cyborg?

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The word cyborg conjures up images of robots and machines straight out of a sci-fi movie. To me, a good example of what a cyborg would be is Robocop. He fits the description of a machine with human characteristics such as compassion and chivalry. In the movie he becomes his own person, not just a robot, and fights against the corrupt people who he works for. This is the essence of what a cyborg is to me, a robot that has human emotions and can think for itself. The question arises about whether it would be okay to destroy him when he no longer serves the purpose he was designed for. Everything the cyborg feels comes down to a predetermined set of protocols. While the emotions felt may be genuine, the fact is that its still a robot, built by a human, incapable of ever being a true living entity.

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A cyborg is an organism with both artificial and organic components. The term “cyborg” was first coined by NASA scientists, Nathan Kline and Manfred Clynes in an aeronautics paper written in 1960 which discussed the potential advantages of a machine/human hybrid that could operate in outer space. In science fiction and popular culture, cyborgs are often depicted as “half-man half-machine” beings with robotic or bionic implants, such as RoboCop from the 1987 film of the same name or the 1970s TV shows, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. Cyborgs are sometimes confused with androids, which are robots designed to resemble human beings, such as Data from 1980s-90s TV series, Star Trek: The Next Generation. The capabilities of modern medicine have caused many to re-consider the definition of a cyborg to include mammals which are fitted with restorative technologies that helps replicate the body’s natural systems, such as a person with a pacemaker or a retinal or cochlear implan

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The term “cyborg” is very hard to define because of the enormous amount of gray area surrounding the divide between man and machine. I would argue that a cyborg is someone who must rely on a machine to live. In the modern world, this would include people with pacemakers or on life support. Perhaps at some point in the future, we will be so dependent on technology that wearable computers are a necessity to life. However, that point has not been reached. If the cyborg is appearing today, it is only in the earliest stages of development.

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