Technology is innovating all of the time. Human body technology, or human body enhancement, is no longer just a thing of sci-fi movies and novels. Not only is research into the more obvious fields like transplant technology and artificial limbs progressing at a pace, so is more frighteningly sophisticated enhancements designed to help humans overcome the one weakness intrinsic to us all – our own bodies.
There are two camps when it comes to body enhancement technologies. Some say any purpose that is non-therapeutic should be looked at very carefully and with a generous consideration of the ethics involved – others just want to see how far we can take the melding between body and science. I, myself, have to say I fall in the first camp – I’m all for the massive leaps in innovation and technology that have given people back the quality of life taken from them by accident or unlucky birth defects, but I’m not so keen on turning myself into a walking version of the bionic man just because I can. After all, we’ve all seen Terminator, right? We all know where tinkering can land us.
Of course, the chances of seeing bio-digitally enhanced criminals plaguing the streets is hardly around the corner- even some of the most basic ‘enhancements’ of the body are still a pricey affair, as anyone who’s ever looked at cosmetic surgery will tell you in no uncertain terms. Anyone who’s ever asked the questions ‘How much are breast implants’ or ‘How much does liposuction cost’ knows that these simple and somewhat routine cosmetic procedures are far from cheap – or simple to prepare for. If you’re after more details, the links I’ve added above will take you to sites packed full of helpful information on how best to prepare for your cosmetic surgery, how much to budget, how to pick the right doctor and more. It’s a big process, and despite the proliferation of so-called ‘lunch time boob jobs’, still a field that needs careful consideration before committing to it.
Body enhancements that make people’s lives better are a no-brainer. After all, I’m sure you saw the story about the 3d printed skull that was implanted into a female patient recently. What better way to be using technology then to improve lives? I do, however, believe that, like with ‘normal’ cosmetic surgery, a line needs to be drawn. Honestly, who among us doesn’t believe that surgeons should know when to stop, or that Michael Jackson’s plastic surgery team should be taken outside and lined up against the wall? Imagine how much more dangerous- no matter how clever the innovation- full bionic implantation and enhancement will be?
But the future is coming at us fast, with daily leaps and bounds in the technology that will inevitably, one day allow us to compensate and eliminate the very human weaknesses that consume us at the moment. I, for one, hope that human’s have involved a touch of artificial common sense by then- as we rather lack it now and I worry about what we’ll achieve without it.