My apologies. College started this week, so my posts got kinda limited by that.
So, a certain game came out this week. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the third installment in the Deus Ex series. It takes place in the year 2027 in a cyberpunk world, where major companies have advanced into the world of bio-mechanical augmentation. You play Adam Jensen, a private investigator investigating attacks on the company you work for. Throughout the game, certain events lead to you replacing parts of your body with bio-mechanical prosthetics. While it's only a few at first, you eventually get free reign on new parts that really augment your body and grant you the ability to do some really amazing feats that normal humans wouldn't be capable of. I just downloaded the game but I haven't started it, but I've heard that it's an amazing game by all means (the first game in 2000 was hailed at the greatest PC game of all time, so I see why this one would be good).
The year 2027, and we can replace body parts easily and still act completely normal. Really? That's a small time frame to me. That's only 16 years away!
Maybe "only 16 years" is all we need. I was chatting with my friend tonight as we were on our way to a local game store. He brought up a professor at a major university that I can't recall right now. The guy was a literal "D" student in college, and he is now the head of the prosthetics research department (or something like that, it's been a long night!) at the university. This guy lost his legs in an accident when he was younger, and now he is using a pair of prototype prosthetic legs to get around. The pair of legs are really advanced. The professor says that he predicts that It will be maybe by 2020 when we have prosthetic limbs that are connected to a chip in our heads that allows us to control them with our minds.
But like all technology, it starts up slow and picks up speed. As soon as new technology is made available, only the richest and most notorious get access to it. However, eventually it gets mass-produced and everyone as access to the technology. That's what I'm thinking of: a future where robotic human-like limbs are available publicly for anyone to snag when they need it. It sounds cool, but honestly it sounds more and more like a certain awesome anime series about Human augmentation and human minds inside robots.
Okay, let's be honest. Who would willingly chop off their arm to accept a robotic one? In the future, I expect incidents to drop a bit lower as more and more people progress to computer jobs and stay at home more (and new vehicle technology reducing crashes). You have no need for a robotic arm if you still have your arms. Drive safe? No wild stunts? You're good to go for a 100% human body, my friend.
That's what I'm scared of, though. In an interview with the professor, he was asked if he would take his original human legs back if he was given the chance. And shockingly, he aid "no." He said that he the robotic legs he possessed were far more advanced than human legs. He could perform athletically with his robot legs than he could with his original human legs. That is what scares me. He prefers robotic parts to human parts.
I say that's where the line is crossed. I will accept that in the future, we may enter a time where we can trade our human parts for superior robotic parts. There's one problem, though. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about actually putting robotic parts to use? Manual Labor. Poor people that can't afford a good education must rely on manual labor to make a living; it's all they have. They may not be able to afford such human-augmenting parts. The rich people, however, will be able to. They'll use their new parts to work manual labor jobs, and of course they'll be hired because they'll perform better than the poor pure-blood humans. It's another idea of the rich getting richer, and the poor getting poorer.
I mean, robotic parts aren't all bad. If you break your real arm, it's going to take a few months for it to fully heal. You may be out of work for awhile. However, what happens if you break your prosthetic arm? Get a new one. It's that simple. Heck, we can even have interchangeable parts. With how easy it could be to repair and replace a robotic part, people would be getting out more. People would be taking more risks. This world would become so much more active.
The progress on bio-mechanical prosthetic technology is advancing. The breakthroughs will open up so many new possibilities that we, as humans, could hope to advance the greatness of the human race. But, I'll ask the question again; would you willingly chop your own arm off to break your own limits?