Cybernetics News

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Amah Edoh, associate professor in anthropology, has received the Everett Moore Baker Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. This Institute-wide [...]
Wed, Jun 03, 2020
MIT Anthropology
Seychelle Vos arrived in September 2019 as the Department of Biology's newest assistant professor. Her lab in Building 68 uses [...]
Thu, May 28, 2020
MIT Biology and Genetics
In high school, Talia Khan was passionate about musical theater. So, she was thrilled when she got to go to [...]
Tue, May 26, 2020
MIT Materials Science and Engineering
One of the perks of an academic's pre-pandemic life was the chance, at least once a week, to take a [...]
Tue, May 26, 2020
MIT Biology and Genetics
Ten MIT students and recent alumni are recipients of awards from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. They will use their [...]
Fri, May 22, 2020
MIT Materials Science and Engineering
A crystalline compound called ruthenium dioxide is widely used in industrial processes, where it's particularly important for catalyzing a chemical [...]
Thu, May 21, 2020
MIT Materials Science and Engineering
Neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have found that a protein acts like a volume dial for [...]
Wed, May 13, 2020
MIT Biology and Genetics
Amy Moran-Thomas, the Alfred Henry and Jean Morrison Hayes Career Development Associate Professor of Anthropology at MIT, has been awarded [...]
Fri, Apr 24, 2020
MIT Anthropology
Toward the end of her Killian Lecture at MIT on Tuesday afternoon, Susan Silbey showed the audience a photo of [...]
Thu, Feb 13, 2020
MIT Anthropology

 

Cyborg

Are we already Cyborg? The short answer is yes, but most of us are Cybernetic Organisms by our use of the Internet to gain access to, and manage, digital information. Increasingly so… Every day, we bring more technology into our lives, leveraging the electronic energy to amplify and broaden our abilities..

Cybernetic Organisms. Cyborgs are what we are when we network via the Internet Protocol. The Internet Protocol Cybernetic Organism that is the Internet.

A cyborg, short for “cybernetic organism“, is a being with both organic and artificial parts. See for example biomaterials and bioelectronics. The term was coined in 1960 when Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Kline used it in an article about the advantages of self-regulating human-machine systems in outer space.[1] D. S. Halacy’s Cyborg: Evolution of the Superman in 1965 featured an introduction which spoke of a “new frontier” that was “not merely space, but more profoundly the relationship between ‘inner space’ to ‘outer space’ – a bridge…between mind and matter.”[2]

The beginning of Cyborg creation began when HCI (human-computer interaction) began. There is a clear distinction between the human and computerized technology in HCI, which differs from cyborgs in that cyborgs act out human functions.

The term cyborg is often applied to an organism that has enhanced abilities due to technology,[3] though this perhaps oversimplifies the necessity of feedback for regulating the subsystem. The more strict definition of Cyborg is almost always considered as increasing or enhancing normal capabilities. While cyborgs are commonly thought of as mammals, they might also conceivably be any kind of organism and the term “Cybernetic organism” has been applied to networks, such as road systems, corporations and governments, which have been classed as such. The term can also apply to micro-organisms which are modified to perform at higher levels than their unmodified counterparts. It is hypothesized that cyborg technology will form a part of the future human evolution.

Fictional cyborgs are portrayed as a synthesis of organic and synthetic parts, and frequently pose the question of difference between human and machine as one concerned with morality, free will, and empathy. Fictional cyborgs may be represented as visibly mechanical (e.g. the Cybermen in the Doctor Who franchise or The Borg from Star Trek); or as almost indistinguishable from humans (e.g. the Terminators from the Terminator films, the “Human” Cylons from the re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica etc.) The 1970s television series The Six Million Dollar Man featured one of the most famous fictional cyborgs, referred to as a bionic man; the series was based upon a novel by Martin Caidin entitled Cyborg. Cyborgs in fiction often play up a human contempt for over-dependence on technology, particularly when used for war, and when used in ways that seem to threaten free will. Cyborgs are also often portrayed with physical or mental abilities far exceeding a human counterpart (military forms may have inbuilt weapons, among other things).