The concept of human augmentation has always been on my mind since I began studying Amber Case and her work in the field of Cyborg Anthropology. As you see today, society has quickly adapted into the online media space, an extension of an indvidual’s self seems to transcend into a digital realm where access and control of information is acquired, socialization is achieved globally and communication is completed in real time.
Current smart phones and tablet technology are integrated in almost every aspect of our lives. They monitor our health, help us shop and purchase items, mark our location, stay up to date on news events, and chat with individuals within the online social sphere. With the advent of the voice controlled Siri and the news of Google coming out a with a goggles project which allows us to access information with simple eye movements and vocal commands, the idea of us being cyborgs isn’t as fictional as some would believe but how far will our desire for an intimate human/computer relationship go?
I happened to come across a teaser trailer for a short film coming this summer called True Skin by Chung of the production studio N1ON. The short film takes place in the future within Bangkok, China where digital self-alterations is a part of daily life much like getting tattoos, piercings or hair dyed. Watch the trailer, you will see the enhancements that humans participate in for whatever reason to suit each particular taste.
Watching this teaser trailer takes me back to graduate school at UT Dallas where I had to read a book by Kurzweil called The Age Spiritual Machines in a Cyber Psychology class as one of our reading assignments. The book envisions a possible future in which the relationship of human interaction and artificial intelligence ultimately changes and improves the way we live. I considered the pros and cons of the issue and even though I do hope for a continued balance of both, I still have questions that some may have thought about as well. How far are we willing to integrate ourselves with technology? Will it improve society or will we lose our humanity in the process? It will be interesting how technology will evolve in the next couple years to the point where this film may be an actual prediction of the future.
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