Watch this interesting overview of the current state of human bionics

Originally published at:


Getting there… pretty freakin sweet already.

Cool… and also eeeewwww no. At the same time.

Can’t it make the wenenenene noise from the “Bionic” series-es in the 1970s? Just to warn people about your handshake? :slight_smile:

Slightly obligatory:


I think we all know where this is going.



I don’t think anything gets me as emotional or hopeful about humanity’s future as modern prosthetic technology. The blind can see, the deaf can hear and amputees can run marathons. Just mind-bogglingly wonderful stuff.


They mentioned “congenital amputees” and “acquired amputees”. How soon before people start becoming “intentional amputees”, having a limb taken off so they can have a cool prosthetic put on! I bet someone is considering it right now.

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There are two ways people are coming at this: from the body modification lifestyle scene and from a medicalized POV, which they describe as body integrity dysphoria.


Not considering it, per se, but prosthetic tech is something I follow with interest, and presentations like this make my imagination go good places with the imagined loss of a limb.

The this is greatly mitigated by the last statement from the drummer, who says his ultimate hope is to have a hand that has the same capabilities as his intact one. And that they refused to show the test monkey’s face.

You know… I was thinking. If I would lose both legs in an accident, I would like to have digitgrade legs, like a velociraptor.


Been done.


Forget the tentacle idea. I would totally have my cell built into my arm. It is amazing how often I have end up juggling it from hand to hand anyway, and I am so sick of losing or dropping it.

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I share the enthusiasm here for these transformative technologies, but it’s worth noting that there are some dissenting voices. Many in the Deaf community view cochlear implants as a form of mutilation that isolates children from their culture.

Cochlear implants are strongly opposed by many members of the Deaf community. Many Deaf individuals claim that CIs have not definitely proven efficacious and argue that proceeding with implantation exposes individuals to surgical risks without proven benefit. Additionally, efforts to treat hearing loss are seen by some as a threat to the Deaf culture. Leaders of the Deaf culture have associated CIs with “child abuse” and “cultural genocide” because they can lead to implanted children leaving Deaf society. 8 Some contend that these two arguments are inherently contradictory.9

The debate around mandating cochlear implants is similar to the debate around surgical assignment of gender to intersex children, particularly as it relates to medical ethics and parental rights.

Both are complex issues and I’m not sure where I come down on them, though I tend to favor the idea that atypical is not the same as broken.

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If science is at the forefront, what are the people behind that using? Guesswork? Voodoo?

I’ve always had some trouble getting my head around this and similar arguments, but I guess I’m always coming at it from the perspective of someone losing capabilities: if I lost my hearing or had a limb severed, I’d undoubtedly want to replace it. If suddenly everything was being put up on 10ft high shelves, I might not be all that pleased by the suggestion that I wear stilts everywhere.


I’m somewhat of the opinion that when the child is old enough to decide for itself that there is a need for a change – cochlear implant, gender issues – that it becomes a discussion and decision between the child and the parents. It gets messy, however, if the child’s opinion differs from the parents, especially if the child is deemed ‘not old enough’ to decide for itself.

And just to throw gas on the fire, if I lose an arm, I’m demanding one of these:

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