Frequently asked questions
What is a cyborg?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary simply defines a cyborg as "a bionic human." The Oxford dictionary offers a lightly more nuanced definition: "A fictional or hypothetical person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elements built into the body."
While it is acknowledged that a cyborg is an individual whose body is integrated with technolgy, there is no accepted threshold for the level of integration that is necessary to distinguish between a person that uses technology and a true cyborg. For example, some argue that the use of wearables, such as fitness trackers, is sufficient to consider one a cyborg. On the other end of the spectrum, some believe that cyborgs are only those that have advanced technological integration within the human body, such as brain-computer interfaces, perhaps even to the extent that the cyborg becomes the next evolutionary step for humankind. Of course, there are a wide range of beliefs inbetween these two extremes (think artifical hearts) that individuals use as their cyborg-definition loadstars.
What is the singularity?
Actually, there are a few different types of “singularities.” Important to the content of this website are the “technological singularity” and the “biological singularity.”
The technological singularity is that point in time—the tipping point—where advancements in artificial intelligence technology will trigger an immeasurable explosion of knowledge and intelligence. Specifically, artificial intelligence will surpass and be vastly superior to human intelligence. As this artificial superintelligence makes discoveries beyond anything imaginable by human intelligence, the very structure and function of society will inevitably change.
The biological singularity is the point in time where technologies integration into the human body will be so complete and seamless that the two will be indistinguishable. This is such a change to the structure of the human body that many consider it the end of the human race and the rise of “transhumans.” Put another way, it is our next evolutionary step. Indeed, these transhumans are true cyborgs.
How long until the biological singularity?
The biological singularity is on its way; it will happen, as evidenced by advancements in brain-computer interfaces, artificial limbs, artificial intelligence, etc. However, nobody knows when it will exactly happen. Futurist and Google’s Director of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil, has been quoted as saying that the technological singularity will arrive by the year 2045, while others argue that particular singularity it is up to 1,000 years away.
Certainly, once we hit the technological singularity, the biological singularity will not be far behind. The biological singularity may actually be even closer than anyone has previously predicted if Elon Musk and his company Neuralink provide significant news in their hinted-at big announcement coming sometime soon (supposedly).