In the now-foreseeable future, we will have technology sufficiently advanced to allow the fundamental alteration of humans. Once the technology is available, it is inevitable that at least some humans will take advantage of it.
Knowledge workers may want additional processing power or storage capacity in their brains. Teenagers may beg for communication implants instead of smartphones. Carpenters may use cybernetic eyes that can sense wall studs and measure boards. Police officers may want bulletproof skin or implanted weapons. Pilots and long-haul truckers may use chemical means to sleep less. Athletes and soldiers may graft artificially-grown muscles onto their bodies. Many people will want to extend their lives if they can, even if it means existing as a sentient hologram. It may seem like science fiction now, but it will happen, and there are infinite possibilities.
We can call a person who makes such fundamental alterations transhuman, posthuman, human+, or in some cases, a cyborg. Whatever we call those who move beyond traditional notions of human-ness, their decision to go posthuman will have legal (as well as moral, philosophical, social, and political) implications that I intend to explore in this blog.
Interested? In addition to bookmarking this blog or subscribing to it by RSS or email, you might want to peruse the Transhumanist FAQ (pdf) by Oxford University philosophy professor Nick Bostrom, or flip through back issues of H+ Magazine.
Stay tuned, future cyborgs!