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Cyborgs Among Us

Updated: Monday, August 11 2014, 11:34 AM CDT

Neil is a musician - an artist - and a cyborg.

That's an antenna surgically implanted in his skull.

"That's actually attached to you, right?"

"Yeah, that's an antenna. A human antenna implant."

He identifies himself as a cyborg.

"It's feeling that you're not using technology and that you're not wearing technology, it's feeling that you are technology."

By definition - a cyborg is a person whose human skills are enhanced by technology.

As devices increasingly take over our lives, some people are actually putting them in their bodies.

Neil is colorblind - his antenna allows him to hear color.

"So this is very red (piano) blue (piano) green (piano)"

It converts the frequencies for different colors into the frequencies for different sounds.

"Why in the first place did you decide to attach this to yourself?"

Neil Harbisson says, "I didn't want to wear technology, I wanted this to be an integral part of me so that's how I kept developing it until I found a doctor that actually drilled my head and made it implanted."

Laurie says, "How did you find a doctor who agreed to put that in your head?"

"It was very complex, cause there's bioethical committees that don't really agree with the unions between humans and technology. So in the end I did find one and he did anonymously so he did the implant," Neil says.

His partner, Moon, is also a self-described cyborg

She wears an antenna that she says vibrates every time there's an earthquake.

Moon Ribas says, "Well I'm a choreographer and I want to perceive movement in the deeper way I can. If I was alone in the planet, what movement would I be able to feel? I realized it was earthquakes that the earth kept moving constantly."

And one particular cyborg sees business opportunity in embeddable tech

Amal Graafstra sells chips people can implant in their bodies

Amal Graafstra says, "I think we've sold probably around two-three thousand implants across all the different types."

Amal has one in each hand, and uses it to scan in to his car, home, and personal safe.

"Essentially what I've done is taken an RFID implant and moved it from a pants pocket to a skin pocket."

It sounds futuristic but Neil envisions a world where implantable tech and surgical add on's could give people superhuman abilities..

"I think it will be very interesting because we'll see someone and we'll see that they have a new body part and maybe it can be an antenna and maybe it can be a tail and it can be wings, it can be anything. Or it can be a completely new body part."

"And then the question is, what sense you have will be a question that we'll ask you."

Cyborgs Among Us


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