Technology changes, but people stay the same.
Sometimes a technology is so awe-inspiring that the imagination runs away with it - often far, far away from reality. Robots are like that. A lot of big and ultimately unfulfilled promises were made in robotics early on, based on preliminary successes.
The goal for many amputees is no longer to reach a 'natural' level of ability but to exceed it, using whatever cutting-edge technology is available. As this new generation sees it, our tools are evolving faster than the human body, so why obey the limits of mere nature?
These days the technology can solve our problems and then some. Solutions may not only erase physical or mental deficits but leave patients better off than "able-bodied" folks. The person who has a disability today may have a superability tomorrow.
Robots are interesting because they exist as a real technology that you can really study - you can get a degree in robotics - and they also have all this pop-culture real estate that they take up in people's minds.
We humans have a love-hate relationship with our technology. We love each new advance and we hate how fast our world is changing... The robots really embody that love-hate relationship we have with technology.
Right now, we have the most complex relationship with technology that we've ever had. Your regular person has more technology in their life now than the whole world had 100 years ago.
Change creates fear, and technology creates change. Sadly, most people don't behave very well when they are afraid.
As a society, I think we express our cultural mores through our politics. We're trying constantly to figure out what's OK and what's not OK. And it's hard, because our society is constantly buffeted by gale force winds of technology. Things are always changing.
I absolutely believe that a lot of the issues raised in 'Amped' about technology migrating into our bodies are issues that we're really going to deal with soon.
We've been co-evolving with our technology for a hundred thousand years. Human beings and the technology we make were always inseparable. We're finally coming into this moment where it's coming inside our body for the first time in history.
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