Terminology: Cyborgs

A cyborg (from cybernetic organism) is a hybrid mechanical-biological being. As such it is different from a robot, which is a fully mechanical being. Cyborgs are also to be distinguished from humanoid pseudo-animals, which genetically engineered but fully biological beings.

There two types of cyborgs: modified humans and robots with biological components. Using a very broad definition, cyborgs of the first type already exist and are actually quite common: people with pacemakers or bionic limbs and there even experiments with brain implants.

Second-type cyborgs are a little bit more futuristic, but even they exist. For instance professor Bill Dito has used leech neurons to create “a wetware computer”. Such wetware computer could be used to control a mechanical body.

The fact that cyborgs are far from a just a theoretical possibility, they are a fascinating topic for authors of mundane science fiction as cyborgs pose interesting questions. When should cyborgs considered and treated as humans?

At the moment I am planning two cyborg stories. One will feature a human being which becomes a cyborg. The other one will feature cyborgs of the second type.


6 responses

  1. In Dan Simmons Hyperion books he has Cybrids: A.I’s implanted in organic bodies

    1. Interesting idea. But the bodies had no organic brain?

      1. He doesn’t say. As far as what’s said, it’s a perfect human being, complete in every way, except the persona is A.I connected back to the core.

      2. What is the role of these cybrids? Are they slaves or so?

      3. No. Cybrid’s were created by the core (the A.I’s) as avatars of real historic characters. It’s a bit more complicated than that, but the plot is fairly complicated.

      4. Allright, but thanks for the info.

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