In this episode, our hosts dive into the future of prosthetics and how they may soon evolve to serve a larger segment of the population. What will the future look like when body modification becomes as accessible as a local shoe store?
Examples of artificial limbs date as far back as 950 B.C. but it wasn’t until World War II that significant improvements were developed for veteran amputees. Originally made from wood and metal, advanced versions of prosthetics use plastics and carbon-fiber composites to make them lighter, stronger and more realistic. Leading-edge materials will soon replicate human skin, with electronics driving muscle contractions to emulate the movements and interactions of limbs.
The bionic man TV series was a palatable way to represent forced evolution in an organism, however, it is no longer nature and natural selection that is mutating and generating changes among our species. Humans are now by-passing natural evolution and moving forward into hardware upgrades for all of humanity.
Implications and Possible Consequences
For the moment, it still doesn’t make sense to replace a fully-functional part of our body with a prosthetic, but the time may soon come when maintaining a competitive advantage might require taking drastic steps. What is the breaking point when you’ve replaced so many parts, that you are no longer yourself? Who will be able to afford such upgrades?