Why must we be metal and silicon?

There are many ways humans are trying to extend life. One influential school of thought is the idea that we will have the ability to replace damaged organs or extend the capabilities of our organs.

The popular imagination and science fiction has dealt with this and fantasised about this for many decades now. That humans will become cyborgs.

But that imagination has almost always been about metal and silicon. Or at least the core of the cyborg was metal and silicon. Look at Arnie in The Terminator – metal covered with flesh but not the other way around.

There was no flesh cased in a protective inorganic casing. Those were usually the evil aliens and not cyborgs or augmented humans. Our cultural biases were speaking – anything biological and as intelligent as the human is an evil alien.

What if the biggest advances are going to be in regeneration of organs. Whether it is within our bodies or grown elsewhere and transplanted into our bodies? Not just regeneration of hearts, kidneys, livers, bone and joints; but the brain too.

It appears to me that in the coming couple of decades, genetic engineering may make much bigger leaps than synthetic biology.  That the future is biological advancement of the human species and not fusion with inorganic machines.

We live in interesting times.

Here is the Ted talk that set off this thinking. Meet Dr Luhan Yang and Lika the cute pig –  https://go.ted.com/CtkT