It used to be the stuff of science fiction – robots that could read or emulate our thoughts, life after death beyond the limits of our human bodies. But these days, with artificial intelligence on the rise and technology recording our every move, some people are treating the topic of death, and the possibilities for everlasting life, like more of a question mark. They’re testing the limits of what technology can offer in terms of their abilities to extend and preserve themselves.
Neil Harbisson, an artist born colorblind who had an antenna implanted in his skull to help him extend his perception of color, is just the tip of the iceberg. He’s putting technology to use to expand his possibilities.
“By adding artificial senses to our bodies, we will be able to extend our perception of reality, acquire more knowledge and become more intelligent,” he wrote in the New York Times last year.
When it comes to life after death, musicians have been among those making a comeback – heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio has been touring post-mortem since August 2016, never mind that he died in 2010 from stomach cancer.
The question of if death is or should be treated as a problem to be solved remains yet unanswered – but people are certainly trying. Meanwhile, the moral implications of the technology at hand are still largely yet to be seen.