After we're all good and comfortable with computers inside us managing our financial transactions, surely we'll be fine with one of them floating around our aorta with a tiny razor-sharp blade.
They call it the Assembling Reconfigurable Endoluminal Surgical System. It's "assembling" because you swallow it in 15 separate bite-sized pieces, and then it reassembles itself inside your body. At this point it can perform minor surgeries and routine maintenance without the need for external incisions.
Why, we can't imagine a single way that could go wrong, even if it happened in the first chapter of a horror novel called RROD: Rogue Robotic Organ Destroyer.
We work for the Internet, so we're not exactly luddites over here. Still, the largest, most successful, most well-funded software company in the world thought Windows Vista--the OS equivalent of purchasing a pre-on-fire Ford Pinto--was a good enough idea to sink millions of dollars and several years into.
Obviously the FDA won't approve the tech in general if it doesn't work, but again we raise the specter of hackers; any robot operating inside of your body would have to operate wirelessly (you're not going to have a CAT5 cable running out of your nostril to the doctor's control panel) and where there's a signal, there's a potential for somebody to hack it (see the story about Iraqis hacking into unmanned military drones... with a $26 piece of software). Are we being paranoid when we picture a 4chan prank causing our tiny surgeon-bot to go drilling into our balls?
And are we being paranoid when we point out the name of this surgery 'bot is the "Assembling Reconfigurable Endoluminal-Surgical System"?
ARES? As in... as in "the god of war" Ares?
The screaming man at the bottom is your liver.
Jesus Christ! Best of luck to you if you still wanna deepthroat the Killbot 5000. We'll sit this one out.
2The Psychic Internet
Bioengineers in Utah have come up with something they call the "Utah Electrode Array," and it is nothing less than a very rough, very rudimentary version of a cyberspace brainjack.
Like in Neuromancer. Like in the Matrix. Like in the nerdly wet dreams of everybody reading this article right now.
For the moment, the chip only downloads information from the brain onto a hard drive. But the very fact that it's capable of that feat means that the potential to do the opposite--upload data into your brain--is very real. And that's not just us making shit up we want to hear: According to Bradley Greger, the supervisor of the Neural Engineering Lab at the University of Utah, the end goal of this entire project is to eventually link up the brain-chip to the Internet.
And as awesome as that's going to be, that's pretty much the end of human interaction as we know it.
There's maybe four hours in the modern man's waking life that is not spent on some form of media--Internet, email, music, television, the PC at work--it's been steadily encroaching further into our daily routine for years now. Once that access is inside your brain, you can multitask while doing literally anything: checking email while having sex, watching YouTube clips during meetings, playing a quick round of Tetris through your grandpa's boring anecdotes. And who's to say it even stops when you go to bed?
If it's truly a part of your brain, you'll likely be sleep-Googling in your dreams as well.
Right now only quadriplegics are getting the implant, and they're mostly just using it to slowly "thought-type," but when the floodgates inevitably open on biotechnology, this will probably be the first thing everybody gets. And forever afterward, every single personal interaction you have will be tainted by the knowledge that your conversational partner is probably watching cat-fisting fetish porn while simultaneously Photoshopping your head onto a hot, slutty little tabby for later posting in their Human Pussies Usergroup.
Of course, that's all assuming we can even still open our mouths to talk at that point, and haven't just quickly devolved into immobile walrus-like orbs of flesh after the mind-web is released.