A Twinge in Cyberspace

The fictional characters in cyberpunk literature often have implanted electronics and connecters so that the character can jack into cyberspace. In 2002, that fiction became a reality when a British scientist became the world’s first cyborg by undergoing a medical operation to connect a 100-pin plug into the main nerve of his arm. The operation was successful and the professor, who hopes to study his nervous system with this device, had this to say:

[On the whole it’s comfortable, but] “Occasionally I get a little twinge, which scientifically is quite fun. It’s probably just a little bit of static”…

The device, sponsored by Fugitsu and Computer Associates, was to remain in the professor’s arm for several months before being removed by another operation.

Fast-forward to 2007 and Gismodo reports on their web site that the Defense Research Agency (DARPA) contracted Dean Kamen, the Seqway inventor, to develop the world’s best prosthetic arm. Kamen’s approach was to connect the artificial intelligence machine controlling the device directly to the nervous system: a marriage of AI and cybernetics. This research would create an advanced cyborg, perhaps a step towards a Six Million Dollar Man (ABC network TV, running from 1974 to 1978).

What’s next?

Day 6: Machines Who Think (Pamela Mccorduck) (1979).


About carto

Retired software engineer who grew up in Montana, went to Montana State College in Bozeman, and moved to California to work at Stanford Research Institute (SRI). Carto's Library is about books I've read and liked; Carto's Logbook is about photography, travel and adventure. Mt. Maurice Times is tall tales mostly biographical.
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