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2016FallSymposiumURCreativityEngagement has ended
Tuesday, December 6 • 10:15am - 12:00pm
Neil Harbisson’s Eyeborg

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Technology has permeated everyday life at an ever-increasing pace, but neuroscience has taken the spotlight. Avant-garde artist Neil Harbisson is the perfect example of this change, as he holds the title of first legally recognized cyborg in human history. Born with total greyscale vision, he sought to correct his vision by implanting a cybernetic appendage, resembling an angler fish’s esca, which translates infrared waves into audible tones that he has learned to associate with color. Harbisson is also the cofounder of the Cyborg Foundation which aims to protect and support future cyborgs worldwide. Neil Harbisson’s implant does much more than inform an artist of the vast spectrum of colors, it also has a much wider function in introducing humanity to a vast number of possibilities in the fields of augmentation and implants, and their subsequent impact on society. Questions will arise concerning these bodily modifications like: how are implants to be regulated, can the enhanced compete with the original humans, when is a person more machine than human or even human at all, what will be the reaction to visible implants, do cyborgs have the same rights as original humans? In this project, we intend to focus our investigations into five broad categories that are intended to expand upon and postulate the outcomes of many of the questions presented above. These fields of interest include: legislation, society, the arts, ethics, and science. Neil Harbisson is the only of his kind today, but the discussion of augmented humans must be seriously considered for the not-to-far-off future.


Tuesday December 6, 2016 10:15am - 12:00pm
Wilma Sherrill Center - Concourse