back to article As we stand on the precipice of science fiction into science fact, people say: Hell yeah, I want to augment my eyesight!

Dude. Imagine, like, if you had – bear with me – a smartphone, right? But, like, in your HEAD?! Disregard the fact we already have nature's most powerful known computer sitting inside our noggins, with processing power that not even a million Arm cores running in parallel can replicate, a study from Kaspersky suggests folk are …

  1. Dave 126 Silver badge

    I'm having a hard time parsing this article, since there's no link to the Kaspersky report. As Yes Minister demonstrated, the wording of preceding questions can affect how respondents perceive subsequent questions. That said, if we assume the survey was conducted in the manner, then the cultural differences between France and Italy are interesting.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Upvote for Yes Minister reference alone ! A true masterpiece of British humor, and a testament to skeptics everywhere.

      I found the extract, relish it here.

      1. Falmari

        Yes Minister still brilliant even today.

  2. Dave 126 Silver badge

    A break down of the age of respondents would also be interesting.

    It might be, for example, that if you're older and some of your mates have had operations to correct cataracts then the idea replacing body parts with synthetic parts might not that strange a concept.

    1. Giles C Bronze badge

      Synthetic parts are commonplace already.

      Cataracts

      Heart valves

      Pacemakers

      Teeth (fillings and false)

      Hip replacements

      Just a few, but none of those improve on the original design they just replace the bits that have failed.

      Now actual improvements are harder to quantify do you look at the blades amputee runners use and say are they better than the original limbs. What about if someone comes up with a Star Wars type artificial hand should it perform as the original or should it be stronger?

      That is the sort of thing when the technology is working that people will have to decide for themselves.

      I am very colour blind do I want the ability to see a normal colour range - well having lived in the world I perceive for 47 years I don’t honestly know, unless I was going blind then probably not, but different people will have their own views.

      1. veti Silver badge

        I used to wear glasses. Then I paid a bunch of money for a doctor to shine lasers into my eyes, and now I have 20/20 vision. Is that augmentation?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Far sightedness will remain, but at some point you will need glasses for the shortsightedness like I do now. But hey, I was one of the early ones to have it done (Optimax was still running DOS programs to book appointments, just to give you an idea) and I'm astonished to note how long ago that was - best decision ever.

          Moving from -5 to zero took a weight of me - mainly off my nose :)

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          More like repair than augmentation. It's a bit like mole removal but more impressive.

          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Pint

            'There's only one way to get rid of a mole.'

            'Really...'

            'Blow its bloody head off!'

            1. HildyJ Silver badge
              Angel

              Didn't work very well for the gopher in Caddyshack.

              1. Falmari

                Ah but a gopher is not a mole :)

                Removing a gopher from the side of you face will require much more drastic measures.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Do not look into the laser with your remaining eye.

        4. onemark03

          Is that augmentation?

          No, that was corrective surgery.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Interestingly with the blades that paralympic sprinters use - there's already controversy about augmentation. The longer your blades, the bouncier they are, the longer the stride-length, the faster you're likely to be able to go.

        So say I lose my legs in a car accident. I've got a known height, strap on appropriate sized blades, Bob's your uncle, go off and sprint. What if I lie about my pre-injury height? Is there reliable data to check?

        What if I was born without legs - so an original height can't be known?

        Hence there are all sorts of rules comparing to arm span, which is usually similar to height - and trying to come up with reasonable compromises and approximations.

        1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          There's also the problem with door openings as they may not be high enough :)

          (which reminds me of that cartoon with a chin-up bar fitted in a door frame and an unconscious person on the floor :) ).

          1. John Gamble

            Ah yes, the Far Side cartoon. Larson wrote that that one was one of the few based on real life experience.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              RE: door openings

              I love most of Larson's stuff.

              But anyway. Guy I went to school with had problems without a chin up bar. He was quite tall and and I noticed at a class reunion that he tilted his head to the side when going through a doorway.

      3. WanderingHaggis

        lenses

        I just had cataract surgery a couple of days ago and my vision feels great (still got to finish up all the procedures and get new glasses but the focus is highly improved making my old glasses bad.) So I think this is definitely augmenting my vision but not a sifi cybrog.

        1. Alumoi

          Re: lenses

          You didn't augment your vision, you just corrected it.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: lenses

            > You didn't augment your vision, you just corrected it.

            For sure. The reason I choose cataracts as my example is that these days artificial corneas are available which are tuned to the patient to correct not just cataracts, but the myopia and astigmatism.

            The definition of augmentation is why I was curious as to how the respondents were questioned.

            1. Jan 0 Silver badge

              Re: lenses

              > artificial corneas are available which are tuned to the patient to correct not just cataracts, but the myopia and astigmatism

              Although artificial corneas are a thing, cataracts are cured by replacing the natural cloudy lens with an artificial lens. That same lens can be shaped to correct astigmatism. If the artificial lens is flexible, it may be possible to re-employ your ciliary muscle to deform the lens to allow accommodation. (Search for: accommodating intraocular lens implant")

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: cybrog.

          Although I greatly admire your remarkably efficient portmanteau of "cyber", "bro", and "balrog", I very much hope I never get to meet one.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Coat

            Re: cybrog.

            Out from under this bridge! Or I shall plunge you into the abyss of moderation. Then fall! Spawn of 4Chan! Fall!

            ...Fly you foools...

            [Mine's the anorak with the certain book in the pocket]

        3. Steve K Silver badge

          Re: lenses

          Ni>..not a sifi cybrog.<i/>

          I think they might need to zap you a tiny bit more...

          1. Steve K Silver badge

            Re: lenses

            Ironically it looks like I need doing as well as I messed up the HTML tag....!

      4. don't you hate it when you lose your account Silver badge

        I've had a spinal fusion and it certainly didn't turn me in to Wolverine.

        Right pain in the Arse to be honest. At least I can say it's behind me. :)

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Pull my finger!

          I've had a spinal fusion and it certainly didn't turn me in to Wolverine.

          I'm not sure I'd want to be Wolverine. Or have Molly fingers. 4cm monoblades under the fingernails could be one way to stop people picking their noses, and may even have been something Dr Kellog would have approved of. But snag to me is having to fuse distal & intermediate phalanges to fit a rigid blade, let alone Wolverine sized blades. Those would be a rather extreme form of carpal tunnelling syndrome I guess.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Devil

            Re: Pull my finger!

            What happens when Wolverine decides to bash the bishop?

            Is that why he's so perpetually angry?

          2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Pull my finger!

            >4cm monoblades under the fingernails

            Also a bit limiting. With 10 fingers I want the full Swiss army knife, including a multi-bit screwdriver with torx bits

            1. PerlyKing Silver badge

              Re: Pull my finger!

              I used to know a chap who kept at least one fingernail trimmed to a standard flat blade screwdriver size. Are you out there, AtP?

            2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
              Holmes

              Re: Pull my finger!

              You have eight fingers & two thumbs.....

              1. OssianScotland Silver badge

                Re: Pull my finger!

                You might!

            3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: Pull my finger!

              Also a bit limiting. With 10 fingers I want the full Swiss army knife, including a multi-bit screwdriver with torx bits

              This is why we were designed to be tool users rather than risking obsolesence due to having the wrong tool for the job. It may also explain why our evolution both began, and ended with an apple..

            4. Aussie Doc Bronze badge
              Pint

              Re: Pull my finger!

              ...and the bottle opener to pour into one of these ---->

      5. Omgwtfbbqtime
        Terminator

        "... should it perform as the original or should it be stronger?"

        That depends on the flesh it's attached to, strong enough to rip free of the bones when at full power?

        A lot of the limits on applied strength will be from the strength of the frame not the output of the limb.

    2. Blackjack Silver badge

      It might be that if you are an impressionable youngling then the idea of being a cyborg sounds cool

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        A Long Time Ago It Seemed So

        Running in slow motion at 60mph.

        Good job his name was Austin, not Reliant.

        1. Jan 0 Silver badge

          Re: A Long Time Ago It Seemed So

          I'd pit my Scimitar against your Maestro anyday.

          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: A Long Time Ago It Seemed So

            Wasn't mine, alas it came with the job working for a Austin Rover dealership, hence the cavalier (Pun intended) attitude regarding making it fly.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: A Long Time Ago It Seemed So

              But the Scimitar comes with 4 stacks of bricks for free

    3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      I have continually painful joints in my legs, feet and hands. Whilst I don't think I'd like to have prosthetic hands, if there were good enough prosthetic legs* I would definitely consider them just so I could reliably walk down the road without risking falling.

      My eyes have always been a weak point - very short-sighted, and getting worse. Now presbyopia has set in (I'm just about to go and get my first pair of varifocals), things are even worse. If there were reliable eye-replacements, especially if they could enhance my colour perception** and spectral range (a bit more UV and IR perception), I'd be in the market for those.

      I have had tinnitus since I was a child - it would be good to lose it and have clear hearing.

      However, none of these things are likely to happen, so I'll remain content with having the use of legs, eyes, and ears that I have. However, do let me know when I can upload into a complete cyborg body!

      *at an affordable price, of course.

      **Mrs IP is tetrachromic - our visual worlds don't even come close!

      1. mjflory

        Tetrachromicity

        Mr IP, you have my sympathies for your nearsightedness, sore joints, and tinnitus. (Mine come from genes, arthritis, and friends in rock bands, respectively.) But I especially share your enthusiasm for widened color perception! I've read of some tetrachromatic women in Denmark and seen some colorful canvases by a tetrachromatic painter trying to convey her vision of the world, but -- alas -- it would take some serious genetic engineering to allow a man to see four primary colors. (Conceivably we could train ourselves to distinguish extra colors with notch-filtered lenses, perhaps a different one on each eye, but I'm sure it wouldn't be the same.) How was Mrs IP's gift discovered? I recall reading that some tetrachromats were unaware until they were tested.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: Tetrachromicity

          Sorry to read you can share my life-experiences - whilst I cope well with the hand I've been dealt overall, I don't want anyone else to experience it.

          Mrs IP's tetrachromia - one of her Bachelor degrees is in History of Modern Art (or something like that!) Apparently, whilst in a tutorial, someone noticed that something she was describing was very unusual, and suggested she trot down speak to one of the professors who was doing research into colour perception. A few test later, and she was a research guinea-pig!

          My thoughts about extending visual range were more silicon technological than biotech. Since I read some stories by - I think - Edmund Cooper* many, many years ago, I have had a dream of bionic eyes. I do agree that gene-therapy is a "better" way forward (it is unlikely that implants will actually be better in use than biological solutions), I still have those science-fiction dreams of being a cyborg :-)

          * A bit of DDG-ing makes me think it was indeed Cooper, writing as Richard Avery. The "Expendables" series.

          1. mjflory

            Re: Tetrachromicity

            I'll have to look up Cooper a.k.a. Avery. I wonder if implants couldn't improve upon our original design. (They might be biological implants, after all.) An eagle's resolution, a cat's night vision, an insect's UV perception... or are there contradictiory requirements there?

            Best wishes re: your joints, ears, and all. I probably made my ailments sound far worse than they are. The arthritis has just started in a couple of joints, and my corrected vision is as good as ever. You'll get used to the omnifocals (or varifocals, I presume they're the same) and the formulae have actually improved in recent years. But do be careful walking, as the distance to the ground can be distorted a bit by them.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like...

    Imagine, like, if you DID have a smartphone in your HEAD, like, but it was stuck on, like, Android 4.4 Kitkat, and like, COULDN'T be updated with all the new emojis and stuff without major brain surgery, yeah? Bummer...

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: Like...

      The smartphone in your head that got an "upgrade to ensure free service" by continually beaming adverts into your mind ... :-(

    2. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: Like...

      Or the "Angry Bird"! app gets stuck in an infinite loop at the loading screen and you are stuck with the theme tune in your head for the next 40 years....

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Like...

        " Bud knew a guy like that who's somehow gotten infected with a virus that ran advertisements for roach motels, in Hindi, superimposed on the bottom right-hand corner of his visual field, twenty-four hours a day, until the guy whacked himself."

        Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Like...

      Like an Eye-Phone?

      Makes the question around right to repair a bit more 'interesting'.... :)

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "testing the limits of what's possible"

    I'm sorry, but I don't see that there is all that much that is possible for the general public right now. Apart from laser eye surgery, there is nothing high-tech that anyone can have implemented which will improve their eyesight or hearing (there are no hearing aids implanted in the ear), much less their strength.

    And as for improving one's strength, how could that possibly work via implant ? What would you implant ? I know of nothing that could even begin to do that. Improving strength is via exoskeletons at this point in time and that's all we've got (and we don't have too much of it either).

    There are lab experiments trying to allow control of a mouse via thought, but I haven't heard that they're ready for market yet.

    Anyone know of some implantable thingy that actually enhances a human being ? Beyond an RFID chip that allows you to open a door, I mean.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: "testing the limits of what's possible"

      Pascal Monett,

      There are hearing aids implanted in the ear. They're called cochlear implants, and have been around for a couple of decades now.

      There have been several experimental eye implants as well, I remember reading about one guy who went from total blindness to monochrom vision at a resolution of something quite a lot less than VGA. But I've not seen much about it since. Maybe they're still trying to find enough Matrox Millenium cards on eBay?

      In principal I could imagine an implant that would pump glycogen directly into your muscles - which wouldn't give you more strength - but would give you more endurance - so you could say sprint over longer distances.

      But the standard medical implants are things like insulin pumps, pacemakers and the like.

      Though in the more science fiction realms - some artificial limbs are now radio operated. Because the nerves in the amputation site tend to be damaged as well - it's much harder to make a standard operation that utilises them. So instead you chop some nerves that don't do much around the side of the ribs and implant a radio transmitter that they can control. Then do excercises to retrain the brain to use those to control arm muscles instaead, then have a radio controlled robot arm.

      Or there's a Parkinson's Disease thing where you have electrodes into the relevant bits of the brain. Feed current in from an external battery pack and hey presto! Full muscle control. Watching a guy on telly switch that box on and off again 15 years ago totally blew my mind.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "testing the limits of what's possible"

      Not a single word (so far) on Kevin Warwick? What is wrong with you people?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: "testing the limits of what's possible"

        Nothing. Though we suspect there's something wrong with him.

        Actually, in recent years quite a few people (dozens, maybe) have had little RFID chips implanted in their hands for using public transport. It's no bigger than the contraceptive implant that many women have in their arms these days.

        1. Omgwtfbbqtime

          Re: "testing the limits of what's possible"

          Obligatory XKCD https://xkcd.com/644/

      2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: "testing the limits of what's possible"

        Not a single word (so far) on Kevin Warwick? What is wrong with you people?

        Well I only just got up, having been asleep while all this was going on!

        Ohh look lunchtime.....Time for a beer!

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: "testing the limits of what's possible"

      > What would you implant ? I know of nothing that could even begin to do that.

      Read more. It's still cutting edge, but DARPA as well as the fringes of sports training are using electrical current to reduce inflammation and train harder.

    4. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: "testing the limits of what's possible"

      There are lab experiments trying to allow control of a mouse via thought, but I haven't heard that they're ready for market yet

      I wondered why you would want to control a mouse by thought. It's not like it's a big enough animal to do anything useful for you. In my house they're mostly controlled by mousetraps.

      Then I realised that you might mean a computer mouse. I still can't see any advantage. It would be far more useful to cut out the intermediary and control the screen cursor by thought.

      1. GloomyTrousers
        Pint

        Re: "testing the limits of what's possible"

        You pedant.

        ...of which I wholeheartedly approve (as my kids will attest). Top marks, have one on me ->

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: "testing the limits of what's possible"

        You misunderstood - the mouse controls you through thought

        It's all part of an experiment to find the question

  5. David Lewis 2
    Alert

    Yes, but No.

    While the concept is not new in the realm of science fiction, has many possible benefits and is probably inevitable, I foresee a huge problem in a real world implementation.

    With embedded augmented reality, this will just mean <$enter ad-flinger of choice> will be able to deliver advertisements directly to your retina.

    Or is this a sales pitch by Kaspersky for a new opportunity for an ad-blocker?

    1. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

      Re: Yes, but No.

      "Huge problem in real world implementation"

      No1: Setting off every security check alarm when entering any venue, airport, football stadium etc.

      Everyone would have to be frisked by a person, so vastly more human security guards will be needed.

    2. Fr. Ted Crilly

      Re: Yes, but No.

      Go read up about Robert Gu's expirence with augmented reality...

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbows_End

  6. Homeboy

    If it can be done, it probably will be done.

    The idea of not just repairing but improving/augmenting our bodies is being research in way too many places for it now not to happen. Whether we ever get as far as some of the SF scenarios of the far distant future is debatable. But there will be folk walking this earth with improved bits and pieces in the fairly close future. Not radical upgrades at first, but that is only a matter of R&D once the problems of integration with the Mark 1 human body have been solved.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: the Mark 1 human body

      As an amusing bit of pedantry, one might claim the the Mk1 human body originated with genus homo about 2 million years ago, and that each subsequent generation produced new versions. Assuming a 25 year generation (well, I have to assume something), that would suggest we're on about Mark 80k :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Windows

        Re: the Mark 1 human body

        Up to Mark 80k? A bit like Windows -still no good

    2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      On the other hand

      If my increasing deafness could be reversed or even halted, I could listen to Bach and Schubert and Sinatra and Torme and Fitzgerald and Davis and Marsalys and Clapton all day and be very content.

    3. HildyJ Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      CSIR Mk 1

      I was born in the year that Australia's CSIR Mk 1 computer was first operational. But besides having vague memories of an Mk 1 computer, I had to search to find the details.

      If I could have my brain augmented to improve my memory I'd do it (as long as it supported an ad blocker). I suspect many aging technophiles would as well.

      I also suspect that I'll be long dead before it's an option.

      What the topic again?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: CSIR Mk 1

        "If I could have my brain augmented to improve my memory I'd do it (as long as it supported an ad blocker). I suspect many aging technophiles would as well."

        Ageing technophiles are the least likely to consider it, I'd have thought, without being sure proper safeguards are in place. Looking at the internet nowadays, implementing and using those safeguards might negate the advantages. Young technophiles, on the other hand....

  7. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

    Why bother?

    Improving my eyesight would only give me a better view of the misery squalor and degradation that is modern britain, as we plunge headlong into the bleak winter with our international trade ruined, national health service stretched to breaking, food shortages likely, on a train driven blind by the least capable political leadership in living memory. Improved eyesight? All I can see is death. Death death death.

    Have a super day.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Why bother?

      I had to give you an upvote: (a) because you sound in need of cheering up and (b) because you're probably right...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why bother?

      Upvoted, but... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmc819RMVUE

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Why bother?

      Go for a walk in the countryside and try to forget about things for a while. Before it pisses down next week.

      Heck, even a walk in a downpour can be a lovely sensual experience if your boots and jacket are up to the task. You can perhaps feel even more insulated from the horrible wider world than you would on a sunny day. (Waterproof and breathable jacket. Not a cheap one from Mountain Warehouse. Clothing, our species original augmented skin.)

    4. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: Why bother?

      "All I can see is death. Death death death."

      Damn you optimists & your shiny happy personalities!

      *Shakes a palsied fist*

      Don't make me call Marvin the Paranoid Android on your butt!

      =-)P

      *Hands you an extra tall tankard of something yummy to drink*

      Drink up. It's not so bad out there. Why, the Vogons aren't due to erase this place for at least a-

      *No Carrier*

    5. DS999

      Re: Why bother?

      I didn't realize Trump campaign ads were airing in the UK as well.

  8. Big_Boomer Silver badge
    Terminator

    "No vacuum cleaner should give a human being a double polaroid!"

    "Well, uh, when I was a mechanoid, the right nipple-nut was used to, uh, regulate body temperature, while the left nipple-nut was used mainly to, uh, pick up shortwave radio transmissions. Now, what I'm saying is, no matter how hard I twiddle it, I can't seem to pick up Jazz FM." <LOL>

    I'll agree to getting "enhanced" when they can guarantee, on penalty of THEIR death in case of failure, that what is implanted cannot be hacked, pwned, or otherwise interfered with without my permission. What's that you say? Not a fat chance in hell of that ever happening! Guess I'm going to the grave un- enhanced then. I'll leave the enhancing to those who have a fervent desire to become part of the Borg.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: "No vacuum cleaner should give a human being a double polaroid!"

      Classic.

      "How do I zoom in?"

      "Well, you move your head closer to the object"

      "Ah yes, that seems to work"

  9. David Roberts

    Pancreas?

    Nobody so far has mentioned the work towards creating an artificial pancreas.

    So far, insulin pumps linked to blood glucose monitors with some open source software to do the clever bits.

    Each generation should be smaller, cheaper, smarter.

    Permanent implant to cure T1 diabetes would be a major step forward.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pancreas?

      Been holding my breath for 36 years so far....

  10. druck Silver badge
    Happy

    The Six Million Dollar Man

    I'm still waiting for my bionic eye with zoom capability, being to lift up a car with one hand, and to run in slow motion at 60mph.

    1. MisterHappy
      Meh

      Re: The Six Million Dollar Man

      Knowing my luck I'd only be able to afford the upgrade for one leg & be able to walk normally or run really fast in tight circles!

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: The Six Million Dollar Man

        Next time you won't skimp on the insurance premium.

    2. Jay Lenovo
      Trollface

      Re: The Six Million Dollar Man

      Today's version of the "Six Million Dollar Man" is played by a guy who gets two artificial knees, a couple of aspirin, and must fight off collection agencies because six million dollars still hasn't reached his out-of-pocket deductible.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The Six Million Dollar Man

        The downside of PAYG healthcare instead of "free at the point of use"

  11. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

    Pedant Alert

    The article states the humans have the most powerful computers on the planet in their heads.

    However, the average volume of an adult human brain is about 1260 cc.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_size

    The average volume of an adult sperm whale brain is 8000 cc.

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/news-blog/are-whales-smarter-than-we-are/

    There are of course considerations of brain size to body size ratios and folding of the neocortex etc. to be considered, but the Scientific American article shows it is quite a complicated issue, and we simply do not yet know who is the smartest species of them all.

    All I know is that it is Friday, I'm TIRED of Brexit and Covid-19 and my personal brain hurts, and is not feeling very clever at the moment.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Pedant Alert

      Man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time.

      But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.

      1. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

        Re: Pedant Alert

        Thumb up, because, well, why didn't I think of that? And you cheered me up, a bit.

        Feeling more and more like a personality prototype. Here I am, brain the size of a planet ....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pedant Alert

      "The article states the humans have the most powerful computers on the planet in their heads".

      Yup. Unfortunately they mostly seem to be running BBC Basic.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Pedant Alert

        Today, mine's been running Windows ME.

  12. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

    On second thoughts...

    The article finishes with "Anyway, when and if we get there, I'll have the one with the extendable [that's quite enough of that – ed]. How about you? "

    Now if we could fit each politician on standing for office with a nose that extends when they lie, that would be a great boon to democracy.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: On second thoughts...

      > fit each politician on standing for office with a nose that extends when they lie

      Also that nose production would vastly improve GDP!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: On second thoughts...

        "Also that nose production would vastly improve GDP!"

        What makes you think there'd be a export market? It'd be like adopting leaves a national currency!

    2. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: On second thoughts...

      Now if we could fit each politician on standing for office with a nose that extends when they lie, that would be a great boon to democracy.

      I don't know, it would certainly end up in piercing injuries to the press during press conferences as the nose extends to many metres nearly instantaneously, spearing the journo's asking the questions.

      1. skeptical i
        Devil

        Re: On second thoughts...

        So, when elections are deemed too close to call, would the contestants settle the matter by engaging in "swordfights" using the weapons-grade schnozzes grown during the campaign? A "I have consistently ..." here, a "On day one, I will ..." there, and sooner or later we're talking duelling narwhals.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Now if we could fit each politician on standing for office with a nose that extends

      I'm afraid you still live in the times long past. These days, the non-augmented reality is that politicians are no longer ashamed, or even in the slightest embarrassed about lying in public, and / or being caught lying in public. Then they just grin (think Boris-grin), mumble-mumble something irrelevant, visually shrug and continue, nose or no nose.

  13. Muscleguy Silver badge

    Health? Huh!

    For Health read ‘the ability to lie around filling your face with junkfood and guzzling alcohol and why not smoking stuff as well and not suffer any side effects such as obesity, a bad back, bad skin, heartburn, body odour and lung cancer’.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Health? Huh!

      Combine a health correction implant with nanobots to pick the physical pollutants1 out of the bloodstream and many decades of carefree enjoyment and good health await. All pangs of guilt about that last slice of pizza vanish as the automated system effortlessly works to keep you the size you wish to be.

      Al this is yours for a low monthly payment, and there's more, every month you'll receive an updated report showing how well the implant has improved your life and personal offers from selected partners.

      1wifi access required for monthly activation license update, body odour, bad breath, alcohol and other stimulants are addon elements at additional cost, see website for details

      There's far more money to be made from the lazy & indulgent.

  14. Dave 126 Silver badge

    No mention of the EyePhone from Futurama?

    I despair of you lot sometimes! :)

  15. Spanners Silver badge
    Meh

    BSOD ready

    I have had epilepsy since the mid 1970's. As I explain to people, if I don't take my medicine, I can do a BSOD without a computer.

    I like the idea of peripherals that can improve things but I don't anyone tinkering with my, already faulty, Personal Operating System (POS).

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: BSOD ready

      A few friends if mine have it. One, in the 1990s, carried for a few weeks a Walkman-sized device on his belt to collect data from skull electrodes to better help diagnosis.

      Another passed away in the mid 2000s. He could have been saved if he hadn't been home alone at the time - the living situation was his deliberate choice to strike out on his own in the big city and away from family. If dogs can spot an oncoming epilepsy attack in their owners before the human does, then it's not inconceivable that a properly tuned device on the skull might - and mere seconds might allow a person to adopt a recovery position or get off a ladder. Even if not, it seems a trivial task for a smart watch to detect an epileptic fit in progress and summon help - which would also boost chances of survival significantly.

  16. R J
    Alien

    Deus Ex

    No mention of Deus Ex?

    Currently replaying the series. Seems more relevant than ever these days. Even forces you to consider the moral and ethical problems related to augmentations.. and other things.

    You played the first two, you get the icon :)

  17. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
    Devil

    With regards to getting hacked..

    I'd also be worried about strong magnetic fields. It'd be somewhat irritating having an MRI scan without your eyes, and down right dangerous if stray EM fields could cause interference whilst say driving or operating heavy machinery.

    It would be interesting to see what sort of japes you could get upto shining various light sources, frequencies, colours and patterns to cause issues for the poor optically enhanced recipient.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: With regards to getting hacked..

      Not really. There's laws about shining laser light at anyone, let alone drivers. And the Geneva Convention outlaws such things in warfare (some aiming lasers are strong enough to dazzle, lawyers debate whether this is a workaround)

      1. Jan 0 Silver badge

        Re: With regards to getting hacked..

        > Geneva Convention

        Reminder: The USA is not a signatory.

  18. MJI Silver badge

    Fixing

    I have decided brand snob is valid on glasses.

    My current pair are not a patch optically on my previous worn out pair.

    I think I will splurge out on another pair with Nikons

    Teeth, I really want 3 more crowns minimum, 1 cracked, 1 exploded, 1 tatty, OK I really want all 6 lower full molars done, one done.

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Fixing

      In the context of the article, I read molars as motors.

      As such I hereby dub thee Ro-Jaws.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Fixing

        Was a case of why is my cheese gritty?

        Why does my mouth hurt.

        Few years later in lockdown - why is my sandwich gritty?

  19. David Lewis 2
    Joke

    New Opportunity

    Augmented humans will require a new funeral choice:

    Burial

    Cremation

    WEEE Recycling Skip* - probably mandatory

    * Of course any "organic residue" will become Soylent Green!

    1. Big_Boomer Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: New Opportunity

      I would offer you a beer David, but you owe me a new keyboard! <LOL>

    2. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

      Re: New Opportunity

      I think that crematoria already check for pacemaker implants before the ceremony, too many actual explosions, although gold and platinum rings survive the process quite well.

      1. PerlyKing Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Pacemaker + crematorium

        "It was the day my grandmother exploded"

        That is all.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: any "organic residue" will become Soylent Green!

      I remember watching this in late 1980, and it was quite a disturbing movie, I thought then, but also, a clever yet totally impossible scenario. But I was a teenager then and didn't know much about human nature ;)

      1. peter_dtm

        Re: any "organic residue" will become Soylent Green!

        The book is way better than the movie

  20. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Difficult to know what "augmentation" means

    We have augmented our bodies in all sorts of ways for centuries using external devices. Shovels allow us to dig faster than we could using our hands and feet. Telescopes augment our eye sight. etc. Putting the tools/machines inside our body rather than having them external is not such a huge leap.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Difficult to know what "augmentation" means

      Internal body augmentation for the purpose of improving one's chance of pairing with a high-status mate - aka a boob job - has been around for quite a while now as well.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Difficult to know what "augmentation" means

        Been reading almost two full pages of comments before I finally found a comment about Bulgarian Airbags :-)

        Additionally, people get all sort of "enhancements" in terms plastic surgery. Lip implants, buttock implants etc.

  21. John Robson Silver badge

    If we can get...

    ... electronic accelerometers and gyros to interface directly with my brain then I'm all for it.

    Having complete vestibular failure is right sodding pain... it's hardly augmentation though, more repair/replacement.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The generic issue is integration

    The problem with any augmentation is that is must interface and interact with the rest of your body, and therein lies the challenge. We only have a rudimentary idea of how camera signals are supplied to the brain (let alone processed), for instance, so augmentation ought to start with being as good as the original, and that is still a long way off, silicon-equipped pre-bacon notwithstanding.

    Then you have the strengthening of limbs, but there too you need to take care of the whole skeletal mechanics. There's no point fitting an arm with 1000 kg lifting capacity if it snaps the legs on use..

    I am certain that it will be possible at some point and there is already plenty of SF that has looked at the issues and consequences of enhancement, but I think there's still a long way to go, even on just the engineering side of things. Don't get me wrong, I'm in awe of what we can do already, especially when using it to assist someone who had to do without, but I don't think we've even reached the "as good as" point yet other than maybe the blades (but there too is the question what it does to knees and hip joints)..

  23. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The New AI Deal ..... with Virtual Bridges and Stealthy Surreal Bridgeheads*

    "But people are right to be wary. Augmentation enthusiasts are already testing the limits of what's possible, but we need commonly agreed standards to ensure augmentation reaches its full potential while minimising the risks."

    Other Augmentation Enthusiasts are excited by what is discovered to be imminent beyond the bounds of the impossible and certain surely to be presented as a future resourceful force to be enamoured of, as in friendly with. :-) ....... lest one deny oneself the pleasures of treasuring novel virgin discoveries.

    Self doubt and disbelief is such a downer and is an endless source of constant grief and overwhelming inactivity/relentless personal petrification, and that which may currently be confronting you, and causing some exciting consternation if you be really lucky and/or fortunate and/or gifted too.

    * You'll not get many offers like that in a lifetime, of that you can be surely certain.

  24. DS999

    I'd be willing to consider this when I'm old

    If age and decrepitude is making it difficult to walk, having some technology that helps so you don't need to be confined to a wheelchair would be welcome.

    But as long as I'm healthy I don't want anything that requires power to upgrade me. I'd consider replacing my natural lenses with the type of lenses they give cataract patients when they are accommodative so I can have both close and far vision in 20/20 or better (this is being worked on and will probably become a reality before too long) Can't really think of anything else I'd upgrade, it isn't like I want better hearing or sense of smell than I currently have - in fact having better hearing or sense of smell might even be a curse as it would be harder to escape annoying noises and smells!

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: I'd be willing to consider this when I'm old

      One thing you don't want better taste.

      That leads to overload and not able to eat many foods or drink quite a few drinks.

      Imagine being in a world where tonic water is disgusting, coffee is completely undrinkable, some wines are too, stout just no. Where all I can drink is tea, cider, water, and sweet wines.

      But at I can eat white chocolate but not dark.

      1. DS999

        Re: I'd be willing to consider this when I'm old

        I already live in a world where tonic water is disgusting and coffee (and tea) is completely undrinkable, and some wines too. But I love a good point of Guiness, and dark chocolate!

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