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The cyborg, the ideology chip and the guru programme: the implications of cyborg technologies for the development of human consciousness

Charles D. Laughlin (Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

Foresight

ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 1 June 2000

Abstract

There has been little thought given in science to the impact of direct brain‐machine interfacing upon the future development of human consciousness. Even less thought has been given to the possibilities for both optimizing and thwarting development in the cyborg child. A neurocognitive model of the evolution of cyborg consciousness is summarized, and from this model grounded speculations are offered pertaining to the future development of the higher cognitive functions in the cyborg child. It will be shown that cybernetic implants are “multistable”; that is, the artificial intelligence (AI) component of the cyborg brain‐machine linkage may function to condition development along ideological lines (the brain conditioned by the “ideological chip”), or may operate to open up neurocognitive development to new and heretofore unrealized limits (the brain’s development optimized by the “guru programme”). Development of the cyborg child may be conditioned in the interests of ideological concerns, or may lead to a consciousness that easily transcends all forms of ideology. Application of the guru programme may foster the emergence of new levels of cognitive complexity and information processing (à la Piagetian and neo‐Piagetian theory) that in turn allows new strategies of adaptation previously beyond human comprehension. The ethical and regulatory problems raised by cyborg technologies are addressed.

Keywords

Citation

Laughlin, C.D. (2000), "The cyborg, the ideology chip and the guru programme: the implications of cyborg technologies for the development of human consciousness", Foresight, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 291-312. https://doi.org/10.1108/14636680010802681

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited