One of the staples of science fiction literature has long been the cyborg. Part man, part machine, the cyborg often serves as man’s triumph over the limitations of the physical body. From Luke Skywalker’s robotic hand to the more malevolent “upgrades” of Dr. Who’s Cybermen, the fascination and fear of cybernetics has inspired authors to wonder what it means to replace our bodies.
Had we talked three or four years ago, I’d have told you that there were some tasks computers were exceptionally good at completing, like calculations or repetitively crunching scenarios.
I’d have also told you, though, that there were some things they weren’t very good at doing, and probably never would be, simply because of the amount of variables involved, such as driving a car, reading emotions, or pretending to be human.
On some level, that changed this week.