What is a cybernetic organism? With entertainment telling us that cyborgs are everything from killer robots dressed as humans to neurologists hacking their own brains, it can be difficult to understand what the term actually means. Here is an overview that will generally define the term and enable you to do research on the aspects of this technology you find most interesting.

Definition and Origins

Cybernetic organisms are generally referred to in society as cyborgs, which is a shortening of the original term. It was coined in 1960 and refers to a being that has organic and biomechatronic elements existing simultaneously within it. In mainstream culture, androids and cyborgs are generally considered to be the same thing; however, cyborgs are defined as organisms that have enhanced functions and abilities due to artificially introduced technologies. This artificial element must also rely on the feedback of some kind in order to function, such as an electromagnetic pulse or biological signal, further differentiating the two terms.

Relationship Between Humans and Technology

Cybernetic organisms can be any living tissue that integrates artificial technologies within it, but it is most often associated with humans. This is because cybernetic organisms are already in the mainstream in the form of pacemakers, implanted defibrillators, and even cochlear implants. The relationship between humans and  technology continues to grow, with medicine and science giving humans the ability to restore lost hearing or sight, gain control over their cardiovascular system, sleep through the night without the risks of apnea, and more. Cybernetic organisms continue to be the focus for medical research that directly impacts humans and healthcare.

Uses

As stated above, cybernetic organisms have a special place in the medical field, making humans stronger, healthier, and more adaptable to technology. However, the uses of cybernetic organisms don’t stop there: the military has been researching the use of cyborg insects in order to use particular species as monitoring devices; neural implants in a variety of other species are also in the works. Sports, art, technology, and business are all using cybernetic organisms as well, focusing on the relationship between organic matter and advancing technologies. Most of the applications of cybernetic organisms seem to be focused on physical security or improving the lives of humans; the actual list of applications is far longer but has not begun to be completely explored.

Future of Cybernetic Organisms

The future of cybernetic organisms is unknown, although it is safe to say that the technology will continue to be a necessity in healthcare. But with so many applications available for these organisms to fuse with humans, it’s undeniable that there are a variety of pathways the technology can take. For instance, military applications may make our military more powerful in the battlefield; the same application could be used by physical security firms back home. Cybernetic organisms may also be able to help students overcome speech impediments, enable them to learn quicker, and overall improve their health as they age.

Cyborgs is a term we mostly associate with entertainment, but in reality, it’s the next step in human evolution. With the use of these organisms, humans will be able to surpass their limitations and find out what happens when we use technology for good. Now that we’ve discussed what a cybernetic organism is, begin your research to see what branch of this technology you are more interested in learning about.

See also: 50 Most Advanced University Computer Science Departments