Can ‘biohackers’ change what it means to be human?

Meet the transhumanists attempting to take our biology to the next level

What does it mean to be human? This existential question has powered the beating heart of progress for millennia. Yet in 2017, as nascent technologies fuse physical, digital and biological worlds, it has never been more complex – and critical – to define the age-old question.

We are hurtling inexorably towards the “singularity”, a hypothetical threshold when artificial intelligence advances so much that humanity will be irreversibly disrupted. And while conventional wisdom posits that this epochal scenario is at least a half century away, the migration of man into machine is now well underway.

Body enhancements, prosthetics and genetic modifications are increasingly the norm, and a growing cluster of “biohacker” start-ups are already offering a variety of sense-augmenting implants. For a few hundred quid you too can vibrate when facing north or detect magnetic fields, or even feel seismic activity on the Moon.

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