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Human Enhancement: Could you become infected with a computer virus?

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1 Author(s)
Gasson, M.N. ; Sch. of Syst. Eng., Univ. of Reading, Reading, UK

Experiments demonstrating human enhancement through the implantation of technology in healthy humans have been performed for over a decade by some academic research groups. More recently, technology enthusiasts have begun to realize the potential of implantable technology such as glass capsule RFID transponders. In this paper it is argued that implantable RFID devices have evolved to the point whereby we should consider the devices themselves as simple computers. Presented here is the infection with a computer virus of an RFID device implanted in a human. Coupled with our developing concept of what constitutes the human body and its boundaries, it is argued that this study has given rise to the world's first human infected with a computer virus. It has taken the wider academic community some time to agree that meaningful discourse on the topic of implantable technology is of value. As developments in medical technologies point to greater possibilities for enhancement, this shift in thinking is not too soon in coming.

Published in:

Technology and Society (ISTAS), 2010 IEEE International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

7-9 June 2010