“Cyberised” may not be a word now, but it will be in the Oxford Dictionary in 10 years, mark my words. That’s because as science progresses, we’re finding more and more ways to become like machines.

Wait, don’t you mean becoming more dependent on machines? Nope. We’re becoming just like machines. We’re not quite Transformers yet. We’re becoming more and more like the titular shells in Ghost in the Shell. You see, in the world of Ghost in the Shell, technology has improved so much that they can literally transplant a person’s brain into an android body (the aforementioned shells), like what they did to Major (Scarlett Johansson).

Even if you’re not keen on ripping your brains out, you can get cybernetic body parts, just like Major’s associate, Batou (Pilou Asbæk).  You might think that’s a fantasy, but nope. It’s almost a reality now. Just take a look at how we’re becoming more and more like robots.

1. Wifi is essential for quality of life

Leader of the land where wifi is essential for a good life. Credit: Justin Trudeau Facebook Page

Leader of the land where WiFi is essential for a good life. Credit: Justin Trudeau Facebook Page

Quick, what are some necessities for life? Water, air, food, and shelter right? Well, WiFi is one of them now. If anyone tells you that a poor WiFi connection is a First World Problem, point them to Canada. Not only do they have a president that everyone wants to take selfies with, they have also declared high-speed broadband internet access to be essential for a good life. Just like a robot. A robot who needs constant access to the World Wide Web to stalk people figure out the best options for any given situation.

They’ve also declared telephone landlines to be crucial to living a good life, but we’d rather go with WiFi, right?

 

2. Machines calculate everything for us

Do you know what this is? Credit: ****♡**** Twitter

Do you know what this is? Credit: ****♡**** Twitter

Do you know much the bus fare from your house to the nearest bus interchange is? Or more importantly, do you know many stages your bus trip has to go through?

Not anymore, because our EZ-Link cards automatically compute that for us. But long ago (okay, not that long ago), we had to figure that out ourselves. Back when we had Transitlink cards.

But now, a machine will figure that out for us. It will also figure out how much our overpriced mobile phone bills are. It’s gotten to the point that youngsters don’t even remember a time when we had to figure out how much our own bus fare cost. That’s because machines decide everything.

I mean, a machine even determines your PSLE score (remember the Optical Answer Sheet [OAS], where you have to shade everything in with a 2B pencil?). Soon, machines will figure out how much we should eat, and I don’t mean an Apple Watch.

3. We can have a conversation with computers

If only Siri could understand us as well as she understood ang mohs. Credit: Amy Lindenmoyer: Miami Real Estate Facebook Page

If only Siri could understand us as well as she understood ang mohs. Credit: Amy Lindenmoyer: Miami Real Estate Facebook Page

If you own an iPhone, then you’ve probably had a conversation with Siri. You’ll probably have asked plenty of inappropriate and silly questions, because Siri is just an amusement to you. She can’t even pronounce basic Singapore road names without earning a guffaw from you, after all. Try asking her to pronounce Paya Lebar. Heck, try saying “Paya Lebar” to her and see if she understands you.

But beyond all the silly jokes, do you even realise what you’re doing? You’re talking to a computer and she actually (sort of) understands you. We’re talking to computers! Isn’t that what androids are for?

4. Electronic eyes for humans exist!

Batou from Ghost in the Shell has cybernetic eyes after [INFORMATION REMOVED BY SIRI FOR SPOILER REASONS]. You might think that’s just a fanciful futuristic thingamajig.

Until you’ve checked out Patient Alpha above. His real name is Jens Naumann but Patient Alpha is cooler.

He’s a blind person who got electronic eyes from the Dobelle Institute. We’ve found a way to give a blind person back their sight. And it comes with cool shades to boot. Just look at Patient Alpha!

And we did it five years ago, in 2012. Sure, they talk about Star Trek like it came out yesterday, but look beyond (haha get it, get it, “look beyond”… never mind) that! Mechanical eyes!

5. Cybernetic limbs exist!

If you’re not squeamish, check out this video of a Kevin Warwick getting cybernetic implants! He can control household appliances with just a squeeze of his hand. It’s as good as having a cybernetic organ, except that we don’t currently have a human organ that controls the lights in our house.

Cases of people with cybernetic body parts aren’t isolated incidents. Here are seven examples of human cyborgs (including the aforementioned Patient Alpha). If you combined all of them, they could feasibly form an android. We’d still need a human brain and heart, but everything else would be made of metal and glass and circuits.

You could lose a limb today and get a replacement that could function even better than the original! Sure, it’d cost a bomb, but at least you know you have options.

Disclaimer: We are not asking you to intentionally lose limbs to become a cyborg or android.

Disclaimer 2: Despite repeated mentions of the word “android”, we are not sponsored by Google. **hint hint**

6. Electronic tattoos

A tattoo that's more than just a tattoo. Credit: Tel Aviv University

A tattoo that’s more than just a tattoo. Credit: Tel Aviv University

Electronic tattoos sound like they’re only for the most hardcore android enthusiasts among us. But they’re not just tattoos that look like cool circuitboards.

They are actual electronic devices that are thinner than paper, more flexible than plasters, and lighter than mosquitoes. You can affix one to your skin and never know it was there (which would make for some incredible spy applications, if you ask me).

With an electronic tattoo, you can measure your vital signs and other bodily functions without having to carry a blood pressure bump or a stethoscope everywhere you go. What’s more, with the right setup, you can actually use those bodily functions to control other electronic devices.

So, in the interest of science, we have the world’s first example of someone playing a computer game just by using his electronic tattoo. No controllers, no VR headset, nothing. Just a tattoo. You could play video games with an electronic tattoo shaped like a PS4 controller.

That’ll really mess with people’s minds!

Ghost in the Shell. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Ghost in the Shell. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

If you don’t have money to get cybernetic body parts or tattoos, the next best option is to watch Ghost in the Shell. It’s an adaptation of a famous manga/anime series about the adventures of Major, a pretty lady who had her brain implanted into an even prettier android. But if you have a completely new body, does that mean you are still the person you originally were?

Ghost in the Shell answers all your questions about identity, with a heavy dose of action, guns, and creepy geisha androids (Google did you read this?)!

 

Credits: Justin Trudeau Facebook Page****♡**** Twitter Amy Lindenmoyer: Miami Real Estate Facebook Page, Tel Aviv UniversityGolden Village Cinemas