Introduction: Your Bionic Future; Your Bionic Future; Scientific American Presents; by Zorpette, Ezzell; 2 Page(s)
TELEVISION AND SLOT MACHINES notwithstanding, the point of technology is to extend what we can do with our bodies, our senses and, most of all, our minds. In the century now closing, we have gone from gaping at electric lightbulbs and telephones to channel-surfing past images of a sunrise on Mars, to outbursts of pique if our e-mail takes more than a few minutes to get to the other side of the world.
And in the next decade or two, the revolution is finally going to get really interesting. Several of the most important but disparate scientific and engineering achievements of the 20th century-the blossoming of electronics, the discovery of DNA and the elucidation of human genetics-will be the basis for leaps in technology that will extend, enhance or augment human capabilities far more directly, personally and powerfully than ever before.