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Synopsis

Concepts once purely fiction -- robots, cyborg parts, artificial intelligences -- are becoming part of everyday reality. Soon robots will be everywhere, performing surgery, exploring hazardous places, making rescues, fighting fires, handling heavy goods. After a decade or two, they will be as unremarkable as the computer screen is now in offices, airports or restaurants.

Cyborgs will be less obvious. These additions to the human body are interior now, as rebuilt joints, elbows and hearts. Soon we will cross the line between repair and augmentation, probably first in sports medicine, then spreading to everyone who wants to make a body perform better, last longer, than it ordinarily could. Controversy will arise, but it will not stop the desire to live longer and be stronger than we are.

This book treats the landscape of human self-change and robotic development as poles of the same general phenomenon.

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