The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is involved with a research project intent on implanting microchips into pupal moths that will allow those moths to be controlled as biological UAVs when they have reached maturity. Such moths could then be used as advanced infiltration devices against otherwise unsuspecting enemies.
Such technology reveals yet another step toward a future where the technology is in us, or at least implanted in us. What does that have to do with cyborg spy moths? Simply that cyborg spy moths are another step in the journey from the technology we wear and interact with everyday to that technology being a part of us.
Do you doubt me? How many of us know someone who has a pacemaker or has had joint replacement surgery? Those kinds of things are the first step toward such a phenomenon. We are already interfacing ourselves with the technology we can produce; the future simply holds more elegant methods for that interface.
Many people react violently against such a notion. Some claim that we are playing god or toying with things we cannot understand. Some people fear that such technology represents some greater evil that we will not be able to stop.
Really, however, such technology is simply part of the inevitable trend technology has always taken. The technology itself is not good or bad; it is what people do with such technology that makes it into anything.
Granted, cybertechnology creates a completely new realm of moral and ethical concerns that have never existed before now, but so did the original practice of medicine and the development of nuclear power. Instead of trying to put of such moral and ethical discussions, we should be moving quickly toward resolving them before the technology arrives.
Indeed, that technology is on its way. I believe that within the decade, we will start to see the development of the first practical cybertechnology in the form of media devices-thing cell phones and mp3-players-that will interface with their wearer via contact with the skin. Within twenty or thirty years, these devices will simply be implanted.
Therefore, the question is not whether the technology is coming, but whether we are ready for it when it comes.