Neil Harbisson: "Become Cyborgs!"

With achromatopsia, or total colour blindness, the world appears in shades of grey. Cyborg Neil Harbisson was born with this disease. But thanks to a cybernetic antenna, he can now even perceive infrared and ultraviolet. In the video Harbisson explains why we have to artificially expand our senses. On 14 March, he spoke at the GDI.
23 January, 2018 by
Neil Harbisson: «Werdet zu Cyborgs!»
GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute

Artist Neil Harbisson does not see colours, he hears them. Thanks to an implanted antenna that recognizes colours and transmits them as sounds to his brain. Technology has merged with humans – Neil Harbisson is the first human being officially recognised as a cyborg by a governement.
But you don't become a cyborg overnight. It is rather a process in which technical devices become a defining part of one's own personality.

First, Harbisson had to memorize which sounds are assigned to which colours. This knowledge turned into perception. And this perception led to independent feelings. Finally, Harbisson began to think and dream in colours – the artificially generated information became part of his brain.

However, the cybernetic antenna can also perceive colours the human eye cannot see, such as infrared or ultraviolet. Harbisson is thus able to hear when it is dangerous to sunbathe because the UV radiation is strong.

Do we all have to become superhuman? Neil Harbisson answer is clearly: Yes! In the video, he explains why.

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