After leaving a comment in Digital Warfighter's blog, I thought I should weigh in on this in my own little slice of the Net. There's been a lot of buzz in the tech circles about a book called The Singularity is Near. I haven't read it and don't plan to read it, but if I read the summaries right, here's what it says: there will come in the near future a point where we all become cyborgs. We'll all have machinery and super-intelligent computers wired into us and become immortal geniuses the likes of which the world has never seen. Turns out he's not the first to propose this. Thanks to Wikipedia, there's good info on the Technological Singularity, what Ken MacLeod called "the Rapture for nerds."
Personally, I think that's a good description because they are both as likely to happen. The people who argue it's inevitable use the same argument that cryogenics companies use; "it's bound to happen sometime!" But here are the facts. Let's set aside the fact that human beings don't understand sentience in our own brains, much less in artificial ones. On a more practical level, I'm doubtful of its "inevitability" simply because I know so many people who don't even own a computer in the year 2005, much less would stand in line to have one wired into their brains. Could we all be turned into cyborgs? Sure, given enough time, say thousands of years, but my first question would be "will the time come when it's cheaper and easier than NOT being turned into a cyborg?" Then maybe it'll take off. But even then I imagine my grandmother saying "They want to what? Put a calculator in my head? Turn me into a claymore?" They'll be walking around with their eyes blinking '12:00.' And what if just when computer-brain technology becomes cheap and easy, they come up with something better? That's like someone in 1940 predicting we'll all have vacuum tubes implanted in our chests in the future.
The fact is that only the most die-hard geeks and nerds sit around dreaming of having computers in their heads. Most people are just getting used to carrying around a cell-phone. It's not gonna happen, because people don't want it. Period.