Some Thoughts on Ghost in the Shell

In class, we started on the topic of prosthetics and wearable technology. It’s well-timed that the full trailer for the upcoming live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell was just released.

I decided to rewatch the anime film from 1995, which takes place in a future where cybernetic implants and computer augmented brains are the norm. The main protagonist, Major Motoko Kusanagi has a full-body prosthesis, making her a human cyborg. In this future society, what defines a human is the individual’s consciousness and unique thoughts and memories. However, thoughts and memories are just data and information, which can be controlled by computers. With the boundaries blurred between human and computer, it leads the Major to question her own humanity. It feels that even in our world today, humans are becoming more machine-like with wearables and enhancement technology. The recent launch of the Snapchat Spectacles video camera sunglasses allows wearers to record memories from their point of view. The new MAX modular exoskeleton system from suitX intelligently supports a person’s body to reduce injury risk. It’s also interesting to note that computers are also becoming more human-like and that a personality can be generated just with information.

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