In the 2012 summer Olympics, Oscar Pistorious, who had lost both his legs when he was 11 months old, competed both in the Paralympic games and in the Olympic games. He was able to run at an Olympic level thanks to his artificial limbs. He didn’t win, but he still runs faster than 99% of humans despite missing both legs.
Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a ballroom dancer, lost a leg In the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. Thanks to Hugh Herr and MIT’s Centre for extreme bionics, she can dance again.
Hearing aids are common as a prosthetic to help people hear, these could be enhanced to allow people to focus hearing on a distant conversation, connect them to the internet or to an alexa style AI, or be a phone, effectively giving a holder of this prosthetic an advantage over the rest of humans.
Artificial knees or hips are common prosthetics which enhance non life-threatening issues. MIT, and Elon Musk’s Neuralink , are independently investigating how to enhance these artificial limbs to connect them to the nervous system, connecting the brain directly with machine interfaces. If this happens, this interface could become faster than our normal reflexes, potentially allowing an enhanced human to dodge a bullet.
Anthony Atala has been able to print a kidney, George Church, from Harvard Medical School is using human genome to create any organ. Sergio Canavero is scheduled to transplant a human head by end of 2017. Dmitry Itskov has set out to copy the human brain to a computer within the next 30 years.
If humanity becomes able to transfer a head to another body, then it would be reasonable to assume it could be transferred to another input/output mechanism. If memory and consciousness can be copied, then the body could be swapped for a robot which could live for long periods of time, work on our behalf, clone itself, or travel the galaxy to terraform distant planets.
These enhanced prosthetics, once they become a reality, would grant normal humans with extraordinary abilities: eyes which could zoom in, record, see holographic projections of internet data. Exoskeletons which would allow to lift heavy weights, run or jump faster. Brains directly connected to the internet, stronger bones and muscles, perfect hair…
There will come a time where being a Homo Sapiens will be a handicap. Get ready for Homo Cyborg.