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Kate Honeyman

Professor Collins
English 115
Why Cyborgs Are More Intelligent Than We Think
Many humans look down upon the idea of a world filled with cyborgs. They
think that this advancement in technology will make people more antisocial, and
that will somehow make them less intelligent. They seem to think that there is a
connection between emotions and intelligence. There is not for cyborgs; they can
not feel any emotions at all and still have the ability to be really smart. Some
cyborgs cannot feel emotions because the humans who programmed them made it
so that they do not feel emotions, so is it really their fault for being emotionless?
Humans discriminate cyborgs for something that they cannot control, much like how
society used to discriminate against women just because of their gender, something
that they cant help. If humans are upset about cyborgs not being like them, then
why dont they program them to be like humans? They are becoming more like
humans, through new technology, but are their emotions the same as a humans?
Their knowledge is gained through a human brain, so their emotions should be the
same.
Cyborgs can be programmed to act exactly like humans. They can use
ultrasonic sensors to sense whats around them, and they can move out of the way
of obstacles and they can follow directions and move to a specific point. They can
also feel emotions. They can absorb intelligence from a human brain and gain all of
its qualities. This means that they can feel the same emotions as a human. They
can feel excited in the same situations that a human would feel excited in because
they now have knowledge from a human brain, but they can show these same
emotions through observation. In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the
androids start to feel emotions that humans would feel in their situations. For
example, when Rachael, Irmgard, and Roy find out that the other androids have
been killed and that theyre the only three androids left and that theyre about to be
killed, they become scared and try to hide, and any human would have that same
reaction if they were in that same situation. There are other instances of androids
getting frightened in the book, like when Luba Luft realizes that Rick and Phil are
going to kill her in the elevator, or even when she gets scared by Rick suddenly
going into her dressing room at the opera show. Another example of androids
feeling fear is when Isidore goes to Rachaels apartment for the first time and she is
frightened by seeing a human. Humans in the book dont believe that androids feel
anything. They think that the only way that androids can feel anything is by using
the empathy box, and that the empathy box and Mercerism are fake forms of
emotions. Ironically enough, the androids are constantly showing emotion in front of
humans. They feel fear and they show it, like in the examples that I gave before.
We always seem to look down upon anyone or anything that we think doesnt
meet our level of intelligence. In the article Sex Dillemas, Amazons and Cyborgs:
Feminist Cultural Studies and Sport, our discrimination against cyborgs is
compared to the way that we used to discriminate against women. Society used to

think that women should not waste their energy with activities that are seen as
masculine, such as sports. Men thought that they were superior over women and
therefore, they thought that they could play sports better than women. They
thought that women should reserve their energy for feminine activities, such as
housework and raising children. Although there is a lot less of them, there are still
gender equality issues. The article mentions how we still see sports as maledominated, since most sports on TV are mostly made up of men. We have the same
issue with technology. We think that since there are so many advancements with
technology now, we have become more accepting of technology and the fact that it
plays a huge role in our lives, but this is not true. Many people still hate technology
and think that its useless and makes people antisocial. They worry about cyborgs
because they feel that theyre going to be surrounded by people who arent even
people and that all communication is going to be lost because of the lack of
emotions. People feel that they cant communicate with cyborgs the same way that
they cant communicate with animals. We look down on animals for the same
reason that we look down at cyborgs, because they dont communicate the same
way that we do.
Being discriminated by humans is possibly the reason why cyborgs in Do
Androids Dream of Electric Sheep can relate to animals so much. It is also
suggested in the book that animals are valued because of their appearance. Being
seen with an animal raises the social status of a character, in the same way that
people in real life buy luxury cars or name-brand clothes to show off and impress
others. This is another example of how humans and cyborgs are more similar than
we think, they both care a lot about their appearance and what people think of
them, they want to intimidate others and be better than them, but in different ways.
For example, humans and cyborgs both see a lot of value in animals, but in different
ways. Cyborgs appreciate the animals for their appearance, and humans appreciate
animals for their worth. Rick spends all of his bounty savings on a goat, because he
knows that goats have more value than any other animal. A cyborg would want the
goat because its a black Nubian goat, this reason is appearance-based. Humans
and cyborgs also both want to intimidate objects and creatures that they see as
having less power than them. In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the
androids find a spider and they wonder if it would still be able to function with less
legs, so they cut some of its legs off, and they do this without thinking of the
animals feelings, and humans dont think much about animals feelings either.
Whenever we see ants, flies, spiders, or any other animal in our house, our first
instinct is to kill it. Most of us dont think of how the animal would feel about that,
very few of us think that poor animal doesnt even know whats going on. Cyborgs
have even less feelings when it comes to animals. Humans have the decency to not
hurt or kill an animal, unless its one of the animals used in the previous example.
Humans know how to properly take care of a pet, and would never harm their pet.
Cyborgs will harm any animal, even one with as much value as a pet, if it gets in
their way. Rachael gets angry at Rick and throws his goat off of the roof in revenge.
Humans are afraid of cyborgs because of violent, thoughtless acts like these, but
cyborgs have control over their actions, by gaining intelligence from a human brain.

In fact, in the end, humans end up being the ones who are less empathetic,
not the androids. Rick, who is shown to be the most human character in the book,
has the least amount of empathy out of anyone. He always kill androids without
thinking of their feelings, he only cares about the amount of money he gets for
retiring the androids. He ends up realizing how selfish he is in the end however.
When he meets Phil and finds out that he sleeps with androids before retiring them,
he ends up not wanting to be like him. He realizes this after he sleeps with Rachael.
Rachael gets angry with Rick when she realizes that hes about to kill her after
hooking up with him. She felt that she could trust him after having sex with him
because hes not like Phil. Rick realizes how selfish it is to gain the androids trust
and then kill them, although he claimed before to not have feelings for any of them.
His empathy is really brought out when he has to kill the last three androids. He
cant bring himself to do it and he realizes that he doesnt want to be a bounty
hunter; he wants to become empathetic and join Mercer. When he searches for the
three androids, he starts to see his world literally crumbling around him and he is
suddenly climbing a mountain, while having rocks thrown at him. Through this
experience, he becomes Mercer. So in the end, the least empathetic human
becomes the person whose religion is centered around empathy. If humans can go
from being selfish to empathetic, then so can androids, since they can gain human
knowledge.
We can all learn from cyborgs, as they can learn from us. They are said to
have the same amount of knowledge as 2 scientists and 5 writers. That could
definetly be helpful and useful to humans. Cyborgs feel emotions, as they can gain
knowledge from humans and they can move around, interact with others, and have
reactions in the same way that humans do. They are more like us than we think.

Works Cited:
Wu, Zhaohui, Gang Pan, and Nenggan Zheng. Cyborg Intelligence. IEEE Intelligent
Systems, 28.5 (2013): 31
Warwick, Kevin. The Cyborg Revolution. NanoEthics, 8.3 (2014): 263-273
Tolvhed, Helena. Sex Dillemas, Amazons and Cyborgs: Feminist Cultural Studies
and Sport. Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, 5 (2013): 273289