Where does my body begin and machine end? How AI is keeping my pancreas, and me, alive

Credit: Financial Times
Credit: Financial Times

I have Type 1 diabetes, so my pancreas does not produce the life-essential insulin that a normal pancreas secretes. Instead, I carry on my belt a medical device — in effect, an artificial pancreas — whose brain interacts on its own with continuously updated data transmitted to it by a glucose monitor with implanted sensors.

These data are uploaded in the cloud where they can be seen by my doctor, the pump and monitor manufacturers, and I don’t know who else. As long as the pump keeps working correctly, I receive just the amount of insulin I need to survive. If it crashes or is hacked, I could die.

Late in life, I find myself enmeshed in a technological revolution that raises profound questions about what once was known as human being. Where does my body begin? Where does it end?

Related article:  Viewpoint: Genetics is revolutionizing baby making and what it means to be a family

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Bodily functions and activities are algorithmically monitored, regulated and modulated. In this way, human bodies distributed in space and time are increasingly connected in a worldwide web.

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The global network that is emerging around us forms the biotechnical infrastructure for future bodily as well as cognitive development. Extended bodies and extended minds will intervolve to form superorganisms and superintelligence.

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