The Tyranny of Biology[edit | edit source]
Transcript of a seminar given by Hugh Darrow at the World Bioethics Summit in Tokyo, 8 September 2011.
The next study I'd like to share is one in which we analyzed the security and privacy properties of implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), introduced to the US market in 2003, this model ICD includes pacemaker technology and is designed to communicate wirelessly with a nearby external programmer in the 175 kHz frequency range. After partly reverse-engineering the ICD's communication device with an oscilliscope and a software radio, we implemented several software radio-based attacks that could compromise patient safety and security.
<At this point, cries of outrage from participants interrupt Mr. Darrow. He looks up, surprised. Loud, gravelly sounds.>
Please! Ladies and gentlemen, please!
<After several minutes, the crowd quiets enough for Mr. Darrow to speak.>
Listen, I'm not here to talk about the philosophical nature of what we do in augmentation research. That's not to say I don't understand the ramifications of my work - just that there are better thinkers than I more suited to the task.
My prowess - if you'll forgive me for calling it that - is the creation of these engines of human development. I'll leave it to future generations to decide if I am remembered well for what I've created.
But I will say this; at no point in our history as the dominant species on this planet have we, as human beings, had as much power over our bodies, as we do now. We are on the threshold an age where the tyranny of biology can be defeated. Someone born blind, someone whose legs are claimed by some tragedy, someone who once could hear but now cannot - we offer hope to them. Nature no longer has the upper hand.