Michael Chorost became a cyborg at age 36. After being hard of hearing his whole life, he went acutely deaf while at a conference in Reno, Nevada. He elected to receive a cochlear implant from Advanced Bionics. As Chorost describes Rebuilt:
It’s a scientific memoir of going deaf and getting my hearing back with a cochlear implant, that is, a computer embedded in my skull. Science fiction writers and filmmakers have speculated about cyborgs (human-computer fusions) for decades, but in this book I reveal what it’s really like to have part of one’s body controlled by a computer.
The book is almost overwhelmingly personal, highlighting how the process of relearning to hear changed his outlook on life (the sub-title is “How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human”). The book does an excellent job of covering both the technical and practical aspects of becoming a cyborg. Being technically literate himself, Chorost deftly describes his experience and the technology that mediates it in language that strikes a “just right” mix of technicality and informality.
This would be an excellent read for any biomedical engineer, audiologist, ENT specialist, or potential patient thereof.
The entire first chapter of the book can be downloaded (in .pdf) at Chorost’s website.
The book can be found at the typical online retailers, as well as a bookstore near you.