Human Augmentation

What is Human Augmentation? 

Human Augmentation is technology that boosts human productivity, enhances, and restores the human body’s capabilities. As people get stronger and technology evolves, the concerns towards our health, quality of life, and productivity increases, leading a rise in Human Augmentation. 

Three Types of Human Augmentation 

In general, one can divide Human Augmentations into three different parts: 

First, the replication of human ability. In other words, it is an augmentation that simply copies what a normal person can do. The most common example is artificial limbs (prosthetics) or other organs. This type of technology has already been applied widely to benefit millions of people by giving them a second chance. According to the World Health Organization, “it is estimated that 30 million people are in need of prosthetic and orthotic devices”, many of their needs are already satisfied but many still are yet to receive the devices they desire. This outlines the importance of Human Augmentation technology and how replication can bring hope to many people. 

The second type of human augmentation is supplementing the human ability. This advances replication to help humans do tasks more efficiently. Have you encountered a situation where someone was talking to you in a different language, and you were really interested in its content? Of course, another bilingual person can do the translation job for us, but won’t it be nice to have a device that can easily translate for us? We have already seen some translators such as Google Translate which is a representation of supplementing the human ability. The language translated is generally accurate and comprehensible, and what makes it even better is that it is fast, never gets tired, and will be available 24/7. Human Augmentation enhances our capabilities and helps us increase work efficiency. It is not that we are getting lazier, it is that we are becoming more and more efficient. 

The last type of human augmentation is exceeding the human abilities. While it is true that this type of augmentation is usually the most intriguing part of the technology, it is yet to be discovered and developed in our future. This type of augmentation exceeds human capability and few applications have been made for now. There are several cases that are exceptionally interesting and promising. For example, the artificial blood cell can maintain blood pressure and allows red cells to keep functioning. Another example is the Synthetic Memory card. As we all know the hard disk does a better job at remembering things than our human brain, is it possible to make it work with the brain so that humans can remember more information longer? While the answers to these questions are mostly uncertain, this type of augmentation is very promising. 


Despite of the fact that Human Augmentation is beneficial, it also controversial: One of the most controversial topics is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Since AI exceeds some of human abilities, we need to decide how can we manage to control it in the future. Making sure to handle this double-edge technology is necessary and sometimes can has a lot of uncertainties. 


Human augmentation allows millions of people a second chance to experience their lives. When we pick up our phones and ask Google/Siri for the weather, it is Human Augmentation technology that is serving our purposes.  Even though there are some potential risks presented by the Human Augmentation such as AI, we will be able to handle it if we consider carefully and make the correct choice.