chapter  10
20 Pages

Of machines and men: the road to identity. Scenes for a discussion

BySTEFANO RODOTÀ

Rather, throughout history we have always tried to force the limits of nature, especially when we have tried to mimic it, reproduce it, transport it to a different dimension. It is not a paradoxical conclusion, but just when reproduction of nature appears at its zenith, the highest degree of artificiality has been reached. The automatons, the Ingenious Devices have fascinated us since ancient times; they have paved the way to other mechanical creatures, like robots and the different thinking machines; and then came the cyborgs, announcing the trans-and posthuman, the researches on brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) or brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). But relations between man and the world of machines are not linear (Losano 1990, Sini 2009). The fact that we start from man as a reference or model may lead to very different results: to try to replicate man in a machine or to replicate machine in a man, an object among other objects, in fact an ‘hommemachine’.