She implanted an earthquake sensor into her foot. He wants to create the first independent virtual organism: Moon Ribas and Stephen D. Larson push the boundaries between man and machine – today at the IFA+ Summit.

Cyborgs are no longer abstract fantasies – it has long been possible to integrate microcomputers into human beings. Moon Ribas (Cyborg Arts) is an artist from Spain who feels in her foot when the earth trembles somewhere in the world thanks to an implant. In disasters, she feels connected to people tens of thousands of kilometres away. She calls it an “additional sense” – and a proof that we are able to massively expand our sensory possibilities.

Stephen D. Larson is not working on expanding his own abilities – but those of the digital. His OpenWorm project is an open code on the web that programmers from all over the world are working on. “Modelling a simple, functioning nervous system enables us to understand complex processes in the human brain.”

Ideas like Ribas’ and Larson’s may sound like science fiction at first – but chances are that in just a few years they could turn out to be trend-setting. IFA+ Summit participants are there right from the start.

Other top speakers at the summit include Garry Kasparov, ex-chess world champion, on Artificial Intelligence, Uma Subramanian, CEO of Airbus company Voom, on new urban mobility with helicopters on demand and Jens Lambrecht, founder of the Berlin-based start-up Gestalt Robotics, on the humanisation of robots.

Photo: Moon Ribas.