"The human skin is an artificial boundary: the world wanders into it, and the self wanders out of it, traffic is two-way and constant" - Bernard Wolfe, 1963.
Since the conception of man, philosophers and historians the world over have struggled to define what it means to be human. With the advent of modern technology it has become increasingly relevant as to whether we can artificially engineer life. We have constantly been defining and redefining what it means to be human and this journey comes hand in hand with technological advancements. Modern technology has become so integral to our lives as individuals and as a society. It has become such a predominant part of our everyday lifestyles, having a huge impact on our ideas of humanism, transhumanism and the future of AI. It was Marshall McLuhan that first introduced the concept that technology fundamentally serves as an extension of ourselves. It is with this notion in mind that we ask what it truly means to be human.
Our use of tools has acted as a catalyst for all of humanities greatest achievements. Humans have always utilized tools where our own physical capabilities have been insufficient in meeting certain demands. Where these demands were not met, we would then invent a tool that would allow us to complete said task. The designing and manufacturing of the extension of our physiology is intrinsic in our definition of what it is to be human.
Over the course of history, we have made the habit of defining ourselves by what we are capable of. Richard Dawkins describes technology as our "extended phenotype"(1999). Technology has allowed us to achieve what was seemingly impossible. It has been used as a way of transcending our own capabilities, in order to surpass mental or physical boundaries that we may face. It isn't just this, however, that separates us from other animals. We can see the use of rudimentary tools in the likes of Chimpanzees, using leaves to fashion canopies during monsoon season and birds that use twigs to reach their food.