COULD anyone get superhuman eye sight in 100 years - and would that be a completely good thing?
Bionic eyes are among science to be explored at Humans 2.0, an upcoming public event on being human one century from now.
It is one thing to restore vision for somebody, another to enhance it for someone with good eyesight, Swinburne University of Technology's Chris McCarthy said.
"OK, so if someone gets superhuman vision, what does that mean for everybody else? Do we all then need to get the same vision just to keep up ... to be augmenting ourselves just to stay in the race?" he said.
"It (my talk) is really about having fun with that idea - and painting a picture that is a little bit of the good and the bad, which I think we have to think about when we talk about this sort of technology."
Earlier this decade, Dr McCarthy helped develop a bionic eye capable of restoring "some sense of vision" for those with conditions like macular degeneration.
The ground-breaking Australian technology saw 20 electrodes implanted in people's eyes to send signals from a camera to the brain.
Dr McCarthy's bionic eye research - and of fellow experts in the field - focuses solely on helping people with medical conditions.
"At the end of the day we want to give people the vision they need to have a quality of life they deserve," he said.
"But the fact is, these technologies are evolving and we will have to think very carefully about how they become part of our lives."
Right now, bionic eyes give only "splotchy, blurry looking images" lacking many details, Dr McCarthy said.
"You might be able to tell there is something in front of you, versus not being in front of you," he said.
In the next couple of years the software and retina implants could evolve and images become sharper, Dr McCarthy said.
This month's Humans 2.0 day will be open to the public and people will be invited to see tech artifacts and prototypes, dance off with artificial intelligence and have conversations with avatars.
Families are invited to come to the Bendigo Tech School from 4pm until 6pm on Tuesday 20 August, while an over-18s event will take pace there from 7pm until 9pm.
To book, visit bendigotechschool.vic.edu.au
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