This chapter introduces the “Perspectives” section of the Handbook of Living Machines offering an overview of the different contributions gathered here that consider how biomimetic and biohybrid systems will transform our personal lives and social organizations, and how we might respond to the challenges that these transformations will inevitably pose to our ‘posthuman’ worlds. The authors in this section see it as essential that those who aspire to create living machines engage with the public to confront misconceptions, deep anxieties, and unrealistic aspirations that presently dominate the cultural imagination, and to include potential users in questions of design and utility as new technologies are being developed. Human augmentation and enhancement are other important themes addressed, raising important questions about what it means fundamentally to be ‘human’. These questions and challenges are addressed through the lens of the social and personal impacts of new technologies on human selves, the public imagination, ethics, and human relationships.
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