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Is Sweden part of the cyborg revolution?

Published onsdag 19 april kl 13.45
Bio-hacker: Most people ask if I am joking when I say I have a microchip.
(4:53 min)
Biohackers
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Biohackers show off their microchip implants. (Image from December 2014). Credit: Nathalie Rothschild/Radio Sweden
Hannes Sjöblad, teknikoptimist
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Credit: Isabel Eriksson/Sveriges Radio

An estimated 1,000 Swedes currently have microchips inserted under their skin which contain everything from personal passwords to key codes.

Swedes have long been relaxed about monitoring carried out by trusted state authorities. This attitude seems like it is here to stay, at least among the chip-wearing "bio-hackers" that Swedish Radio's Science Desk spoke to, who are at ease with an increasingly cyborg future.

"The most common reaction is – ‘Really? Are you joking?’, and then people usually say ‘How exciting! Can I touch it?’," says Tobias Degsell, who had a chip inserted between his thumb and index finger almost two years ago.

The chip contains the pass code to his workplace, details of his physical condition, and even his business card.

Even just back in 2014, there were barely 100 people in Sweden thought to be "bio-hackers". With that number now around the 1,000-mark, it seems some Swedes may be ready to embrace a future where the line between human and machine becomes increasingly blurred.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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