Cyborgs represent the combining of the biological and the synthetic. They are a complex amalgam of flesh and metal, and have frequently been viewed in science fiction with unease. The Borg from the Star Trek universe are a prime example of this.
The Borg add to their numbers through assimilation. This assimilation process bears a striking similarity to Colonialism. The invaders, in this case being the nanoprobes, spread throughout the host’s body, sprouting implants and erasing the host’s autonomy. They rid them of emotion. This is the kind of invasion that frightens us most. The kind that purges us of our freedom, wiping away that which distinguishes us. That which makes us unique. This is reminiscent of the way invaders have operated in the past, subjugating indigenous peoples and replacing their cultures with the culture of the conquerors.
In science fiction, we often see technology as that which destroys our humanity. Is this really how it will turn out to be? As we devise implants to regulate bodily functions that have gone awry, to treat conditions that would otherwise be devastating, or to hook in to technology in more intimate ways for our own pursuit of pleasure, are we truly sacrificing a piece of our humanity in the process? As we engage the world in increasingly technological ways, are we changing what it means to be human?