When Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Kline first coined the term “cyborg” in a 1960 article, they never expected that the performance of the human-machine hybrids would reach the levels that we’re seeing today.
The best example, of course, is cybernetic organism 2306—known in most circles as LeBron James—who has been thrilling audiences of millions for several years with his near-perfection in the sport of basketball. That’s why it came as a shock when, during last night’s Game Four between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder, 2306 had to be removed due to a circuitry error in the lower biomechanical appendages.
It was the first significant physical malfunction in the 27-year existence of 2306, which was built to achieve previously unfathomable levels of strength, quickness, and durability.
The cyborg has experienced problems in the past, but they have mostly been malfunctions in its emotional circuits. The most famous cognitive miscalculation was the anger-inducing spectacle known as “The Decision,” which his creators later attributed to an error in programming.
“When we saw ‘The Decision’ our greatest fears were realized,” said Friedrich Adler, the chief programmer for 2306, “We knew we had to get in there and modify the emotional centers of the android.”
Despite the cognitive lapses 2306 has been performing brilliantly at its primary task, winning three of the last four NBA MVP awards. While commissioner David Stern initially balked at the idea of allowing a cyborg to compete amongst regular humans, he ultimately decided 2306 would create a better product for the fans.
The only other physical issue with 2306 has been an inability to keep the hairline at a consistent level. Its creators say they cannot figure out why the cyborg’s hairline continues to recede, exposing the titanium exoskeleton of its forehead. While they work on a permanent solution, the creators suggested simply covering the mistake with an extremely thick headband.
Because of the lack of physical problems with 2306, last night’s episode frightened Adler and its creators.
“When we saw 2306 go down we figured, ‘well, that’s it’,”said Adler, who is on hand as a consultant during most Heat home games, “We were ready to take it to the locker room, remove the cerebral cortex, and box it up. But that 2306 just won’t stop until it wins an NBA title. It really thinks it’s human. Remarkable”
2306 is expected to be fully repaired in time for tipoff of Thursday’s Game 5.