The Internet of Bodies: Life and Death in the Age of AI

Publication/Creation Date
December 20 2018
Eleonore Pauwels (creator)
United Nations University (contributor)
Sarah W. Denton (creator)
The Wilson Center (contributor)
Media Type
Journal Article
Persuasive Intent
In their introduction, Pauwels and Denton write, "The fourth industrial revolution—characterized by technological advances in genomics and cyber-technologies including artificial intelligence (“AI”), automation, gene-editing, and neuroscience—seeks to merge our physical, digital, and biological lives. Yet, the Internet of Bodies exposes us to unprecedented privacy and cybersecurity vulnerabilities, introducing conflict across regulatory regimes. Now, societies must open a dialog to begin identifying the human values and norms that will define responsible AI governance and data optimization".

They then imagine a futuristic scenario that illustrates the concept of The Internet of Bodies: 

"It’s 6am and your AI personal assistant Niko greets you. As you walk into the bathroom, Niko connects to your smart mirror to analyze your saliva and biometric data to identify subtle changes in your health. Your life-cycle user platform is reflected around your face, – height 5’11”, weight 157lbs, blood pressure 139/99 – quantifying your health in real-time via the Aegis implant in your arm. Streamed to the cloud, these biological data track your health, connect with physicians, and build powerful datasets for precision medicine. In an instant, the Aegis profile disappears, leaving your reflection seemingly bare. Then, Niko reminds you that your driverless car is arriving in 30 minutes. Your location is a core data point, which the Aegis constantly updates, sending data to the cloud every five minutes. En route to the office, you notice cameras equipped with facial and biometrics recognition software installed in each streetlight. They are part of the new City Brain, a comprehensive cognitive network that records and rates everyone’s behaviors and interactions".
HCI Platform
Location on Body
Entire Body

Date archived
April 22 2020
Last edited
April 22 2020
How to cite this entry
Eleonore Pauwels, Sarah W. Denton . (December 20 2018). "The Internet of Bodies: Life and Death in the Age of AI ". California Western Law Review. California Western School of Law. Fabric of Digital Life.