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"I did more research, and realized I almost would rather be a biologist than a writer, because there was incredible stuff going on!"
- Greg Bear

Dolphin's Hands  
  Digital prosthetic for dolphins.  

Once you've found out that dolphins are intelligent enough to perform useful tasks for humanity, what can you pay them with?

"You know those things you pay them off in? They look like a squirt-jet motorboat motor with two padded metal hands attached."

"The Dolphin's Hands. Sure. We sell 'em other stuff, tools and sonic things to move fish around, but Dolphin's Hands are what they mainly need."

From Handicap, by Larry Niven.
Published by Galaxy Science Fiction in 1967
Additional resources -

This is a precursor to the idea of Jones, the cyborg dolphin from William Gibson's 1981 short story Johnny Mnemonic.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Handicap
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Handicap
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

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