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Is it time we got over the taboo against human enhancement?

Is it time we got over the taboo against human enhancement? | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it
Slate writer Will Oremus has put together a fairly revealing article about how easy it’s becoming to supercharge our brains, prompting him to wonder why there’s still so much push-back against the idea of technologically enhancing ourselves.

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The fact that tDCS may pose unknown risks, that its benefits and drawbacks are not yet fully understood, that it can be dangerous in the wrong hands—none of these arguments should keep scientists from carefully exploring its potential. Having spent the better part of two months immersed in the vertiginous world of human enhancement, I’ve become convinced that societal and academic taboos against the use of technology to give healthy people extraordinary powers are, on the whole, counterproductive. College students are already popping Adderall in droves. Body hackers are implanting microchips in their bodies. Entrepreneurs are hawking tDCS kits for $99 online. Some athlete, somewhere, is probably experimenting with gene doping. The riskiness of some of these behaviors makes it tempting to simply outlaw them all and expect everyone to comply. But that’s as unrealistic as it is blinkered.

This isn’t a call to legalize everything and let God or Darwin sort ’em out. It’s a plea to lawmakers, the media, academics, and those who fund academic research to take seriously the growing availability of and demand for human-enhancement technologies. Only by acknowledging and researching their potential benefits as well as their risks can we hope to craft mature policies that promote public safety and welfare. If that means continuing to classify Adderall as a Schedule II controlled substance until we’re even more convinced that it doesn’t pose long-term health risks, so be it. But here’s where we’re going astray: One university professor who studies ADHD drugs told me he has learned that every public-health research paper “has to have a certain (cautionary) tone to it” in order to be accepted for publication. “I know what I have to write, and it has to be, basically, ‘Drugs are bad.’ ”

Maybe he’s wrong. But I’ve talked with enough academics over the past two months who flat-out refused to even discuss the potential use of various medical technologies for human enhancement—or to even have their name attached to an article that discusses them—to suspect that there’s some legitimacy to his paranoia. Too many people seem to think that humans are fine the way we are, and that the only proper use of these technologies is to restore “normal” human functions to people with disabilities.


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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Cyborg

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Cyborg | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it
When we hear the word "cyborg," we think of a being that has completely lost or was never granted its individuality or right to privacy. We think of the worst kind of collectivist entrapment, a sta...

Via Ana Cristina Pratas, Terheck, juandoming
luiy's insight:

As admirable as Stop the Cyborgs and 5 Point Cafe’s efforts may be, there’s little hope that the cyborg-ification of humans will stop. No child wants to grow up to be a cyborg, yet humanity is increasingly becoming cybernetic. Many people cannot reasonably function without the use of hearing aids, artificial hips, mind-controlled prosthetic limbs or computerized speech generators. These devices are necessities, and no one faults their users for taking advantage of them. Google Glass is admittedly a different beast altogether, as it is an elective tool and could be used to violate non-wearers’ privacy.

 

But right or wrong, it’s only the beginning. From retinal implants that perform the same tasks as Google Glass and more, to telekinetic tattoos and nanobots, we’ll be so hard-wired with tech that, as futurists such as Kurzweil predict, the line separating man and machine will blur.

By then, will we even care about abstract liberties such as privacy and individuality?

 

It’s almost impossible to fathom now, but perhaps in the future we’ll look back and wonder why we cherished our individuality so much and resisted collectivism. After all, privacy as we now know it is a relatively modern phenomenon that we take for granted. Most of us wouldn’t be able to tolerate the constant physical togetherness and lack of solitude that defined a medieval European lifestyle. But since then we’ve readjusted our attitudes toward privacy and individuality, and chances are they will need to be readjusted again. Perhaps once most of us are wired to communicate telepathically and always be aware of each other’s locations and identities, we’ll find popular twentieth- and twenty-first-century depictions of cyborgs to be quaint, naïve and, yes, even a little offensive.

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Open Innovation Call to Improve 'Sight’ of First Humanoid Robot in Space

Open Innovation Call to Improve 'Sight’ of First Humanoid Robot in Space | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it
Two challenges issued by TopCoder and NASA Tournament Lab to improve the 'sight' of the first humanoid robot in space.

Via cafonso
luiy's insight:

The first humanoid robot in space needs some help.  His colleagues would like him to have some improved ‘sight’.

 

Robonaut 2 (also known as ‘R2’) arrived on the International Space Station in February 2011.  It was designed to help assist astronauts with tasks too dangerous or too mundane for them to perform.  Now NASA wants it to be given even more capabilities.

 

The space agency in conjunction with open innovation platform TopCoder is issuing two challenges to give R2 an upgrade.  This is also part of NASA’s on-going program to give the public a role in the future of space exploration.

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The Strange Neuroscience of Immortality - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Strange Neuroscience of Immortality - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it

In the basement of the Northwest Science Building here at Harvard University, a locked door is marked with a pink and yellow sign: "Caution: Radioactive Material." Inside researchers buzz around wearing dour expressions and plastic gloves. Among them is Kenneth Hayworth. He's tall and gaunt, dressed in dark-blue jeans, a blue polo shirt, and gray running shoes. He looks like someone who sleeps little and eats less.

Hayworth has spent much of the past few years in a windowless room carving brains into very thin slices. He is by all accounts a curious man, known for casually saying things like, "The human race is on a beeline to mind uploading: We will preserve a brain, slice it up, simulate it on a computer, and hook it up to a robot body." He wants that brain to be his brain. He wants his 100 billion neurons and more than 100 trillion synapses to be encased in a block of transparent, amber-colored resin—before he dies of natural causes.


Via Xaos
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Agata Bąk's curator insight, April 2, 2013 3:32 PM

<3 transhumanism. I want that brain to be your brain. 

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Katalyst VS Singularity

Katalyst VS Singularity | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it
Katalyst interviews Dr.Ray Kurzweil and RoboCop creator Michael Miner. Dystopian movie face-off with Ladytron and Cults. A list of emerging technologies that will inspire fear and/or hope. A think piece on the emerging Singularity by Paul Cullum.

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SkyNet Fans Rejoice: Scientists Develop Robot Brain Made Out of the Internet

SkyNet Fans Rejoice: Scientists Develop Robot Brain Made Out of the Internet | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it
A new project aims to assist robot intelligence by using cloud based information.

Via Abel Revoredo, juandoming
luiy's insight:

Providing robots with intelligence that deserve comparison with the human brain has been a failed ambition of the artificial intelligence movement for decades.  A new project by European Robo Earth sets out to try and close the gap.

 

It will utilize the Internet to try and assist robots with their thinking and decision making.  A web-based database of information called Rapyuta has been created by scientists.

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Creativity, evolution of mind and the "vertigo of freedom" | Hybrid Reality | Big Think

Creativity, evolution of mind and the "vertigo of freedom" | Hybrid Reality | Big Think | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it

Your new book Darwin’s Pharmacy talks about the relationship between psychedelic plants and the accelerating evolution of the “noosphere”, which some define as the knowledge substrate of reality, the invisible, informational dimension of collective intelligence and human knowledge. Is this more or less accurate?


Via Howard Rheingold
luiy's insight:

Richard Doyle also goes by mobius, an indicator of just how important interconnections are to him – and how transformative, bedeviling and hypnotic his ideas can be. As a professor of English and science, technology, and society at Pennsylvania State University, he has taught courses in the history and rhetoric of the emerging technosciences – sustainability, space colonization, biotechnology, nanotechnology, psychedelic science, information technologies, biometrics – and the cultural and literary contexts from which they sprout. An explorer of the exciting and confusing rhetorical membrane between humans and an informational universe, he argues that in co-evolution with technology, we find ourselves in an evolutionary ecology that is as vital as it is unexplored.

 

In Darwin’s Pharmacy: Sex, Plants and the Evolution of The Noösphere, the transhumanist philosopher focuses on his favorite technology: the psychedelic, “ecodelic” plants and chemicals (read: drugs) that can help make us process more information and make us aware of the effect of language and music and nature on our consciousness, thereby offering us an awareness of our own ability to effect our own consciousness through our linguistic and creative choices. And that, from an evolutionary perspective, is simply sexy.

 

JASON: Your new book Darwin’s Pharmacy talks about the relationship between psychedelic plants and the accelerating evolution of the “noosphere”, which some define as the knowledge substrate of reality, the invisible, informational dimension of collective intelligence and human knowledge. Is this more or less accurate?

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Hiroshi Ishiguro - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro (石黒浩 Ishiguro Hiroshi) is director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, part of the Department of Systems Innovation in the Graduate School of Engineering Science at Osaka University, Japan. A notable development of the laboratory is the actroid, a humanoid robot with lifelike appearance and visible behaviour such as facial movements.

In robot development, Professor Ishiguro concentrates on the idea of making a robot that is as similar as possible to a live human being; at the unveiling in July 2005 of the "female" android named Repliee Q1Expo, he was quoted as saying "I have developed many robots before, but I soon realised the importance of its appearance. A human-like appearance gives a robot a strong feeling of presence. ... Repliee Q1Expo can interact with people. It can respond to people touching it. It's very satisfying, although we obviously have a long way to go yet."[1] In his opinion, it may be possible to build an android that is indistinguishable from a human, at least during a brief encounter.

Ishiguro has made an android that resembles him, called the Geminoid. The Geminoid was among the robots featured by James May in his 5 October 2008 BBC2 documentary on robots Man-Machine in his series Big Ideas. Ishiguro has been listed as one of the 15 Asian Scientists To Watch by Asian Scientist Magazine on 15 May 2011.[2]

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Web 4.0: The Ultra-Intelligent Electronic Agent is Coming

Web 4.0: The Ultra-Intelligent Electronic Agent is Coming | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it
The evolution of the Web today is happening faster than the transition from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 due to processing power, bandwidth and storage, "creating a curve of exponential change."

Via Jean-Philippe BOCQUENET, Lockall
luiy's insight:

According to Burrus, Web 4.0 is about "the ultra-intelligent electronic agent."

This agent will "recognize you when you get in front of it because all of your devices are getting a little camera. And with facial recognition, they’ll know it’s you." Burrus says you will be able to give your agent a personality. It will say to you things like this:

"Good morning. You're flying to Boston today. Take a raincoat, it's raining. By the way, that fight you were taking, it’s already been canceled. Don't worry about it. There was a mechanical. I've already booked you on a new one. I'll tell you about on the way to the airport. But remember you’re going to exercise every day and I’m here to remind you that you’re going to exercise."  And you might say, “I don't know if I want to exercise today,” and It'll show you a nude profile of yourself.  And you’ll say, “You know what, I think I'm going to exercise today.”

Another ultra-intelligent agent that Burrus says is coming to us fast is the screen-less smartphone. What would that look like? It hasn't been designed yet. But let's suppose it might look like jewelry and you can wear it. Whatever it looks like and whoever makes it, Burrus says one thing is for certain: it will be game-changing and it will be big. 

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Globule et télescope » Un corps à distance avec un robot-avatar

Globule et télescope » Un corps à distance avec un robot-avatar | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it
Un corps à distance avec un robot-avatar. D'ici quelques décennies, certains d'entre nous pourraient bien être assistés par un robot personnel. Les progrès dans ce domaine, aussi bien au niveau de la mécanique, de la ...

Via Yann Leroux
luiy's insight:

Interaction dans les deux sens


C’est également le cas de l’une des dernières nouveautés, le robot télécommandé Telesar V de l’université japonaise de Keio. Pour son père, le professeur Susumu Tachi, explique que le robot fournit à son utilisateur un corps à distance. Grâce à lui, il peut non seulement manipuler des objets comme on le ferait avec une télécommande classique de machine mais également de voir, entendre et sentir ce que le robot voit, entend et sent. L’approche est intéressante car l’interaction se produit ainsi dans les deux sens, un peu comme avec les systèmes de retour d’effort des joysticks. Une autre analogie possible est celle des exosquelettes popularisés par Ripley, alias Sigourney Weaver dans Alien le retour (James Cameron, 1986). Dans ce cas, l’utilisateur se trouve à l’intérieur du robot qui sert à démultiplier sa force et son rayon d’action.

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Google Glass vs Oculus Rift : « it from bit » ou altérité augmentée ?

Google Glass vs Oculus Rift : « it from bit » ou altérité augmentée ? | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it
Refusant la flèche de temps qui nous mène inexorablement à la finitude, nous changeons d'abscisse, nous voilà tunnelier, tentant de creuser des trous de vers dans les équations de la réalité. Connectés, géo-localisés, avatars et humains s'apprêtent...
luiy's insight:

Refusant la flèche de temps qui nous mène inexorablement à la finitude, nous changeons d’abscisse, nous voilà tunnelier, tentant de creuser des trous de vers dans les équations de la réalité. Connectés, géo-localisés, avatars et humains s’apprêtent à opérer une rétroingénierie tous azimuts de la réalité. 


Les Google Glass explorent et les Oculus Rift simulent. Derrière chaque masque informatique, une promesse d’augmentation du réel. L’un nous plonge dans une vision méta-subjective du monde, l’autre nous immerge dans 360° de virtualité. 

 

On imagine déjà le crossover, des humains équipés d’Oculus Rift contrôlent des avatars dans un holodeck tracé d’après des coordonnées réelles. Ils sont révélés dans les Google Glass de ceux qui arpentent le réel géographique, eux-mêmes triangulés dans l’holodeck. 

Une guerre des incarnations ? Une guerre des interprétations semble plus juste. Que nous raconte cette réalité augmentée sur la véritable nature de notre environnement ? Celle qui est révélée par l’avant-garde scientifique, et comment s’y insère-t-elle sans l’altérer ?

En s’amusant à faire passer à ces artefacts de la modernité un test « quantique », on se rend compte que les Google Glass sont des phylactères contenant une pensée déterministe et mathématique de la réalité, tandis qu’Oculus Rift nous soumet au principe d’incertitud


 

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The Future of Artificial Intelligence

The Future of Artificial Intelligence | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it

Robots are here to stay. They will be smarter, more versatile, more autonomous, and more like us in many ways. We humans will need to adapt to keep up.


Via Szabolcs Kósa, Ben van Lier
luiy's insight:
New technologies, new moralities

Religious and other organizations will define and attempt to regulate the ways in which human treat humanoid robots, since they will be considered quasi-human, sentient creatures that must be treated with respect and not abused. Thus, the changing legal and social framework will deal with the proper use of robots by humans as well as the proper behavior of robots toward humans, and new sets of “post-Asimov” laws will emerge.

 

Finally, a few concluding thoughts. The rapid increase in the number and sophistication of autonomous systems, including humanoid robots, lead to dramatic changes in society. Robots will assume an increasing share of human work and responsibility, thus creating a major social problem with unemployment and the relations of humans and robots. I believe that new frameworks for these interactions will emerge within the next 25 to 50 years. If they do not, there may be neo-Luddite rebellions, in which humans will attempt to destroy large numbers of robots. Those of us who design, program, and implement robots have a major responsibility to assist in the creation and implementation of patterns of behavior and legal systems to ensure that robots and humans co-evolve and co-exist for the benefit of society.

 

Robots are here to stay. They will be smarter, more versatile, more autonomous, and more like us in many ways. We humans will need to adapt to this coming world.

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DEBATE TOPIC - What do you think of the Simulation Hypothesis?

DEBATE TOPIC - What do you think of the Simulation Hypothesis? | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it

The Computer Simulation Argument was first advanced by Nick Bostrom in 2003 in his paper HERE Transhumanity.net readers - do you believe we’re living in a “Matrix” - or do you think that’s just a foolish notion?


Via Jean-Philippe BOCQUENET, juandoming
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Pablo Haguet's comment, March 27, 2013 1:07 AM
There is no proof for or against the Simulation Hypothesis. It is like the existence of God in a way... There are believers and atheists. I am personally very sceptical.
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Cory Doctorow on Singularity 1 on 1: The Singularity Is A Progressive Apocalypse

Cory Doctorow on Singularity 1 on 1: The Singularity Is A Progressive Apocalypse | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it
Want to find out why Cory Doctorow thinks the technological singularity is a progressive apocalypse? Watch his Singularity 1 on 1 interview to find out!

Via Xaos
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Who is Cory Doctorow?

 

Cory Doctorow is a science fiction novelist, blogger and technology activist. He is the co-editor of the popular weblogBoing Boing, and a contributor to The Guardian, the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Wired, and many other newspapers, magazines and websites. He was formerly Director of European Affairs for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit civil liberties group that defends freedom in technology law, policy, standards and treaties. He holds an honorary doctorate in computer science from the Open University (UK), where he is a Visiting Senior Lecturer; in 2007, he served as the Fulbright Chair at the Annenberg Center for Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California.

 

His novels have been translated into dozens of languages and are published by Tor Books and simultaneously released on the Internet under Creative Commons licenses that encourage their re-use and sharing, a move that increases his sales by enlisting his readers to help promote his work. He has won the Locus and Sunburst Awards, and been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and British Science Fiction Awards. His New York Times Bestseller Little Brother was published in May 2008. A sequel, Homeland, will be published in 2013, and another young adult novel, Pirate Cinema will precede it in October 2012. His latest short story collection is With a Little Help, available in paperback, ebook, audiobook and limited edition hardcover. In 2011, Tachyon Books published a collection of his essays, called Context (with an introduction by Tim O’Reilly) and IDW published a collection of comic books inspired by his short fiction called Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales Of The Here And Now. His latest adult novel is Makers, published by Tor Books/HarperCollins UK in October, 2009. The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, a PM Press Outspoken Authors chapbook, was also published in 2011.

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C'est pas nouvelle : Le corps humain sera-t-il le prochain objet connecté

C'est pas nouvelle : Le corps humain sera-t-il le prochain objet connecté | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it
La technologie entoure de plus en plus l’homme qui nécessite pourtant toujours l’utilisation d’objets analogiques dans son quotidien.
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Des fonctionnalités de e-santé.

 

Les applications médicales sont également au cœur des  recherches en cours dans les laboratoires Fujitsu.  L’objectif de ces travaux étant d’aboutir à une surveillance de la condition physique de l’utilisateur devant son ordinateur, sa tablette ou son smartphone. Pour cela, une caméra et un logiciel pourront analyser le rythme cardiaque simplement en observant les couleurs et la brillance du visage, des réactions directement provoqués par l’afflux sanguin sous la peau, lui-même consécutif aux mouvements cardiaques.

 

Le 18 mars dernier, l’entreprise dévoilait déjà son smartphone capable de prendre le pouls d’une personne qui fixerait l’écran 5 secondes à peine. Le taux d’hémoglobine serait mesuré par l’appareil “en tirant parti de la caractéristique de cette protéine d’absorber la lumière verte du spectre visible“.

 

Si une telle application peut se révéler utile pour le suivi de personnes potentiellement en danger, la question de l’intrusion dans la vie privée ne devrait pas tarder à faire surface. En effet, si la vie privée semble menacée dans les lieux publics par les Google Glass, que va-t-il se produire si des entreprises décident d’équiper les postes de travail de leurs employés avec ces machines ? Pire, les utiliser lors de réunions ? Sous couvert de bonnes intentions, les laboratoires Fujitsu ne risquent-ils pas de mettre entre les mains de certains un nouveau détecteur de mensonge ? Un outil qui viendrait à l’encontre d’une liberté fondamentale, celle d’avoir le droit de ne pas dévoiler à tous son ressenti.

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MC10: Biostamp flexible, wearable electronic circuits worn on the skin like temporary tattoos

MC10: Biostamp flexible, wearable electronic circuits worn on the skin like temporary tattoos | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it

Biostamp flexible, wearable electronic circuits worn on the skin like temporary tattoos by John Rogers of MC10 and University of Illinois.

 

Materials scientist John Rogers and his firm MC10 have developed flexible electronic circuits that stick directly to the skin like temporary tattoos and monitor the wearer's health.

 

The Biostamp is a thin electronic mesh that stretches with the skin and monitors temperature, hydration and strain.

 

Rogers suggests that his "epidermal electronics" could be developed for use in healthcare to monitor patients without tethering them to large machines. Not only would this be more convenient, but the results could be more accurate if patients were examined in their normal environment doing usual activities rather than on the hospital ward.

 

Other applications could include a patch that lets an athlete know when and how much to hydrate for peak performance, or one that tells you when to apply more suncream. ...


Via Jacques Urbanska
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MC10 overcame the rigidity of normal electronic components made from brittle silicon-based wafers by printing them in very small pieces, arranged in wavy patterns.

 

Earlier versions were applied on an elastomer backing patch, but the latest prototype is applied directly to the skin using a rubber stamp. It can be covered with spray-on bandage available from pharmacies to make it more durable and waterproof enough to withstand sweating or washing with soapy water. It lasts up to two weeks before the skin's natural exfoliation causes it to come away.

 

The team are now working on the integration of wireless power sources and communication systems to relay the information gathered to a smartphone.

Other wearable monitoring technology we've reported on includes theNike+ FuelBand and Jawbone UP wristbands that monotor health and fitness, plus a wearable camera that uses sensors and GPS technology to decide which moments of your life are worth photographing.

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We are the Borg… And That is a Good Thing

We are the Borg… And That is a Good Thing | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it
Let’s be real. The majority of transhumanists, scientists, astronomers, computer specialists, etc. became interested in their fields of study through their interest in science-fiction.

Via Xaos
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Let’s be real. The majority of transhumanists, scientists, astronomers, computer specialists, etc. became interested in their fields of study through their interest in science-fiction.  We know the story of how cellphones were designed with Star Trek‘s communicators in mind, as were tablet computers, ebooks, and other new technologies. That has all been well-documented and I’m relatively certain that it is not news to most of us.  Star Trek has been very influential in my life, guiding my thought processes in many areas, like physics, astronomy, quantum mechanics - even politics and economics.  Part 2 of the Casual Transhuman.

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THE ETHICS OF THE CYBORG - Steve Mizrach

THE ETHICS OF THE CYBORG - Steve Mizrach | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it

The computer, moreso than any other device in history, is now making possible the augmentation of the human being. For the first time, through electronic technology, human biology is no longer destiny. Through bionic prostheses, bio-implants, and bio-chips, electronic technology can be integrated into the human organism. Projects like the Human Genome Initiative are made possible by the use of massive supercomputers, allowing the operators of DNA sequencers to practice a new form of positive eugenics previously unrealizable by any propagandists for the master race[1.]New forms of human-computer interfaces (teleoperation, "electronic telepathy," etc.) are making possible human-machine interaction that rivals the most imaginative descriptions from science fiction. The computer now offers the human race the opportunity to transcend limitations of intellect, strength, and longevity previously "programmed" into its DNA by eons of evolution. The question is, is it ethical for human beings to be doing this, should there be limitations on the integration of technology into human life, and what will the social consequences from all this be? I will attempt to argue in this paper that there will have to be limits on the integration of the human and the computer (the biological and the technological), and a new "cyborg bioethics" may be necessary.


Via Xaos
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A new "cyborg bioethics" may be necessary. While it cannot be possible to foresee all the consequences resulting from bioelectronics, most scientists are already aware of what some of the major dangers are. Researchers in biocomputing may be required to adopt protocols on acceptable research with human subjects, much as genetic engineers did back in the 1970s. In drafting bioethical imperatives for bioelectronics research, it will probably be imperative to consider the concerns of groups such as the religious community, since to ignore their concerns simply out of the insistence that they are merely acting out of "anti-science" ignorance will leave an important group "out of the loop" of this research. This is uncharted territory for the human race, and it is the first time in which our own "built environment" may be directly incorporated into our own sense of self and human nature. Our own biocomputers (the human mind) evolved under a very specific set of evolutionary circumstances, after all, and they may not be equipped with the foresight and moral sense to keep up with the accelerating pace of technology.

 

Since this is the case, it is probably imperative for society to assert that the scientists and engineers charged with creating this new technology exert the proper amount of social responsibility. Safeguards will have to be insisted on to prevent the possible negative impacts discussed above, and many of these things will have to be built in at the instrumental level, since they probably cannot be achieved only through policy and regulation. Critical public awareness and vigilance, of the kind already shown by Jeremy Rifkin and the Foundation on Economic Trends with regard to biotechnology, will be essential. But ultimately, bioethicists will have to grapple with the fundamental issues involved, which touch on aspects of human existence and human nature which reach to the core of what most people think is involved in what it means to be human, and this will not be an easy dilemma to resolve.

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Noosphere - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Noosphere (pron.: /ˈn.ɵsfɪər/; sometimes noösphere), according to the thought of Vladimir Vernadsky[1] and Teilhard de Chardin, denotes the "sphere of human thought".[2] The word is derived from the Greek νοῦς (nous "mind") and σφαῖρα (sphaira "sphere"), in lexical analogy to "atmosphere" and "biosphere".[3] It was introduced by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in 1922[4] in his Cosmogenesis.[5] Another possibility is the first use of the term by Édouard Le Roy, who together with Teilhard was listening to lectures of Vladimir Vernadsky at Sorbonne. In 1936 Vernadsky accepted the idea of the Noosphere in a letter to Boris Leonidovich Lichkov (though, he states that the concept derives from Le Roy).[6]

In the original theory of Vernadsky, the noosphere is the third in a succession of phases of development of the Earth, after the geosphere (inanimate matter) and the biosphere (biological life). Just as the emergence of life fundamentally transformed the geosphere, the emergence of human cognition fundamentally transforms the biosphere. In contrast to the conceptions of the Gaia theorists, or the promoters of cyberspace, Vernadsky's noosphere emerges at the point where humankind, through the mastery of nuclear processes, begins to create resources through the transmutation of elements. It is also currently being researched as part of the Princeton Global Consciousness Project.[7]

For Teilhard, the noosphere emerges through and is constituted by the interaction of human minds. The noosphere has grown in step with the organization of the human mass in relation to itself as it populates the Earth. As mankind organizes itself in more complex social networks, the higher the noosphere will grow in awareness. This concept is an extension of Teilhard's Law of Complexity/Consciousness, the law describing the nature of evolution in the universe. Teilhard argued the noosphere is growing towards an even greater integration and unification, culminating in the Omega Point, which he saw as the goal of history. The goal of history, then, is an apex of thought/consciousness.

The noosphere is the third in a succession of phases of development of the Earth, after the geosphere (inanimate matter) and the biosphere (biological life). Just as the emergence of life fundamentally transformed the geosphere, the emergence of human cognition fundamentally transforms the biosphere.


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Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratory

Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratory | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it
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Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratory was founded to encourage and promote studies based on original and unique ideas from Hiroshi Ishiguro, ATR Fellow, who has remarkable achievements on robotics. We have explored new information media based on humanlike robots that harmonize humans with information-environment beyond existing personal computers, while inquired "what is the essence of human beings?"

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DARPA to begin 4-year project on improving artificial intelligence

DARPA to begin 4-year project on improving artificial intelligence | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it
The Pentagon is readying a four-year project to boost AI systems by building machines that can teach themselves and get smarter over time while also making it easier for ordinary people to build them.
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Humans beware: Skynet is one step closer to actually happening.

The Pentagon is readying a four-year project to boost AI systems by building machines that can teach themselves and get smarter over time while also making it easier for ordinary people to build them.

The Pentagon is using its research division, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, to back this project.DARPA is inviting scientists to a Virginia conference to brainstorm on April 10.

Machine learning can be used to make better systems for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; a core military necessity. It can also be used for making better speech recognition systems, self-driving cars and to keep pace against internet spam filling up search engines and e-mail inboxes.

“Our goal is that future machine learning projects won’t require people to know everything about both the domain of interest and machine learning to build useful machine learning applications,” DARPA program manager Kathleen Fisher said in an announcement.

DAPRA claims that it is possible to build machines that can learn and evolve by using algorithms, or “problamisticprogramming.” This type of programming tasks the machine with scouring through huge amounts of data and selecting the best of it. After that, the machine learns to repeat the process and do it better.

Tim McGuire, Ph.D, associate professor of Computer Science at Sam Houston State University, compared the process to another similar type of programming.

“It’s similar to genetic programming; where there is a ‘tree of decision’ with several different ‘choice’ branches and weight is levied upon the more favorable choice,” McGuire said.

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Robots Aren't the Problem: It's Us - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Robots Aren't the Problem: It's Us - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it
Automation will engender neither utopia nor dystopia. Humans alone are responsible for our society's economic future.

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Cyborgs in fiction


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Cyborgs are a prominent staple in the science fiction genre. This article summarizes notable instances of cyborgs in fiction.

Contents1 Examples in history2 Written fiction3 Comics and manga4 Film5 Television6 Video games7 Music8 Games and toys9 See also10 Notes Examples in history

In 1966, Kit Pedler, a medical scientist, created the Cybermen for the TV program Doctor Who, based on his concerns about science changing and threatening humanity. The Cybermen had replaced much of their bodies with mechanical prostheses and were now supposedly emotionless creatures driven only by logic.

Isaac Asimov's short story "The Bicentennial Man" explored cybernetic concepts. The central character is NDR, a robot who begins to modify himself with organic components. His explorations lead to breakthroughs in human medicine via artificial organs and prosthetics. By the end of the story, there is little physical difference between the body of the hero, now called Andrew, and humans equipped with advanced prosthetics, save for the presence of Andrew's artificial positronic brain. Asimov also explored the idea of the cyborg in relation to robots in his short story "Segregationist", collected in The Complete Robot.

The 1972 science fiction novel Cyborg, by Martin Caidin, told the story of a man whose damaged body parts are replaced by mechanical devices ("bionics"). This novel was adapted into a TV series, The Six Million Dollar Man, in 1973, and a spin-off, The Bionic Woman in 1976. Caidin also addressed bionics in his 1968 novel, The God Machine.

In 1974, Marvel Comics writer Rich Buckler introduced the cyborg Deathlok the Demolisher, and a dystopian post-apocalyptic future, in Astonishing Tales#25. Buckler's character dealt with rebellion and loyalty, with allusion toFrankenstein's monster, in a twelve-issue run. Deathlok was later resurrected in Captain America, followed by two others in 1990 and 1999.

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Cyberpunk Short Film | Cyberpunk culture

Cyberpunk Short Film | Cyberpunk culture | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it
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LOOM 4K Short Film [HD]: From Luke Scott, Ridley Scott

Luke Scott in cooperation with RED Camera presents « LOOM ». A film shot completely in 4K format in the tone and style of Ridley Scott’s dystopian Blade Runner.

 

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Your visions of the future

Your visions of the future | Cyborgs_Transhumanism | Scoop.it
The finalists from around the world in our "What if you had a vision of the future?" competition

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Americas - Silvia Careli Lopez Falfan, Mexico

 

Video sent by Silvia Careli Lopez Falfan for the BBC "What if" competition

This video was chosen as the best film from the Americas by the curator, writer and academic Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev.

 

"It gives a sense of the future being very humble and very simple and mixed with growing grass and seed, food, landscapes, deserts. It is a very simple and humble technique, a collage of still images but also very joyful," Christov-Bakargiev said.

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