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transhumanism

Linking brains to computers: how new implants are helping us achieve this goal

The field of brain-machine interfaces (BMI) – which use electrodes, often implanted into the brain, to translate neuronal information into commands capable of controlling external systems such as a computer or robotic arm – have actually been around for some time. Entrepreneur Elon Musk’s company, Neuralink, is aiming to test their BMI systems on a human patient by the end of 2020.

The digital human: the cyber version of humanity’s quest for immortality

Last year, a consortium of unidentified individuals launched Virternity with the stated goal of a digital life for all. A world that would be owned not by any government but by the people. This digital world, Virternity said, would remove the physical constraints upon us and the planet and usher in a completely new plane of existence. Then, without any warning, Virternity disappeared.

Cyborg Neil Harbisson hears colours and says we’re all just shades of orange

For most people, five senses are enough. But a growing number of a transhumanists are using technology to expand the range of inputs our biology offers. One of the most recognisable among them is artist and activist Neil Harbisson. Born colourblind, Harbisson has a flexible antenna implanted into the back of his skull with a sensor on the end of it that converts colour data into sound waves. He st...[Read More]

Neuralink wants to wire your brain to the internet – what could possibly go wrong?

Neuralink – which is “developing ultra high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers” – is probably a bad idea. If you understand the science behind it, and that’s what you wanted to hear, you can stop reading. But this is an absurdly simple narrative to spin about Neuralink and an unhelpful attitude to have when it comes to understanding the role of technology in the wor...[Read More]

Introducing ‘Operator 4.0,’ a tech-augmented human worker

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has arrived. The first was the steam engine-driven Industrial Revolution; the second involved the innovations from Henry Ford’s assembly line. Third, microelectronics and computer power appeared on factory floors. Now, manufacturing businesses are beginning to integrate robotics, automation and other data-driven technologies into their workflows. Robots have taken ...[Read More]

Melding mind and machine: How close are we?

Just as ancient Greeks fantasized about soaring flight, today’s imaginations dream of melding mind and machine as a remedy to the pesky problem of human mortality. Can the mind connect directly with artificial intelligence, robots and other minds through brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies to transcend our human limitations? Over the last 50 years, researchers at university labs and compan...[Read More]

Elon Musk wants to merge man and machine – here’s what he’ll need to work out

Computers and brains already talk to each other daily in high-tech labs – and they do it better and better. For example, disabled people can now learn to govern robotic limbs by the sheer power of their mind. The hope is that we may one day be able to operate spaceships with our thoughts, upload our brains to computers and, ultimately, create cyborgs. Now Elon Musk is joining the race. The CEO of ...[Read More]

Merging our brains with machines won’t stop the rise of the robots

Tesla chief executive and OpenAI founder Elon Musk suggested last week that humanity might stave off irrelevance from the rise of the machines by merging with the machines and becoming cyborgs. However, current trends in software-only artificial intelligence and deep learning technology raise serious doubts about the plausibility of this claim, especially in the long term. This doubt is not only d...[Read More]

Could we upload a brain to a computer – and should we even try?

People have always dreamed about going beyond the limitations of their bodies: the pain, illness and, above all, death. Now a new movement is dressing up this ancient drive in new technological clothes. Referred to as transhumanism, it is the belief that science will provide a futuristic way for humans to evolve beyond their current physical forms and realise these dreams of transcendence. Perhaps...[Read More]

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