Monday, October 4, 2010

The day of the Jondroid approaches

There have been a few stories of late that serve in my mind as signposts towards The Singularity.  
A 15 year-old Italian boy has been given the world's first robotic heart. While other implants of this nature have been little more than stop-gaps, this one stays in the patient's chest until further notice.  Doctors hope it will add another 20-25 years on the boy's life.  By then, let's hope we can physically correct the problem or have even more advanced technology that will render the heart obsolete.
The saga of filmmaker Rob Spence continues.  When told that he would lose his badly damaged eye, Spence (pictured) opted to have a wireless camera implanted in the socket.  A few years and six generations of cybernetic cameras later, he is now able to shoot film with his eye.  Of course everything is from his point of view, only one angle at a time, and there's the annoying matter of blinking, but it's still a rather hefty accomplishment. I'm dying to know how this even works.
"We're on the dawn of the post-human age," Spence says.

I'll second that.  And to my way of thinking it can't get here fast enough.  Gaining this certain year of age has been very difficult for me.  I feel like I'm running out of time to achieve things I want...no, need to accomplish.   Additionally, I have been harangued by various sources over the past two weeks about exercise and nutrition.  That's right, folks.  Work out, eat right, and die anyway.
But what if we didn't have to?  What if all that you are could be placed inside something that doesn't suffer such dramatic aging?  At the very least, what if you could devise mechanisms that would make you more durable and give more of that precious gift we call "time."  
The human body is a squishy, frail thing indeed if it requires all of this maintenance and it is still susceptible to injury and infection.  That is where I believe technology can overcome biological disadvantages.  I'm not talking about uploading consciousness into a robot just yet or saying that this post-human age will not be without its share of pitfalls and unexpected problems, but I contend that it beats the alternative.  I'm not talking about replacing the body.  Not just yet, anyway.  I'm talking about augmenting it.
Still, there are those who argue for the "joy" of being human and how we might miss out on our most pleasurable experiences, such as fatty foods and sex.  I see no reason why this has to be.
It's all data.  Every sensation and experience that you have is transmitted as electrical impulses in the brain.  The brain decodes these signals and after a series of nanosecond searches and comparisons, it determines whether you are having an orgasm or eating a chocolate chip cookie.  These transmissions can all be replicated.  
Again, I'm fully aware that there will be dangers and failures that come along with any new development of this kind.  But make no mistake, it's almost here.
Little by little it's almost here.



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1 comment:

  1. From Facebook, Ghost Dogg said:

    Are you sure you haven't discovered the central idea of your NaNoRiMo entry here?

    ReplyDelete