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SCIENCE TO THE LIMIT OF POSSIBLE


transhumanismo@sapo.pt

Transhumanism = Scientific current trying to improve Man's Intelligence, and Happiness.

Terça-feira, 10 de Novembro de 2009
TO INSERT TECHNOLOGY IN...THE BODY

Rui Barbosa, PhD (U. Grenoble, France), Founder of the First Humanity+ Portuguese Chapter, transhumanismo@sapo.pt.

 

It should become possible to correct or to increase our faculties. Let’s focus some of the less known technologies for that.

This possibility comes in the sequence of our previous chronicles: to become, materially, more than what we are, that is, “men+”.

Gareth Branwyn says that (1) “the technologies of prosthetics and neuronal interface of today can be divided in 3 main categories:

-          Auditory and Visual:

“So far, the most succeeded implants have been in the area of the Ear. The sick people and members of the respective families who I interviewed spoken to me of their desperation during their years of Deafness and emphasized how much they appreciated this technology that changed their lives”. Visual: although a minimum number of blind people has already obtained some very elementary vision, the truth is that “the visual prosthetics has still a long way to go”.

-    Neuromuscular Functional Stimulation (2)(3) (“the systems of cerebral neuro-muscular stimulation are in experimental application in cases in which certain damages of the spinal marrow or infarcts ruined the linking of the brain to the nervous central system”).

-   Control of prosthetic members through interfaces of these members with the neurons.

Gareth Branwyn still says: “we know that the Future will be `wired'. The linking through `hardware' of neuronal prosthetics is already here and will continue to develop in the direction of implanted systems completely controlled by the brains of the users… Whatever the time such comes to happen, this technology will become, eventually, a commonly enabling option for those that have special necessities, and, at a certain point, the people will surely start to speak about using that same technology for a selective expansion of the capacities of the human beings.”

Michio Kaku (4) foresees that it should become possible to implant natural brains until 2050…. An extreme implant that Minsky (5) foresees is that of the brain in its totality, that is, its total replacement by an artificial brain, “in order that we can think a million of times faster than we do currently”.

Questions that were made to me:

- With the changed body, the brain also would change, and with the brain the control on the actions.

- When you change the heart of someone, the person changes… for better (otherwise such would not be made). That person is better or worse of what was before?.

The insertion of Technology in our bodies will have however its costs (that could be compensatory or not…): Gareth Branwyn says: “For sure that the most enthusiastic neuronal navigators will not want to be subject to repeated surgeries of the Brain just to get the last version of the cerebral interfaces.” And he adds: “The Science Historian Donna Haraway in its essay `the Cyborg Manifesto', suggests that the great handicapped are often the first ones to appreciate the fruitful couplings of the human beings with the machines”. Will it happen that people will really want their heads open to the exterior and ‘wired'? How will they pay such procedures that will be certainly be expensive? And wwhat to say about the obsolescence?”

Those who will replace parts of their bodies with artificial ones, i.e. who will be cyborguized (6), if we refer to what António Carvalho says in “Transhumanism and interculturality” (7), will lose “agency”, i. e., capacity to act in an independent way and to make their own choices freely (Wikipedia). They will become more dependent on the others…

In one future chronicle we will approach the pretention of man to become materially imoprtal.

 

Totality of my chronicles: Transhumanismo Portugal.

 

Citations

(1) Will we live you see our brains wired you gadgets? How about today? Brains Wired You the Gadgets, By Gareth Branwyn Magazine WIRED 1.4 (2) “There it comes Artificial Health”; Jornal de Notícias, Portugal; 7-3-2002

(3) De nouvelles expériences concernant les implants cérébraux; http://www.automatesintelligents.com/actu/041231_actu.html#haut#haut; JPB/CJ; 05/12/04

(4) Michio Kaku, known Scientist who interviewed some of his top of the World  colleagues, among them 15 Nobel Prizes; “Visions - As Science Will Revolutionize the XXI Century”

(5) Minsky, http://web.media.mit.edu/~minsky/papers/sciam.inherit.html (6) “Cyborg” is a cybernetic organism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyborgization

(7) António Carvalho: http://transhumanismo.blogs.sapo.pt/12627.html

 


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