The Eve 1138 Android – Sensual Cyborg / Robot 3D Photorealistic Animation HD (by MacMave)
Posts Tagged ‘Cyborg’
At the beginning of this report’s section, I suggested that there is a continuum from a fully human animal to a cybernetic organism to a fully robotic machine. This spectrum is perhaps defined by how many human body parts we replace with mechanical ones, ranging from zero to all. Enhanced warfighters, then, could fall somewhere in the middle of this continuum. If “robot ethics” is different from human ethics, at least where relevant facts about humans and robots differ, then it seems that “cyborg ethics” too would diverge from human ethics where there’s a relevant difference in the construction and abilities between cyborgs and humans. Though not all enhanced persons are cyborgs, e.g., if the enhancements are genetic, pharmacological, or otherwise not robotic, we can also reasonably conclude that ethics for enhanced persons generally may be different from the standard human ethics.
Tags: Cyborg, Ethics, Human Enhancement, Philosophy, Robotics
New technologies reveal ambiguities and hidden assumptions in international humanitarian law.
Science fiction, or actual U.S. military project? Half a world away from the battlefield, a soldier controls his avatar-robot that does the actual fighting on the ground. Another one wears a sticky fabric that enables her to climb a wall like a gecko or spider would. Returning from a traumatic mission, a pilot takes a memory-erasing drug to help ward off post-traumatic stress disorder. Mimicking the physiology of dolphins and sled-dogs, a sailor is able to work his post all week without sleep and only a few meals.
All of these scenarios are real military projects currently in various stages of research. This is the frontlines of the Human Enhancement Revolution — we now know enough about biology, neuroscience, computing, robotics, and materials to hack the human body, reshaping it in our own image. And defense-related applications are a major driver of science and technology research.
But, as I reported earlier, we also face serious ethical, legal, social, and operational issues in enhancing warfighters. Here, I want to drill down on what the laws of war say about military human enhancements, as we find that other technologies such as robotics and cyberweapons run into serious problems in this area as well.
Should enhancement technologies — which typically do not directly interact with anyone other than the human subject — be nevertheless subject to a weapons legal-review? That is, is there a sense in which enhancements could be considered as “weapons” and therefore under the authority of certain laws?
In international humanitarian law (IHL), also known as the laws of war, the primary instruments relevant to human enhancements include: Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907), Geneva Conventions (1949 and Additional Protocols I, II, and III), Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (1972), Chemical Weapons Convention (1993), and other law. Below, I discuss these agreements and what their implications may be for human enhancement.
If autonomous robots are clearly regulatable weapons, then consider the spectrum of cyborgs — part-human, part-machine — that exists between robots and unenhanced humans. Replacing one body part, say a human knee, with a robotic part starts us on the cybernetic path. And as other body parts are replaced, the organism becomes less human and more robotic. Finally, after (hypothetically) replacing every body part, including the brain, the organism is entirely robotic with no trace of the original human. If we want to say that robots are weapons but humans are not, then we would be challenged to identify the point on that spectrum at which the human becomes a robot or a weapon.
Tags: AR, Augmented Reality, Cyborg, Ethics, RA, racism, Virtual Reality
Racism is ugly to confront, and, like most people, I’ve got plenty of personal stories. My grandmother, bless her heart, was a wonderful grandmother, but like many Jewish people of her generation, she was incredibly racist, afraid of black people she didn’t know. This fear caused her anxiety when she got the urge to go to a favorite restaurant. She loved the food, but, as she would derisively say, so did the schvartze (Yiddish slur for a black person). What if she didn’t have to see the black people at all? This possibility is what worries me about our augmented-reality future, which is (mostly) anticipated with optimism. If grandma had lived to see ubiquitous augmented reality, I suspect she’d put it to dehumanizing use, leaving for the restaurant with her goggles on (a less obtrusive artifact than the Coke bottle glasses she actually wore), programming them to make all dark skinned people look like variations of Larry David and Rhea Pearlman. As Brian Wassom — who regularly writes on augmented reality — notes, if apps can “recognize a particular shade of melanin, and replace it with another,” racists could one day “live in their own version of…utopia.” (via Augmented-Reality Racism – Evan Selinger – The Atlantic)
Tags: Brain-machine interfaces, Cyborg, techno-telepathy
Telepathic communication has been a cornerstone of science fiction and science alike for decades. From the Jedi knights in Star Wars to Hans Berger (the father of human electroencephalography), it has been regarded the height of efficient communication. Without the aid of technology, this type of communication is not possible; however, brain-computer interface technology (BCI) has brought us one step closer to making direct brain-to-brain communication a reality. Professor Christopher James, joint director of Warwick University’s Institute of Digital Healthcare (IDH), has used his extensive knowledge of human brain anatomy in conjunction with BCI to send signals from one brain to another. There are two quirks of the human brain that make this kind of transfer possible. First of all, human visual cortex is ‘retinotopically’ organized, which means that there is a direct correspondence between a specific part of the retina and a specific spot of the visual cortex. Consequently, stimulating a specific spot on the visual cortex will cause someone to see a spot of light in one specific place. Second of all, imagining looking at something elicits activation in the visual cortex much in the same way as looking at something. (via One step closer to telepathy with BCI technology)
Tags: Cyborg, oculus rift, Robotics, virtualreality
The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset has a new supporter in developer Sinful Robot, an Irvine, California-based start up that plans to bring “immersive virtual reality erotic encounters” to the headset designed with video games in mind. Sinful Robot announced its intentions to bring an “erotic adventure game” to the Rift — and “other similar technologies” — through its website and a post on Reddit by company co-founder and creative director Jeroen Van den Bosch. “I have been waiting for many years for technology to become immersive enough so it [tricks] your brain to accept the virtual reality as reality, but the Rift does really do that,” Van den Bosch wrote on Reddit. “So now we can finally make an erotic adventure game that will actually be exciting!” Sinful Robot’s website lists openings for artists, programmers and character animators. Van den Bosch says prospective employees shouldn’t be afraid of “working with spicy content.” (via Sinful Robot developing ‘virtual reality erotic encounters’ for Oculus Rift VR headset | Polygon)
Tags: Cyborg, devices future, wearable computing
Ghent University’s centre of microsystems technology has developed a spherical curved LCD display which can be embedded in contact lenses and handle projected images using wireless technology.