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In the years ahead we will witness machines with intelligence more powerful than that of
humans. This will mean that robots, not humans, make all the important decisions. It will
be a robot-dominated world with dire consequences for humankind. Is there an
alternative way ahead?
Humans have limited capabilities. Humans sense the world in a restricted way, vision
being the best of the senses. Humans understand the world in only 3 dimensions and
communicate in a very slow, serial fashion called speech. But can this be improved on?
Can we use technology to upgrade humans?
The possibility exists to enhance human capabilities. To harness the ever-increasing
abilities of machine intelligence, to enable extra sensory input and to communicate in a
much richer way, using thought alone. Kevin Warwick has taken the first steps on this
path, using himself as a guinea pig test subject receiving, by surgical operation,
technological implants connected to his central nervous system.
A Cyborg is a Cybernetic Organism, part human part machine. In this we will go through
Kevin Warwick‘s amazing steps towards becoming a Cyborg. The story is one of
scientific endeavor and devotion, splitting apart the personal lives of himself and those
around him. This astounding and unique story takes in top scientists from around the
globe and seriously questions human morals, values and ethics.
Now question is, Will the thought of Cyborg is in favor of Human in the future? What
will happen when man is merged with a computer? There are many questions, but a
proper and good approach towards Cyborg will be beneficial for Humans. Because it is
individual choice for any human that whether he wants extra capabilities by implant
technology and become Cyborg or whether he just want to be mere a man only. Because
electronic tagging can be regarded as a more permanent form of identification than a
smart card. An implant could carry huge amounts of data on an individual, such as
National Insurance number and blood type, blood pressure etc. allowing information to
be communicated to on-line doctors over the internet. Thus Depending on how the
technology is used, there are good and bad effects. So much of this smacks of the Big
Brother. With an implant, a machine will know where an individual is, in a building, ......
at all times. You might not even be able to pay a visit to the toilet without a machine
knowing about it.
Is this really what we want? …………………………
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. CYBORG 1
2. CYBERNETICS 1
3. WHO ARE BEHIND CYBERNETICS? 2
3.1. Dr. KEVIN WARWICK
3.2. Dr. BRAIN ANDREWS
3.3. Dr. PETER TEDDY
3.4. Dr. AMJAD SHAD
3.5. Dr. MARK GASSON
3.6. Dr. BRAIN GARDNER
4. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A MAN IS MERGED WITH COMPUTERS? 4
5. Pr. WARWICKS PLAN TO BE WITH COMPUTER 5
6. CYBERNETIC PIONEER WHO IS UPGRADING HIMSELF WITH 6
7. WHY TO BE CYBORG? REASONS BY Pr. WARWICK 7
8. THE CHIP USED TO MAKE FIRST CYBORG 9
9. THE NERUAL CONNECTION 10
10. PROBLEMS CAME DURING IMPLANT OPERATION 11
11. HOW NERUAL CONNECTION WORKS? 11
12. FIGURE OF IMPLANT 13
13. NERUAL SYSTEM CONTUING WITH TRANSPODER 17
14. THE SHAP TEST 19
15. ADVANTAGES OF IMPLANT 20
16. NEXT STEPS TOWARDS CYBORG 22
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17. THE MATRIX – OUR FUTURE 23
188.8.131.52.1. THE FACTS
184.108.40.206.2. HUMAN OR MACHINE
220.127.116.11.3. IN AND OUT OF CONTROL
18.104.22.168.4. IGNORANCE AND BLISS
18. REAL WORLD APPLICATIONS 30
19. NEW SUBJECT – “SUBJECTIVE IQ TEST” 30
20. CONCLUSION 31
21. REFRENCES 32
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CYBORG, a compound word derived from cybernetics and organism, is a term
coined by Manfred Clynes in 1960 to describe the need for mankind to artificially
enhance biological functions in order to survive in the hostile environment of Space.
Originally, a CYBORG referred to a ―Human being with bodily functions aided or
controlled by technological devices, such as an oxygen tank, artificial heart valve or
insulin pump‖. Over the years, the term has acquired a more general meaning, describing
the dependence of human beings on technology. In this sense, CYBORG can be used to
characterize anyone who relies on a computer to complete his or her daily work..
WHAT IS CYBORG?
A CYBORG is a Cybernetic Organism, part human part machine. This concept is
bit tricky but let see an example of a CYBORG, You may have seen the movie
TERMINATOR. In that ARNOLD was a CYBORG. He was part man part machine.
Well defination exactly says this, CYBORG can be made by technology known as
CYBERNETICS. What is CYBERNETICS? To understand CYBORG this is the first
step next we will see this.
WHAT IS CYBERNETICS?
Cybernetics is a word coined by group of scientists led by Norbert Wiener and
made popular by Wiener's book of 1948, Cybernetics or Control and Communication in
the Animal and the Machine. Based on the Greek "kybernetes," meaning steersman or
governor, cybernetics is the science or study of control or regulation mechanisms in
human and machine systems, including computers.
CYBERNETICS could be thought of as a recently developed science, although to
some extent it cuts across existing sciences. If we think of Physics, Chemistry, Biology,
etc. as traditional sciences, then Cybernetics is a classification, which cuts across them
all. ...Cybernetics is formally defined as the science of control and communication in
animals, men and machines. It extracts, from whatever context, that which is concerned
with information processing and control. ... One major characteristic of Cybernetics is its
preoccupation with the construction of models and here it overlaps operational research.
Cybernetic models are usually distinguished by being hierarchical, adaptive and making
permanent use of feedback loops. ... Cybernetics in some ways is like the science of
organization, with special emphasis on the dynamic nature of the system being
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WHO ARE BEHIND THIS CYBERNETICS?
Dr. KEVIN WARWICK
Kevin Warwick is Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, UK where he
carries out research in artificial intelligence control and
robotics. His favorite topic is pushing back the frontiers of
machine intelligence. Kevin began his career by joining
British Telecom with whom he spent the next 6 years. At
22 he took his first degree at Aston University followed by
a PhD and research post at Imperial College, London. He
subsequently held positions at Oxford, Newcastle and
Warwick Universities before being offered the Chair at
Reading, at the age of 32.
Kevin has published over 300 research papers and his latest
paperback In the Mind of the Machines gives a warning of
a future in which machines are more intelligent than
humans. He has been awarded higher doctorates both by
Imperial College and the Czech Academy of Sciences,
Prague and has been described (by Gillian Anderson of the
X-Files) as Britain‘s leading prophet of the robot age. He
appears in the 1999 Guinness Book of Records for an Internet robot learning experiment
and in the 2002 edition for his Cyborg research..
In 1998 he shocked the international scientific community by having a silicon chip
transponder surgically implanted in his left arm. A series of further implant experiments
have taken place in which Kevin‘s nervous system was linked to a computer. This
research led to him being featured in February 2000, as the cover story on the US
magazine wired. Kevin also presented the Year 2000 Royal Institution Christmas
Lectures with great success. Kevin's new implant experiment called 'Project Cyborg' got
underway in March 2002 and is providing exciting results.
Professor Andrews was trained in Cybernetics, Control Systems and Bioengineering at
the Universities of Reading, Sheffield and Strathclyde. He has held academic and clinical
appointments in the UK, USA and Canada. He is presently Director and Professor of
Biomedical Engineering at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville
Hospital and the University of Reading. He has published more than 300 research articles
on the application of neural prostheses, bioengineering and cybernetics in spinal injury.
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Peter Teddy MA DPhil FRCS Consultant Neurosurgeon and Clinical Director, Dept
Neurological Surgery, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford Consultant Neurosurgeon, Nat.
Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Consultant Neurosurgeon, Pain Relief Unit,
Oxford Univ Oxford Medical School. BM,BCh 1973, FRCS(Lond)1978 Special
interests: Spinal Neurosurgery (including intramedullary tumours and syringomyelia),
Pain surgery, Neurovascular surgery. Examiner, Intercollegiate Board for FRCS(SN),
Advisor (Neurosurgical Appointments) RCS Will be involved in operative
implantation of the device.
Amjad Shad is a neurosurgeon with interest in spinal surgery and neurostimulation.
Amjad was trained in Edinburgh where he spent 6 years. Afterwards he took position
in Oxford and is actively involved in the research in the field of Spine and
neurostimulation. He has published in this field and delivered lectures internationally.
He helped in designing the implanting system for the microelectrode array.
Mark Gasson is a design engineer and has been with the University of Reading for six
years. Having previously specialised in robotics, he joined the Implant project in 2000
as the lead technical engineer and project co-ordinator. Mark received a degree in
Cybernetics and Control Engineering from Reading in 1998, and is currently working
towards his PhD. In addition to the implant research, he keeps active within the
department by teaching bionics and robotics, as well as participating in public
lectures all around the world.
Brian Gardner MA (Oxon), BM BCh, FRCP, (Lon &Edin) FRCS Consultant Surgeon
in Spinal Injuries since 1985 and Lead Clinician since 1998 at the National Spinal
Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hopsital, Aylesbury Bucks.
This research team is made up of 20 scientists, including two who work directly with
Dr. Kevin Warwick: Professor Brian Andrews, a neural-prosthesis specialist who
recently joined this project from the University of Alberta in Canada, and professor
William Harwin, a cybernetics expert and former codirector of the Rehabilitation
Robotics Laboratory at the University of Delaware in the US. The others are a mixture
of faculty and researchers, divided into three teams charged with developing
intelligent networks, robotics and sensors, and biomedical signal processing - i.e.,
creating software to read the signals the implant receives from Kevin‘s nervous system
and to condition that data for retransmission.
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They are in discussions with Dr. Ali Jamous, a neurosurgeon at Stoke Mandeville
Hospital in nearby Aylesbury, to insert next implant, although they are still sorting
out the final details. Ordinarily, there might be a problem getting a doctor to consider
this type of surgery, but Warwick‘s department has a long-standing research link with
the hospital, whose spinal-injuries unit does a lot of advanced work in neurosurgery.
They've collaborated on a number of projects to help people overcome disabilities
through technical aids: an electric platform for children who use wheelchairs, a
walking frame for people with spinal injuries, and a self-navigating wheelchair. While
Jamous has his own research agenda, they are settling on a middle ground that will
satisfy both parties' scientific goals.
What happens when a man is merged with a computer?
This is the question that Professor Kevin Warwick and his team at the department of
Cybernetics, University of Reading intend to answer with 'Project Cyborg'.
On Monday 24th August 1998, at 4:00pm, Professor Kevin Warwick underwent an
operation to surgically implant a silicon chip transponder in his forearm. Dr. George
Boulous carried out the operation at Tilehurst Surgery, using local anesthetic only.
This experiment allowed a computer to monitor Kevin Warwick as he moved through
halls and offices of the Department of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, using
a unique identifying signal emitted by the implanted chip. He could operate doors,
lights, heaters and other computers without lifting a finger.
The chip implant technology has the capability to impact our lives in ways that have
been previously thought possible in only sci-fi movies. The implant could carry all
sorts of information about a person, from Access and Visa details to your National
Insurance number, blood type, medical records etc., with the data being updated where
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Kevin Warwick outlines his plan to become one with his
I was born human. But this was an accident of fate - a condition merely of time and
place. I believe it's something we have the power to change. I will tell you why.
In August 1998, a silicon chip was implanted in my arm, allowing a
computer to monitor me as I moved through the halls and offices of the
Department of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, just west of
London, where I've been a professor since 1988. My implant
communicated via radio waves with a network of antennas throughout the
department that in turn transmitted the signals to a computer programmed
to respond to my actions. At the main entrance, a voice box operated by
the computer said "Hello" when I entered; the computer detected my
progress through the building, opening the door to my lab for me as I
approached it and switching on the lights. For the nine days the implant
was in place, I performed seemingly magical acts simply by walking in
a particular direction. The aim of this experiment was to determine whether
information could be transmitted to and from an implant. Not only did we succeed,
but the trial demonstrated how the principles behind cybernetics could perform in
My first implant was inserted by Dr. George Boulos at Tilehurst Surgery in Reading
into the upper inside of my left arm, beneath the inner layer of skin and on top of the
muscle. The next device will be connected to the nerve fibers in my left arm,
positioned about halfway between my elbow and shoulder. (It doesn't matter which
arm carries the implant; I chose my left because I'm right-handed, and I hope I will
suffer less manual impairment if any problems arise during the experiment.) Most of
the nerves in this part of the body are connected to the hand, and send and receive
the electronic impulses that control dexterity, feeling, even emotions. A lot of these
signals are traveling here at any given time: This nerve center carries more
information than any other part of the anatomy, aside from the spine and the head
(in the optic and auditory nerves), and so is large and quite strong. Moreover, very
few of the nerves branch off to muscles and other parts of the upper arm - it's like a
freeway with only a few on- and off-ramps, providing a cleaner pathway to the
While we ultimately may need to place implants nearer to the brain - into the spinal
cord or onto the optic nerve, where there is a more powerful setup for transmitting
and receiving specific complex sensory signals - the arm is an ideal halfway point.
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The second phase of the experiment Project Cyborg 2.0 got underway in March
2002. This phase will look at how a new implant could send signals back and forth
between Warwick's nervous system and a computer. If this phase succeeds with no
complications, a similar chip will be implanted in his wife, Irena. This will allow the
investigation of how movement, thought or emotion signals could be transmitted
from one person to the other, possibly via the Internet. The question is how much
can the brain process and adapt to unfamiliar information coming in through the
nerve branches? Will the brain accept the information? Will it try to stop it or be
able to cope? Professor Kevin Warwicks answer to these questions is quite simply
"We don't have an idea - yet, but if this experiment has the possiblility to help even
one person, it is worth doing just to see what might happen".
The cybernetic pioneer who is upgrading the human body -
starting with himself
Professor Kevin Warwick, the world's
leading expert in Cybernetics, here he
unveils the story of how he became the
worlds first Cyborg in a ground
breaking set of scientific experiments.
In the years ahead we will witness
machines with an intelligence more
powerful than that of humans. This will
mean that robots, not humans, make all
the important decisions. It will be a
robot dominated world with dire
consequences for humankind. Is there
an alternative way ahead?
Humans have limited capabilities.
Humans sense the world in a restricted
way, vision being the best of the senses.
Humans understand the world in only 3
dimensions and communicate in a very
slow, serial fashion called speech. But
can this be improved on? Can we use
technology to upgrade humans?
The possibility exists to enhance human capabilities. To harness the ever increasing
abilities of machine intelligence, to enable extra sensory input and to communicate in
a much richer way, using thought alone. Kevin Warwick has taken the first steps on
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this path, using himself as a guinea pig test subject receiving, by surgical operation,
technological implants connected to his central nervous system.
A Cyborg is a Cybernetic Organism, part human part machine. In this book Kevin
gives a very personal account of his amazing steps towards becoming a Cyborg. The
story is one of scientific endeavour and devotion, splitting apart the personal lives of
himself and those around him. This astounding and unique story takes in top
scientists from around the globe and seriously questions human morals, values and
WHY TO BE A CYBORG? - REASONS BY Pr.
Have you ever wondered what you will think of yourself when, in later years, you
look back on your life? It is not too difficult to keep your nose clean and not create
waves. That way you go through life without too many hassles. I am not like that, I
am afraid. I want to try to change things, to have a go at completely altering what it
means to be human. And if that upsets you somewhat, that is your problem. I am not
going to stay awake at night worrying about it.
Those of you who are reasonably well educated (a basic requirement is to have read
my book, In the Mind of the Machine), will be aware that the near future will conjure
up machines that can out-think us and which have the potential to control our human
destiny. Unless progress is halted now, which is extremely unlikely, then before long
it will be intelligent machines running the show and not humans.
One realistic alternative to the hand of evolution patting humans on the back in an
"it's been nice knowing you" way, is for humans to themselves link up much more
closely with the circuitry being created. We can enhance our abilities by linking the
workings of the human body directly with technology. We humans can evolve into
cyborgs - part human, part machine. "Surely," I hear you say, "this is all science
fiction." Well, think again.
In late August 1998, I had a silicon chip transponder surgically implanted into my left
arm. With this in place, when I moved around the cybernetics building at Reading
university, doors opened and lights came on automatically. The building's computer
even said hello to me when I arrived in the morning.
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In the late summer of 2001 it is planned for me to have a further implant. In this case
the nervous system in my arm will be short-circuited, via a radio signal, with the
nervous system of the computer. We will investigate how my movements can be
remotely controlled and how much my emotions can be directed by the computer. We
will feed in ultrasonic information and try to bring about extra (human) sensory
In the future, I believe, we will be able to send signals to and from human and
machine brains. We will be able to directly harness the memory and mathematical
capabilities of machines. We will be able to communicate across the internet by
means of thought signals alone. Human speech and language, as we know it, will
become obsolete. Ultimately, humans will become a lower form of life, unable to
compete with either intelligent machines or cyborgs.
In the short term I would like to try to unravel some of the mysteries which presently
lie behind the human body. When you feel pain is it more or less than my pain? In the
next two to three years we will find out. When I think of the colour red, is it the same
as when you think of it? We will know before too long. But shouldn't I stop this
experimentation that is poking its nose into the future? Shouldn't I join the ranks of
academic philosophers and merely make unsubstantiated claims about the wonders of
human consciousness? Shouldn't I stop trying to do some science and keeping my
head down? Indeed not.
If there is one thing I would like said of myself, it is that at least I had a go, at least I
tried to change things, at least I did some science.
I love my job. I would not trade it for anything. Being in a position to investigate
aspects of science about which we presently know little or nothing is fantastic. In the
next few years I will be scratching the surface of telepathy, electronic medicine,
extrasensory perception and thought control. Who are you when your intelligence is
based partly on your original, restricted human brain and partly on an expandable,
powerful computer brain? Will your values and ethics still be human?
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We presently have a very limited knowledge about the world around us, how the
human body works and what is physically possible. Just as a century ago Lord Kelvin
told us that heavier-than-air flying machines were not possible, so today we hear
equally irrelevant rubbish such as that machines will always be subservient to us. One
of my principles is to listen to what the message is and not who is sending it. Often a
young child will make a statement both profound and relevant, while respected senior
academics will show themselves to be complete idiots.
We should not claim things to be impossible in the future simply because we do not
like the thought of them being possible. If a mathematical equation shows something
to be impossible this does not mean it actually is not possible. The future is out there;
I am eager to see what it holds. I want to do something with my life: I want to be a
THE CHIP USED TO MAKE FIRST CYBORG
The transponder that was implanted in
the forearm of Professor Kevin Warwick,
on 24th August 1998 consists of a glass
capsule containing an electromagnetic
coil and a number of silicon chips. It is
approximately 23mm long and 3mm in
When a radio frequency signal is
transmitted to the transponder, the coil
generates an electric current (an effect
discovered by Michael Faraday many years ago). This electric current is used to
drive the silicon chip circuitry, which transmits a unique, 64-bit signal. A receiver
picking up this signal can be connected in an Intelligent Building network.
By means of a computer, it is able to recognise the unique code and, in the case of
an implant, the individual human in question. On picking up the unique, identifying
signal, a computer can operate devices, such as doors, lights, heaters or even other
computers. Which devices are operated and which are not depends on the
requirements for the individual transmitting the signal.
The silicon chip transponder had not, prior to this experiment, been surgically
inserted into a human. It was not known what effects it would have, how well it
would operate and, importantly, how robust it would be. There was the very real
possibility that the transponder might leak or shatter while in the body with
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catastrophic consequences! The implant in Kevin Warwick's forearm was
successfully tested for nine days before being removed.
THE NERUAL CONNECTION
On March 14 th , 2002 at 8.30 am an operation was carried out at the Radcliffe
Infirmary, Oxford, UK to implant a microelectrode array onto the median nerve of
Professor Kevin Warwick. Mr.Peter Teddy, Consultant used in a series of
experiments and was finally removed to avoid medical complications, after nine
Neuro-surgeon, led the operating team which included Mr Amjad Shad.
The research team involved with the project is co-led by Professor Brian Andrews,
who assisted in the operation, and includes Mr Mark Gasson. Brian, Kevin and
Mark are all based at the Department of Cybernetics, University of Reading, UK.
The operation, which lasted just over 2 ¼ hours, went very well and has been
declared a success. This is the world‘s first operation of this type.
The array, which has been positioned in the wrist, contains 100 spikes with sensitive
tips – each of these making direct connections with nerve fibres. Wires linked to the
array have been tunneled up Kevin‘s Arm, where they appear through a skin
puncture, 15cm away from the array. These wires are to be linked to a novel radio
transmitter/receiver device which will be externally connected, its aim being to join
Kevin‘s median nerve to a computer by means of a radio signal. It is hoped that the
project will result in considerable medical benefits for a large number of people, in
particular assisting in movement for the spinally injured. The team will now be
involved in a wide variety of investigations in the weeks ahead, hopefully also
looking into enhancing capabilities when a human and machine are joined -
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PROBLEMS CAME DURING IMPLANT OPERATION
They have transpoder in the glass tube so while sterilizing it they had put it into the
hot water and because of the thin glass it was blast as it had became very hot.
They have to think how they can link that chip with the computer as it was
implanted in the forearm of Pr. Warwick.
They have implanted chip in left arm of Pr. Warwick as they were afraid that if
operation failed than he can work on with his right arm as he was righty.
The main thing was to put a chip in the main nerve of arm in such a manner that the
nerve should not be broken as by happing so they may loose Pr. Warwick.
The silicon chip transponder had not, prior to this experiment, been surgically
inserted into a human. It was not known what effects it would have, how well it
would operate and, importantly, how robust it would be.
There was the very real possibility that the transponder might leak or shatter while
in the body with catastrophic consequences! The implant in Kevin Warwick's
forearm was successfully tested for nine days before being removed.
HOW THIS NERUAL CONNECTION WORKS?
The US Professor and visionary, Norbert Weiner founded the field of Cybernetics in
the 1940‘s. He envisaged that one day electronic systems he called ―Nervous
Prostheses‖ would be developed that would allow those with spinal injuries to control
their paralysed limbs using signals detected in their brain.
In the UK two internationally renowned professors, in the department of Cybernetics
at the University of Reading, Brian Andrews and Kevin Warwick, together with
the eminent neurosurgeon Peter Teddy have just taken a step closer to this
dream. The team have come together from different branches of Cybernetics
and Neurosurgery. Kevin Warwick specializes in the field of Artificial
Intelligence and Robotics and Brian Andrews in the field of Biomedical
Engineering, Neural Prostheses and Spinal Injuries. Peter Teddy has a long
involvement with neural implants and is the head of Neurosurgery at Oxford.
Although seemingly worlds apart, these fields have many common threads.
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The principal investigators Andrews, Warwick and Teddy, lead a large team of
surgeons and researchers including, Brian Gardner, Ali Jamous, Amjad Shad and
Mark Gasson of the world famous National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC)-Stoke
Mandeville Hospital, the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford and the University of Reading,
UK. The team are supported by the David Tolkien Trust, Computer Associates,
Tumbleweed and Fujitsu.
A sophisticated new microelectronic implant has been developed that allows two-way
connection to the nervous system. In one direction, the natural activity of nerves are
detected and in the other, nerves can be activated by applied electrical pulses. It is
envisaged that such neural connections may, in the future, help people with spinal cord
injury or limb amputation. The microelectronic chip implant, shown in figure 1,
comprises an array of fine spikes with sensitive tip electrodes. These spike electrodes
are extremely thin, similar in dimension to a human hair. They can safely penetrate
nerve tissue and allow the activity of axons close to each tip to be recorded or
stimulated i.e. the array chip allows a two-way interface.
The device has been inserted into the median nerve of a healthy volunteer –Professor
Kevin Warwick. In this way the basic safety and function of the device can be
established before it is explored further in patients. The median nerve contains a
mixture of many individual sensory and motor axons. The sensory axons conduct
signals generated by skin receptors in response to temperature and pressure changes
applied in the region of the thumb, index and middle fingers and palm as illustrated in
figures 1 & 2. Motor axons that are located within the median nerve conduct signals
from the 6 spinal cord to muscles, such as the thenar muscle group located at the base
of the thumb as shown in figure 1 (c). The array was inserted into the median nerve
such that the sensitive tips of the microelectrodes were distributed within the nerve
trunk. Some electrodes can pick up signals from sensory axons whilst others pick up
mainly motor axon signals. Others pick up a mix of the two. The array is connected to
an external amplifier and signal processing system through fine wires passing through
the skin as shown in figure 4.
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A main objective, at this stage, is to demonstrate clinical and technical easibility of
implanting the array safely, with minimal discomfort for a prolonged period without
The team will now attempt to record nerve signals from individual axons with
sufficient fidelity to allow them to discriminate them from background noise. In a
series of tests, specific sensory stimuli (for example light touch, vibration heat etc.)
will be carefully applied to various points on the skin whilst recording the
microelectrode signals. These signals will be computer analyzed in an attempt to
identify the type of receptors being excited. In other tests.
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Professor Warwick will contract his thenar muscles to generate controlled movement
and force whilst the corresponding activity from the microelectrodes will be
examined to determine if motor and sensory activity can be adequately separated.
In separate tests, low-level electrical signals will be applied to individual
microelectrodes in the array. When such stimuli are applied to motor axons the
corresponding muscle fibres will contract. If however, the electrical stimuli are applied
to sensory axons these may be perceived by Professor Warwick as sensations. By
carefully applying patterns of precisely controlled low-level electrical stimulation to
the sensory axons the investigators will determine if sensations recognizable to
Professor Warwick can be generated. This first stage should allow the team to
determine the feasibility of using microelectrode arrays to transmit and receive two-
way signals between peripheral nerves and external microcomputers by wires through
the skin. In the future, the through-the-skin wire may be replaced by a radio link
connecting the fully implanted component with the external control computers as
illustrated in figure 5. For now, the present system allows a relatively low cost and
minimally invasive system to be used for research and development. We envisage that
such neural prostheses may be used to restore sensory and motor functions lost by
spinal injury, other neurological lesions or limb amputation. Two examples are given
below to illustrate the sort of applications we have in mind.
Even after spinal injury the nervous tissue below the lesion is usually alive and
operating even though it is disconnected from the brain i.e. signals are still being
naturally generated by sensory receptors and transmitted to the spinal cord but are not
perceived by the brain. Similarly, signals are still being put 7 out by the spinal cord
and causing muscles to contract. However, these contractions are reflexive and not
voluntarily controlled contractions. Tetraplegics cannot voluntarily move or feel their
hands; microelectrode arrays could in principle be inserted into the median and radial
nerves. Muscles that control the hand could be activated using electrical pulses to
microelectrodes close to the axons innervating those muscles. Electrical pulses could
be generated precisely using a microcomputer as part of some future neuroprosthesis.
Receptors in the patient‘s skin and muscle will fire as the hand opens, makes contact
and grasps an object. The receptor signals would be detected by the microelectrodes
positioned close to their axons and fed out to the controlling microcomputer which, in
turn, would automatically regulate the degree of activation of muscles, so as not to
grip the object too tightly or loosely. It may also be possible to feed back sensory
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Figure 1 The main hand nerves (a). The median nerve and its branches
(b).Sensory signals from receptors in the shaded area of the skin are routed
through the median nerve en-route to the spinal cord. The median nerve also
contains motor axons that conduct signals from the spinal cord to muscles in
the hand such as the thenar group shown superimposed in (c).
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Figure 2 Various sensory receptors in the skin.
Figure 3 The microelectrode array showing 100 Axons, shown colored, conduct
signals from individual spikes with sensitive tips. Activity Individual receptors to
the spinal cord through of axons that are close to each tip can be nerves such as
the median nerve detected or stimulated by a computer.
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up by microelectronic arrays in the hand and impose them onto sensory pathways
above the level of the lesion using another array. These arrays may even be inserted
into the motor cortex to provide brain signals for the control system, just as Weiner
had envisaged. Other potential applications in spinal cord injury are envisaged,
including, devices to improved bladder and bowel control and perhaps facilitate
standing and walking in paraplegics. Amputees still have living nerves in their stumps
into which microelectrode arrays could be inserted. These nerve stumps still relay
voluntary signals to amputated muscles and are still capable of conducting sensory
signals that previously originated in the amputated skin and muscles. For the amputee,
miniature force, pressure and temperature sensors can be built into the artificial limb.
These sensors could be connected to a control microcomputer which would in turn
generate and apply pulses to electrode tips that have been previously associated with
the appropriate sensation. If a hand amputee, wearing such a prosthesis fitted with
miniature pressure sensors in the index finger tip were to touch or press on object, the
fingertip sensor would generate an electrical signal proportional to the applied
pressure. This pressure signal could then be acquired by a microcomputer, which
would then apply stimulus pulses to sensory nerve fibers within the stump using a
microelectrode array to recreate realistic sensation of pressure at the index fingertip.
Being from the field of Cybernetics it is also possible to speculate that such devices
could be used in the future to extend the capabilities of ordinary humans, for example
enabling extra sensory input and to provide new methods of communication with
machines or other humans. Although this may sound, to some, rather alarming,
futuristic and more the domain of Cyborg science fiction, we emphasize that the short
term goals of our work are aimed at developing useful clinical applications within
present day ethical constraints It should be emphasized that although an exciting step
has been taken it is still very early days. The examples we have indicated are
speculative at this stage and although we are cautiously optimistic, a great deal of
work remains to be done to determine if the approach is practical. Furthermore,
significant technical development is required to make these devices available to
patients. 8 It could take 10 or more years before such systems start to become widely
THE NEURAL SYSTEM CONTINUING WITH
The interface to Professor Warwick‘s nervous system was a micro electrode array
consisting of 100 individual electrodes implanted in the median nerve of the left arm.
A 25-channel neural signal amplifier amplifies the signals from each electrode by a
factor of 5000 and filters signals with corner frequencies of 250Hz and 7.5KHz. The
amplified and finltered electrode signals are then delivered to the neural signal
processor where they are digitized at 30,000 samples/second/electrode and scanned
online for neural spike events. This means that only 25 of the total 100 channels can
be viewed at any one time.
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Neural spike events are detected by comparing the instantaneous electrode signal to
level thresholds set for each data channel. When a supra-threshold event occurs, the
signal window surrounding the event is time stamped and stored for later, offline
analysis. The neural stimulator allows for any of the 25 monitored channels to be
electrically stimulated with a chosen repetition frequency at any one time.
This implant, like the first, will be encased in a glass tube. We chose glass because it's
fairly inert and won't become toxic or block radio signals. There is an outside chance
that the glass will break, which could cause serious internal injuries or prove fatal, but
our previous experiment showed glass to be pretty rugged, even when it's frequently
jolted or struck.
One end of the glass tube contains the power supply - a copper coil energized by radio
waves to produce an electric current. In the other end, three mini printed circuit boards
will transmit and receive signals. The implant will connect to my body through a band
that wraps around the nerve fibers - it looks like a little vicar's collar - and is linked by
a very thin wire to the glass capsule.
The chips in the implant will receive signals from the collar and send them to a
computer instantaneously. For example, when I move a finger, an electronic signal
travels from my brain to activate the muscles and tendons that operate my hand. The
collar will pick up that signal en route. Nerve impulses will still reach the finger, but
we will tap into them just as though we were listening in on a telephone line. The
signal from the implant will be analog, so we'll have to convert it to digital in order to
store it in the computer. But then we will be able to manipulate it and send it back to
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AN IMOPRTANT TEST TO SHOW THAT CHIP
IMPLANT IS NOT HARMFUL BUT CAN BE PLANTED
INTO HUMAN BODY WITH EASE….
An important aspect of Project Cyborg 2.0 is to monitor Kevin‘s hand function
before, through the duration of the implant period and after the electrode array has
been removed. The results need to be objective in order to be used as a comparative
tool. The problem has been solved using the SHAP (Southampton Hand Assessment
Procedure) test. The score given by the SHAP test is a functional score, 100% being
normal hand function, made up of five sub-scores for each of the different hand
grips: lateral, power, tripon, extension and spherical.
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The test consists of a series of abstract and day-to-day activities and was specifically
developed to test hand function rather than dexterity. Hand function is in fact
considered more important in the clinical assessment of the hand. Each activity is
measured against time and the subject is asked to start and stop the timer to eliminate
possible misjudgements from the assessor. A standard assessment procedure is
followed to ensure objectivity during the test. The SHAP test has been successfully
proved to be a reliable and repeatable test and it is currently used in several hospitals
across the UK. As can be seen below, the tests carried out show no degredation of
hand functionality resulting from the implant procedure or experiments carried out
during Project Cyborg 2.0.
09/01/02 27/03/02 04/05/02 27/05/02 19/07/02
Overall 97 97 97 98 98
Spherical 97 95 96 96 96
Tripod 95 97 96 99 99
Power 96 96 95 96 96
Lateral 96 97 99 98 98
Tip 97 96 95 98 99
Extension 95 97 98 98 98
ADVANTAGES OF IMPLANT
Electronic tagging can be regarded as a more permanent form of identification than a
smart card. Information on the holder can be read into a computer system. In a
simple example, when a smart card or tag is presented, and the individual is
recognized, machinery such as light or a door can operate depending on what the
system thinks of that individual's status.
Going a step further, the individual could be implanted with silicon chip circuitry
which gives out a unique code, identifying the individual concerned. The potential of
this technology is enormous. It is quite possible for an implant to replace an Access,
Visa or bankers card. There is very little danger in losing an implant or having it
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An implant could carry huge amounts of data on an individual, such as National
Insurance number and blood type, blood pressure etc. allowing information to be
communicated to on-line doctors over the internet.
Within businesses, there is the possibility of individuals with implants could be
clocked in and out of their office automatically. The exact location of an individual
within a building would be known at all times and even whom they were with. This
would make it easier to contact them for a message or an urgent meeting.
The technology could be extremely useful for car security. For example, unless a car
recognized the unique signal from its owner, it would remain disabled.
The implant communicated via RF to the department's 'Intelligent Building'. At the
main entrance, the computer said "Hello" when the Professor entered; detected
progress through the building, opening doors on approach and switching on lights.
Not only were the methods of non-percutaneous information transfer between
computers and the human body investigated, but physical and mental effects of
implants were discovered, forming the first stage of an ongoing research project.
Currently in development is a new implant that will directly interface with the
Professor's nervous system. This will allow the implant to record, identify and
simulate motor and sensory signals, as well as allowing interface of new senses to
This type of device could allow treatment of patients whose central nervous systems
have been damaged or affected by diseases like multiple sclerosis, to achieve
controlled muscle function. Or it could allow more natural control of prosthetic limbs
using remaining nerve fibres, and alternative senses for the blind or deaf.
Ultimately the research may lead to implants being placed nearer to the brain or into
the spinal cord. We may be able to artificially affect emotions, perhaps abandoning
the concept of feeding people chemical treatments and instead achieve the desired
results electronically. Cyberdrugs and cybernarcotics could very well relieve clinical
depression, or perhaps even be programmed as a little pick-me-up on a particularly
If initial experiments are successful, then implants would be placed into two people
at the same time, sending movement and emotion signals from one person to the
other, possibly even via the Internet.
Will we evolve into a cyborg community? Linking people via chip implants to each
other and intelligent machines? As scary or liberating as the new technology may be,
'Cyborg' technology is here. It may be only a matter of time before we have to ask
ourselves if we are willing to join this new frontier . . .
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THE NEXT STEPS TOWARDS TRUE CYBORGS ?
PROJECT CYBORG 2.0
On the 14th of March 2002 a one hundred electrode array was surgically implanted
into the median nerve fibres of the left arm of Professor Kevin Warwick. The
operation was carried out at Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, by a
medical team headed by the neurosurgeons Amjad Shad and Peter teddy. The
procedure, which took a little over two hours, involved inserting a guiding tube into a
two inch incision made above the wrist, inserting the microelectrode array into this
tube and firing it into the median nerve fibres below the elbow joint.
A number of experiments have been carried out using the signals detected by the
array, most notably Professor Warwick was able to control an electric wheelchair and
an intelligent artificial hand, developed by Dr Peter Kyberd, using this neural
interface. In addition to being able to measure the nerve signals transmitted down
Professor Wariwck‘s left arm, the implant was also able to create artificial sensation
by stimluating individual electrodes within the array. This was demonstrated with the
aid of Kevin‘s wife Irena and a second, less complex implantconnecting to her
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Another important aspect of the work undertaken as part of this project has been to
monitor the effects of the implant on Professor Warwick‘s hand functions. This was
carried out by Allesio Murgia a research student at the department, using the
Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure (SHAP) test. By testing hand functionality
during the course of the project the difference between the performance indicators
before, during and after the implant was present in Kevin‘s arm can be used to give a
measure of the risks associated with this and future cyborg experiment.
THE MATRIX – OUR FUTURE …
Is The Matrix merely a science fiction scenario, or is it, rather, a philosophical
exercise? Alternatively, is it a realistic possible future world? The number of
respected scientists predicting the advent of intelligent machines is growing
exponentially. Steven Hawking, perhaps the most highly regarded theoretical scientist
in the world and the holder of the Cambridge University chair that once belonged to
Isaac Newton, said recently, "In contrast with our intellect, computers double their
performance every 18 months. So the danger is real that they could develop
intelligence and take over the world." He added, "We must develop as quickly as
possible technologies that make possible a direct connection between brain and
computer, so that artificial brains contribute to human intelligence rather than
opposing it."1 The important message to take from this is that the danger—that we
will see machines with an intellect that outperforms that of humans—is real.
But is it just a danger—a potential threat—or, if things continue to progress as they
are doing, is it an inevitability? Is the Matrix going to happen whether we like it or
not? One flaw in the present-day thinking of some philosophers lies in their
assumption that the ultimate goal of research into Artificial Intelligence is to create a
robot machine with intellectual capabilities approaching those of a human. This may
be the aim in a limited number of cases, but the goal for most AI developers is to
make use of the ways in which robots can outperform humans—rather than those in
which they can only potentally become our match.
Robots can sense the world in ways that humans cannot—ultraviolet, X-ray, infrared,
and ultrasonic perception are some obvious examples—and they can intellectually
outperform humans in many aspects of memory and logical mathematical processing.
And robots have no trouble thinking of the world around them in multiple
dimensions, whereas human brains are still restricted to conceiving the same entity in
an extremely limited three dimensional way. But perhaps the biggest advantage
robots have over us is their means of communication—generally an electronic form,
as opposed to the human‘s embarrassingly slow mechanical technique called speech,
with its highly restricted coding schemes called languages.
It appears to be inevitable that at some stage a sentient robot will appear, its
production having been initiated by humans, and begin to produce other, even more
capable and powerful robots. One thing overlooked by many is that humans do not
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reproduce, other than in cloning; rather, humans produce other humans. Robots are
far superior at producing other robots and can spawn robots that are far more
intelligent than themselves.
Once a race of intellectually superior robots has been set into action, major problems
will appear for humans. The morals, ethics, and values of these robots will almost
surely be drastically different from those of humans. How would humans be able to
reason or bargain with such robots? Why indeed should such robots want to take any
notice at all of the silly little noises humans would be making? It would be rather like
humans today obeying the instructions of cows.
So a war of some kind would be inevitable, in the form of a last gasp from humans.
Even having created intelligent, sentient robots in the first place, robots that can out-
think them, the humans‘ last hope would be to find a weak spot in the robot armoury,
a chink in their life-support mechanism. Naturally, their food source would be an
ideal target. For the machines, obtaining energy from the sun—a constant source—
would let them bypass humans, excluding them from the loop. But as we know,
humans have already had much success in polluting the atmosphere and wrecking the
ozone layer, so blocking out the sun‘s rays – scorching the sky, in effect – would
seem to be a perfectly natural line of attack in an attempt to deprive machines of
In my own book, In the Mind of the Machine2, I had put forth the idea that the
machines would, perhaps in retaliation, use humans as slave labourers, to supply
robots with their necessary energy. Indeed, we must consider this as one possible
scenario. However, actually using humans as a source of energy—batteries, if you
like—is a much sweeter solution, and more complete. Humans could be made to lie in
individual pod-like wombs, acting rather like a collection of battery cells, to feed the
machine-led world with power.
Probably in this world of machine dominance there would be a few renegade humans
causing trouble, snapping at the heels of the machine authorities in an attempt to
wrestle back power for humans, an attempt to go back to the good old times. So it is
with the Matrix. It is a strange dichotomy of human existence that as a species we are
driven by progress—it is central to our being—yet at the same time, for many there is
a fruitless desire to step back into a world gone by, a dream world.
Yet it is in human dreams that the Matrix machines have brought about a happy
balance. Simply treating humans as slaves would always bring about problems of
resistance. But by providing a port directly into each human brain, each individual
can be fed a reality with which he or she is happy, creating for each one a contented
existence in a sort of dream world. Even now we know that scientifically it would be
quite possible to measure, in a variety of ways, the level of contentment experienced
by each person. The only technical problem is how one would go about feeding a
storyline directly into a brain.
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So what about the practical realities of the brain port? I myself have, as reported in ‗I,
Cyborg,‘3 had a 100-pin port that allowed for both signal input and output connected
into my central nervous system. In one experiment conducted while I was in New
York City, signals from my brain, transmitted via the Internet, operated a robot hand
in the UK. Meanwhile, signals transmitted onto my nervous system were clearly
recognisable in my brain. A brain port, along the lines of that in the Matrix, is not
only a scientific best guess for the future; I am working on such a port now, and it
will be with us within a decade at most.
HUMAN OR MACHINE
With the port connected into my nervous system, my brain was directly connected to
a computer and thence on to the network. I considered myself to be a Cyborg: part
human, part machine. In The Matrix, the story revolves around the battle between
humans and intelligent robots. Yet Neo, and most of the other humans, each have
their own brain port. When out of the Matrix, they are undoubtedly human; but while
they are in the Matrix, there can be no question that they are no longer human, but
rather are Cyborgs. The real battle then becomes not one of humans versus
intelligent robots but of Cyborgs versus intelligent robots.
The status of an individual whilst within the Matrix raises several key issues. For
example, when they are connected are Neo, Morpheus, and Trinity individuals
within the Matrix? Or do they have brains which are part human, part machine? Are
they themselves effectively a node on the Matrix, sharing common brain elements
with others? It must be remembered that ordinarily human brains operate in a stand-
alone mode, whereas computer-brained robots are invariably networked. When
connected into a network, as in the Matrix, and as in my own case as a Cyborg,
individuality takes on a different form. There is a unique, usually human element,
and then a common, networked machine element.
Using the common element, ‗reality‘ can be downloaded into each brain. Morpheus
describes this (as do others throughout the film) as ‗having a dream.‘ He raises
questions as to what is real. He asks how it is possible to know the difference
between the dream world and the real world. This line of questioning follows on
from many philosophical discussions, perhaps the most prominent being that of
Descartes, who appeared to want to make distinctions between dream states and
‗reality‘, immediately leading to problems in defining what was real and what was
not. As a result he faced further problems in defining absolute truths.
Perhaps a more pertinent approach can be drawn from Berkeley, who denied the
existence of a physical world, and Nietzsche, who scorned the idea of objective truth.
By making the basic assumption that there is no God, my own conclusion is that
there can be no absolute reality, there can be no absolute truth — whether we be
human, Cyborg, or robot. Each individual brain draws its conclusions and makes
assumptions as to the reality it faces at an instant, dependant on the input it receives.
If only limited sensory input is forthcoming, then brain memory banks (or injected
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feelings) need to be tapped for a brain to conceive of a storyline. At any instant, a
brain links its state with its common-sense memory banks, often coming to unlikely
As a brain ages, or as a result of an accident, the brain‘s workings can change; this
often appears to the individual to be a change in what is perceived rather than a
change in that which is perceiving. In other words, the individual thinks it must be
the world that has changed, not his or her brain. Where a brain is part of a network,
however, there is a possibility for alternative viewpoints to be proposed by different
nodes on the network. This is not something that individual humans are used to. An
individual brain tends to draw only one conclusion at a time. In some types of
schizophrenia this conclusion can be confused and can change over time; it is more
usually the case, though, that such an individual will draw a conclusion about what is
perceived that is very much at variance with the conclusion of other individuals. For
the most part, what is deemed by society to be ‗reality‘ at any point, far from being
an absolute, is merely a commonly agreed set of values based on the perceptions of a
group of individuals.
The temptation to see a religious undertone in The Matrix is interesting — with
Morpheus cast as the prophet John the Baptist, Trinity perhaps as God or the holy
spirit, Neo clearly as the messiah, and Cypher as Judas Iscariot, the traitor. But, far
from a Gandhi-like, turn the other cheek, approach, Neo‘s is closer to one that
perhaps was actually expected by many of the messiah himself, taking on his role as
victor over the evil Matrix: a holy war against a seemingly invincible, all-powerful
But what of the machine network, the Matrix, itself? With an intellect well above
that of collective humanity, surely its creativity, its artistic sense, its value for
aesthetics would be a treat to behold. But the film keeps this aspect from us –
perhaps to be revealed in a sequel. Humans released from the Matrix grip, merely
regard it as an evil, perhaps Cypher excluded here. Meanwhile the Agents are seen
almost as faceless automatons, ruthless killers, strictly obeying the will of their
Matrix overlord. Possibly humans would see both the Matrix and Agents as the
enemy, just as the Matrix and Agents would so regard humans – but once inside the
Matrix the picture is not so clear. As a Cyborg, who are your friends and who are
your enemies? It is no longer black and white when you are part machine, part
IN AND OUT OF CONTROL
Morpheus tells Neo that the Matrix is control. This in itself is an important revelation.
As humans, we are used to one powerful individual being the main instigator, the
brains behind everything. It is almost as though we cannot even conceive of a group
or collection running amuck, but believe, rather, that there is an individual behind it
all. In the second world war, it was not the Germans or Germany who the allies were
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fighting but Adolf Hitler; meanwhile in Afghanistan, it is Bin-Laden who is behind it
all. Yet in the Matrix we are faced with a much more realistic scenario, in that it is not
some crazed individual up to no good, but the Matrix – a network.
When I find myself in a discussion of the possibility of intelligent machines taking
over things, nine times out of ten I am told—following a little chuckle to signify that I
have overlooked a blindingly obvious point—that "If a machine causes a problem you
can always switch it off." What a fool I was not to have thought of it!! How could I
have missed that little snippet?
Of course it is not only the Matrix but even today‘s common Internet that gives us the
answer, and cuts the chuckle short. Even now, how is it practically possible to switch
off the Internet? We‘re not talking theory here, we‘re talking practice. Okay, it is of
course possible to unplug one computer, or even a small subsection intranet, but to
bring down the whole Internet? Of course we can‘t. Too many entities, both humans
and machines, rely on its operation for their everyday existence. It is not a Matrix of
the future that we will not be able to switch off, it is a Matrix of today that we cannot
switch off, over which we can not have ultimate control.
Neo learns that the Matrix is a computer-generated dream world aimed at keeping
humans under control. Humans are happy to act as an energy source for the Matrix as
long as they themselves believe that the reality of their existence is to their liking;
indeed, how are the human nodes in a position to know what is computer-generated
reality and what is reality generated in some other way?
A stand-alone human brain operates electrochemically, powered partly by electrical
signals and partly by chemicals. In the western world we are more used to chemicals
being used to change our brain and body state, either for medicinal purposes or
through narcotics, including chemically instigated hallucinations. But now we are
entering the world of e-medicine. Utilising the electronic element of the
electrochemical signals on which the human brain and nervous system operate,
counterbalancing signals can be sent to key nerve fibre groups to overcome a medical
problem. Conversely, electronics signals can be injected to stimulate movement or
pleasure. Ultimately, electronic signals will be able to replace the chemicals that
release memories and "download" memories not previously held. Why live in a world
that is not to your liking if a Matrix state is able to keep your bodily functions
operating whilst you live out a life in a world in which you are happy with yourself?
The world of the Matrix would appear to be one that lies in the direction humanity is
now heading—a direction in which it would seem, as we defer more and more to
machines to make up our minds for us, that we wish to head.
IGNORANCE AND BLISS
In a sense, The Matrix is nothing more than a modern day "Big Brother," taking on a
machine form rather than the Orwellian vision of a powerful individual using
machines to assist and bring about an all-powerful status. But 1984, the novel in
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which the story of Big Brother was presented, was published in 1948. The Matrix
comes fifty years later. In the meantime, we have witnessed the likes of radar,
television for all, space travel, computers, mobile phones, and the Internet. What
would Orwell‘s Big Brother have been like if he had had those technologies at his
disposal – would Big Brother have been far from the Matrix?
With the first implant I received, in 1998, for which I had no medical reason (merely
scientific curiosity), a computer network was able to monitor my movements. It
knew what time I entered a room and when I left. In return it opened doors for me,
switched on lights, and even gave me a welcoming "Hello" as I arrived. I
experienced no negatives at all. In fact, I felt very positive about the whole thing. I
gained something as a result of being monitored and tracked. I was happy with
having Big Brother watching me because, although I gave up some of my individual
humanity, I benefited from the system doing things for me. Would the same not be
true of the Matrix? Why would anyone want to experience the relatively tough and
dangerous life of being an individual human when he or she could be part of the
So here we come on to the case of Cypher. As he eats his steak he says, "I know that
this steak doesn‘t exist. I know when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my
brain that it is juicy and delicious!" He goes on to conclude that "Ignorance is bliss."
But is it ignorance? His brain is telling him, by whatever means, that he is eating a
nice juicy steak. How many times do we nowadays enter a fast-food burger bar in
order to partake of a burger that, through advertising, our brains have been
conditioned into believing is the tastiest burger imaginable. When we enter we know,
because we‘ve seen the scientific papers, that the burger contains a high percentage
of water, is mainly fat, and is devoid of vitamins. Yet we still buy such burgers by
the billion. When we eat one, our conditioned brain is somehow telling us that it is
juicy and delicious, yet we know it doesn‘t quite exist in the form our brain is
We can thus understand Cypher‘s choice. Why be out of the Matrix, living the
dangerous, poor, tired, starving life of a disenfranchised human, when you can exist
in a blissfully happy life, with all the nourishment you need? Due to the deal he
made with Agent Smith, once Cypher is back inside he will have no knowledge of
having made any deal in the first place. He appears to have nothing at all to lose. The
only negative aspect is that before he is reinserted he may experience some inner
moral human pangs of good or bad. Remember that being reinserted is actually good
for the Matrix, although it is not so good for the renegade humans who are fighting
Robert Nozick‘s thought experiment puts us all to the test, and serves as an
immediate exhibition of Cypher‘s dilemma. Nozick asks, if our brains can be
connected, by electrodes, to a machine which gives us any experiences we desire,
would we plug into it for life? The question is, what else could matter other than how
we feel our lives are going, from the inside? Nozick himself argued that other things
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do matter to us, for example that we value being a certain type of person, we want to
be decent, we actually wish to do certain things rather than just have the experience
of doing them. I disagree completely with Nozick.
Research involving a variety of creatures, principally chimpanzees and rats, has
allowed them to directly stimulate pleasure zones in their own brain, simply by
pressing a button. When given the choice of pushing a button for pleasure or a button
for food, it is the pleasure button that has been pressed over and over again, even
leading to starvation (although individuals were quite happy even about that).
Importantly, the individual creatures still had a role to play, albeit merely that of
pressing a button. This ties in directly with the Matrix, which also allows for each
individual mentally experiencing a world in which he or she is active and has a role
It is, however, an important question whether or not an individual, as part of the
Matrix, experiences free will or not. It could be said that Cypher, in deciding to re-
enter the Matrix, is exercising his free will. But once inside, will he still be able to
exhibit free will then? Isn‘t it essentially a similar situation to that proposed by
Nozick? Certainly, within the mental reality projected on an individual by the
Matrix, it is assumed that a certain amount of mental free will is allowed for; but it
must be remembered, at the same time, that each individual is lying in a pod with all
his or her life-sustaining mechanisms taken care of and an interactive storyline being
played down into his or her brain. Is that free will? What is free will anyway, when
the state of a human brain is merely partly due to a genetic program and partly due to
life‘s experience? Indeed, exactly the same thing is true for a robot.
In the Matrix, no human fuel cells are killed, not even the unborn—there is no
abortion. Yet, naturally dying humans are allowed to die naturally and are used as
food for the living. Importantly, they are not kept alive by chemicals merely for the
sake of keeping them alive. The Matrix would appear to be more morally responsible
to its human subjects than are human subjects to themselves. Who therefore wouldn‘t
want to support and belong to the Matrix, especially when it is making life easier for
Neo is kidnapped by Luddites, dinosaurs from the past when humans ruled the earth.
It‘s not the future. We are in reality heading towards a world run by machines with
an intelligence far superior to that of an individual human. But by linking into the
network and becoming a Cyborg, life can appear to be even better than it is now. We
really need to clamp down on the party-pooper Neos of this world and get into the
future as soon as we can—a future in which we can be part of a Matrix system,
which is morally far superior to our Neolithic morals of today.
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Though the experiment sounds like an episode of Dr. Who, its real-world
implications are "right around the corner," says Warwick, who foresees enormous
medical applications. Through a system of embedded chips interfacing with an
artificial motor system, Warwick imagines paraplegics walking. And that's just for
―Simply take measurements off muscles and tendons and feed them into the
transponder," Warwick says. "That means, ultimately, that you wouldn't need a
computer mouse anymore. You wouldn't need a keyboard."
Charles Ostman, a senior fellow at the Institute for Global Futures and science editor
at Mondo 2000, agrees. "Neuroprosthetics are . . . inevitable," he says. "Biochip
implants may become part of a rote medical procedure. After that, interface with
outside systems is a logical next step."
Warwick's eagerness is palpable, engaging, contagious. "This is where you can
speculate," he says. "This is where we take a technical thing and say, 'Right-o, got the
signal, got the implant; all I've got to do is run a wire from the implant to my nervous
system.' . . . I'm so excited about it, I want to get on with the next step straight away.
Let's see if we can control computers directly from our nervous system."
THE NEW SUBJECT BY HIM…. “SYBJECTIVE IQ
We test intelligence by measuring individual performance in certain key areas. But
who decides what should be tested and why?
Our decision about which skills to test is highly subjective, based solely on abilities
valued by certain people, in certain cultures. But why should the ability to identify
different types of snow, or track prey over vast distances, be valued less highly than
knowledge of European history or applied mathematics?
We are entering the new millennium with a system of intelligence testing which we
think can evaluate everyone, regardless of sex, race, creed, age and culture. We apply
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our own standards to other cultures, other species, and even to the machines we
create, and we find them wanting.
But our growing understanding of the extraordinary abilities of animals in areas in
which we cannot even hope to compete, coupled with the current race to produce new
technologies which far outstrip the boundaries of human achievement, calls for a new
definition of intelligence, and a new method of testing it.
Dr Kevin Warwick has conducted a revolutionary investigation into the problems
associated with conventional, "subjective" IQ testing, and into the nature of
intelligence itself. He has devised a new way of comparing not only person with
person and culture with culture, but also a system that unites human, animal and
artificial intelligence for the first time. The results will astound you.
Finally I would like to say that if the future is of intelligent robots than to protect
mankind we will must need some NEOs, TERMINATORs. They all are CYBORGS.
Because by making human CYBORGS we may have following extra ordinary
I think by 2100 we're going to see people able to communicate
between each other by thought signals alone, so no more need for
telephones, old fashioned signaling, we'll be able to think to each
other via implants.
Linking myself up via an implant to a computer, my nervous
system, electronic signals connected to the electronic signals in the
computer - effectively mentally becoming one with the computer.
This will mean movement type signals and emotional type signals
can transmit from my body to the computer, but also the other
way. The computer will be able to affect me emotionally, perhaps
cheer me up when I'm depressed or cause me to move when I
didn't think about moving. It opens all sorts of other possibilities;
the computer will be able to send down other information
ultrasonic or infrared information on my nervous system to my
brain. I will effectively have extra sensory perception and will be
able to look at the world in new ways than I could do before.
Instead of communicating by speech as we do presently, we'll be
able to think to each other, simply by implants connected to our
nervous system linking our brains electronically together, possibly
even over the internet.
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We won't need the languages that we presently do, we'll need a
new language of ideas and concepts in order to communicate
thoughts from brain to brain.
To prepare this seminar I have go through the following sites.
I CYBORG 2.0
IN THE MIND OF MACHINE
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