Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cyborgs (Re: Robot Aliens)

In this month's Discover magazine is an interesting article, "Rise of the Cyborgs," which examines the present state of cyborg development. After reading it, I find myself believing that the earlier estimates for the arrival of the technological singularity may be correct (the predicted arrival varies between years 2040 and 3000). We are well on our way to making the lame walk, the blind man see, and the mute to talk - we are freeing minds that are trapped in bodies that have quit (or never did) responding.

There already has been dramatic successes with cyborg experiments with primates (including monkeys able to control robot arms with their thoughts, like the Duke University experiments by Dr. Nicolelis experiments involving an owl monkey named Belle). A few human trials are already underway. Humans and machines are merging.

In a previous posts on postbiologic / robotic sentience, I've discussed some reasons why postbiologic creatures make pragmatic sense in regards to space travel: postbiologic, or sentient robots, will have greatly improved abilities to survive cosmic radiation, alien atmospheres, alien germs, and the long travel times. This includes having improved reaction times to unexpected space phenomenon or events - a blessing for travelers far from home and thus rescue.

But while reading the Discover article, I realized there is an additional advantage: the ability of those postbiologic sentient space explorers to more efficiently and effectively control both large and microscopic equipment and tools by using just their minds. This could include controlling the space craft to microsurgery to communicating with their comrades.

The likelihood that aliens are cyborgs or robots is, I would think, rather high. And the likelihood that we are headed in that same direction, whether some of us like it or not, is likewise rather high.

Resistance is futile. Or maybe even irrelevant.

Reference:

Baker, Sherry. "Rise of the Cyborgs." Discover. October 2008, 50 -57. Print.

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