Two interesting pieces of technology
One is useful:
"More than 42 million people worldwide are legally blind, but many of them may be able to regain some sight thanks to a cybernetic eye being developed by scientists in Portugal. The device — which only works on folks who once had vision — operates thusly: Video signals from a camera fixed on a pair of special glasses are processed through a computer and are transmitted via cable to surgically-implanted electrodes in the patient’s brain. The electrodes stimulate the brain, creating visual “images.” Okay, it’s not quite as cool as the wraparound comb visor worn by Star Trek’s Geordi La Forge, but developers are working toward scaling the unit down to the size of a cell phone. They hope to bring the $120,000 procedure to the U.S. in the next five years or so."
The other, less so:
"There are undoubtedly sounder ways to keep your coffee warm, but for the true gadget geek there's no more appropriate way than this $15 USB Cup Warmer. Just wrap this sleeve around your cup and plug it into the USB port of your laptop. Sure, there are certain potential hazards when tethering a mug of scalding liquid to a mobile device, but we're willing to overlook them for the prospect of a cup of coffee that never goes cold."
I really am impressed with the topmost technology. I remember reading about the procedure a few years back, and this little blurb caused me to remember it. It seems really, really cool. There is a device that genuinely significantly helps a wide number of disabled/handicapped people.
The cup warmer is a neat idea, especially if you don't have extra electrical sockets. However, just be sure to keep your coffee 4' away from your computer.
As for bionic eyes, we all know it's coming someday, but no one knows when. The concept of the cyborg walks ever closer to our front door of reality.
Bionic eyes, ears, arms, legs, internal organs. What's next bionic brains and biological computers?
Actually, a little skewed off topic: in the future, I believe there will be a controversial debate about full-machine replacement to the human body. The problem is this: we can't evolve with artificial attachments. A body made of plastic and steel would be practically invincible at first sight; however, as time progresses, naturally evolving entities will develop abilities beyond artificial machines. For example, humans have evolved a brain superior to all previous species. At first, the muscle-bound predators preyed on our ancestors for an easy meal; however, humans have vast memories and the ability to analyze them in detail and compare them to new situations. We discovered weaponry and tools. Using weaponry and tools, we were able to tactically defeat our predator nemises and even transform them to our prey. We were also able to form advanced communities and networks of communities to build civilization and conquer the planet. Our efforts to conquer the planet are still continuing, as we still battle the elements of sea, ice, magma, and the heavens. Our tools are of course still developing rapidly, and our technology has given us fantastic powers.
Say we were successful at conquering nature with our efforts. So it seems that we don't need nature anymore and can proceed to rid ourselves of inferior natural bodies and replacing them with artificial ones. Ho ho, how mighty we are. Now that we have usurped our own evolution, we also need to take responsibility. Can we really handle that responsibility with our intellects as of now? We aren't the best communicators, and would thus give ourselves burdens of problems, even with nature taking care of us. Without nature, we would need to take care of every minute little problem and task, like reproduction, and non-lingual communication, adaptation, etc. At this aspect of evolution, I believe nature is best. It is God's default set of procedures, and God is the omniscient one. Even if our minds were to develop even more, to extent that people naturally have supercomputer brains and psychic powers (such as fully controlled telepathy, divination, physical mastery of matter, mastered knowledge of metaphysics, space and time manipulation, mastery of mind and logic, immortality, and whatever dreamlike power in your imagination), God is still superior.
Penta, I think that the evolution from biological bodies to mechanical ones would not just puff into existance. But you raise an interesting point:
I'm going to guess and say that there are some people out there who have studied Identity theory, or physicalism.
In a very small nutshell, identity theory states that everything can be explained by science, down to its component parts. In other words, everything is physical, rejecting dualism as a theory.
Look at the development of AI. Eventually, we will have an AI that functions in the same way that the human brain does. Before that comes about, we will have a perfect understanding of the human bodies less complicated/neural funtions. So, its entirely feasible that we will be able to create a perfect replica of a functioning body and mind solely through the use of science (ignore FMA for the time being).
Identity theory would say that this creation, if created a biological match, is human. A mechanical match would not be considered human.
On the other hand, we have functionalism, which asks this question: does this artificial creation function in the same way that we do? Well, in this thought experiment, yes it would. So its fair to call this construct human.
Hum... I realize now that I deviated way far away from my original intention, and got lazy in my conclusions. Bah... *decides to post anyway*
dont flame me too much for this one, its such a huge overview...
Oh! This is a great topic for me because I've just read I, Robot.
Which actually deals with many of these ideas.
I think the way that the book solved the problem was quite interesting....lol, well maybe there never really was a problem at all.
well. Do share. Not a huge Aasimov fan (or however you spell that...)
USB cup warmer have been available for a long time now ^^"... there are even USB slippers warmers XD
I guess one could argue that people can use engineering to solve problems; however, I think all engineered designs end up being an emulation of a solution already seen in nature. In other words, evolution ended up faster than human design. Why is that?
cup idea is gay for coffee. who drinks coffee? i hate ppl who drink coffee. but if it can warm tea then i will sure like it
First point which I need to get out of my system, Unreal, your a fucking idiot.
Secondly, electronicly implanted eyes have been around for longer than you'd think, and there are actually many ways of going about them. One of the methods there is currently is a microchip that is implanted inside the eye which stimulates the optic nerve [which is, in almost ever case of blindness, degenerated reducing signal input into the brain effectively cutting off vision] so that it begins to regenerate itself and voila, partial vision is regained, some cases have even made full recovery.
This is not however, an actual case of cybernetic vision, it is simply technological stimulation of the biological repair mechanisms.
Also, cybernetic eyes are already 'in America', experiments are being done with them in nearly every developed country in the world.
Also, cybernetic parts may sound interesting, but a true-von-neumann nanobot based body would be far better in my opinion. Along with my brain's neural structure being superimposed on a carbon nanotube network. [effectively increasing 'thought' speed by several thousand fold]
This would give you the possibility of evolving technology, whatever you can implement, you can create. Whether it be incredibly advanced technology that is able to overcome the Heisneberg Uncertaity principle, or whatever.
However, for a more near-term goal, I would go with both technological implants and nanobots and nanonics [robots and computers and such that operate on the level of molecules and atoms] and genetically engineered parts. Such as muscles that no longer work on the ATP process and the ineficient proteins ours currently work at, organics that extrude a nanotube/buckyball lattice structure as bones and skin. [effectively making you capable of withstanding any projectile you'll come across in every day experince and withstanding massive trauma and impact forces]
Modify the digestive process so it is far more efficient and takes up far less space, replacing that space with solid state memory storage space or a cache for internal wet-wired weapons or such, re-engineer the heart with a combination of electronics hooked up to extremely advanced organic parts to supply whatever nutrient fluid your new body will need, and so on.
In fact, if I switched to the von-neuman setup from that, I'd probably mirror all the processes and just have a core storage of the machines to make occasional modifications to myself if 'upgrades' become available or to repair myself in the case of massive trauma.