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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Artificial Improvement Of Humans

We have all read those stories where science goes wild and puts computer parts or parts from things like dead bodies, into someone and they go mad, then go out on a gruesome killing spree. There must be hundreds of movies about this subject, usually they are of the more inexpensive kind. We used to call them B movies in my day.

artificial brain improvement I remember a few, where they took a human brain and put in to the body of a robot and of course the brain went crazy. Usually this had to do with a beautiful women. It would always be that the guy loved the woman and got into some time of terrible accident and some scientist was able to keep his brain alive. It was then put into a robot and the woman was horrified by this sight and didn't want to be near him. Thus the craziness.


Human Brain Competing

We haven't reached that point yet, where we can transfer a human brain into a different body or machine, but this may indeed be possible some day, when we have a better understanding of the brain and how it is connected to different parts of the body. Scientists say that the reason that the human brain is so much more powerful than a computer, any computer, is because of the way it is connected to things. Even though we can't transplant brains yet, we are at the beginning of doing many other marvelous things. Just look at the organ donation program. Who would have ever thought, say one hundred years ago, that we could use parts from other bodies to replace broken parts in our own bodies? It isn't only body parts that are becoming interchangeable, we are also using computer chips. The invention of the computer chip has not only revolutionized the way we do things, but it has also revolutionized medicine. The problem with current medicine is the cost. Medical costs are subject to the highest increases in this country. Even with all the medical breakthroughs, people may not be able to take advantage of some of the new procedures, because either they have no medical insurance and not enough money or because they do have medical insurance but the company won't pay for certain procedures.

Maybe it is essential that humans improve and improve in a hurry. Why do I say this? I say it because our machines are becoming advanced very quickly and some scientists believe that somewhere along the line they may become sentient. Can you imagine this, a machine that knows it is alive and doesn't want to die? At that point we will have to try and stay ahead of them in intelligence. Darwin believed in survival of the fittest. If we are not careful, we could become the Neanderthals, who it is believed, became extinct because they couldn't compete with a superior race, the modern humans. By the way, this machine progress has been predicted to the point where a rough date has been given. It is called Technological singularity or the singularity. The date selected is somewhere around 2045, but some have predicted it will happen before 2030. You will find some disagreement of what this means. Some say that this is when superhuman intelligence will be created, while others say it will be a technological leap so profound that it will rupture the fabric of human history. This can be interpreted as the creation of non human life.

In 2004 the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved a computer chip to be inserted into a human arm. The chip doesn't do much except store a code. This code is revealed when a scanner is passed over it. With the code, the patients medical records, which are in a secure medical database, can be accessed. The chip isn't updated after procedures, only the database is. I have been to many doctors offices and believe me some of them are like crazy houses.

Can you see all these employees going into your medical database and maybe entering incorrect info or worse yet, the info for a different patient? I am not very happy with this sort of thing. The chip is known as the VeriChip. This is the same chip that has been inserted into over 1,000,000 pets. Truthfully, I can not see a necessary use for this chip right now. What the chip makers really want to do, is create a chip that will read all our vital signs and be implanted in our bodies. The idea is that when something goes wrong, we can be located immediately by satellite and help sent. This is the good aspect of the chip, but the bad side is that we will always be under surveillance. Every move we make will be known and to believe that government agencies won't take advantage of this situation is very naive. Any chip that broadcasts a signal is a chip that is begging to be tracked.

Some people, granted only a few, have decided that implanting themselves with special computer chips is worth it. A couple had themselves implanted with a chip in their hand. With this chip implanted, they can walk up to their door, their car or any other device that needs a password and the chip broadcasts it to the device. For example their house door unlocks for them as does their car door. The chips themselves cost only about $2.00, yes you heard me right. They are what is known as RFID chips. RFID chips are Radio Frequency Identification Chips. These chips have been in use for awhile and are used to identify livestock. There is a down side to this however. If someone gets close enough to read your signal, they will know all your codes and don't expect you expensive car and home possessions to last very long.

RIFD chipsA reader for this chip can be bought from Phidgets Inc in Canada for only $65.00. Computer chips are also being used to repair damage caused by stroke or spinal cord injury. When they are implanted, they create new connections to the brain and the damaged muscles, allowing the patient to be fully functional again. No one can object to this use of chips. But it is the next use of chips that has some people really worried.

It is said that schools will become a thing of the past. How can this be? The answer is quite simple. If a computer chip could be inserted into your brain that contained all the knowledge that you would ever need, what advantage would going to school have? This is what scientists are trying to develop now and it has many people in this world upset. Why would they be upset you wonder? Here is the crux of the matter. It is felt that not everyone can be doctors, lawyers, scientists and engineers, so who will get what chip. Will the rich and influential get the good chips while the rest of us get the chips that have info on how to make burgers? I think you see the problem now. This could be the end of being able to make a conscious decision on what you want to be. Some say that the system will be fair, to those scientists I say that I remember a famous state politician who needed a heart transplant. There was a list in his state of hundreds of people ahead of him. They put him in the number one position on the list and he received the next heart. Some may have lost their lives because of this. Was it fair? This is what we can expect if these "intelligence chips" become a reality.

Brain implants have already been conducted that enable people to control computers with their brains alone. Some paralyzed people have had these transplants and are now capable of computer control. One famous doctor from Atlanta stated that "If you can run a computer you can talk to the world." There is certainly no truer statement. One of his patients is paralyzed from a stroke and needs a ventilator and is not capable of speech. He was implanted and can now use his computer to talk for him. He doesn't have access to the complete English language, but can command the computer to point and activate different icons that contain phrases, still this is much better than nothing. He can also send email, turn lights on and off and interact in a limited way with his environment.

Scientists, in 2004, announced the creation of a device that can connect to individual neurons. It is called a brain gate device. Who knows where this device will lead? It will certainly be a great help in installing certain types of computer chips in the human brain, because it allows for precise wiring. It is beginning to look like we won't recognize a human in a couple of hundred years from now. Anyone that has watched Star Trek The Next Generation is familiar with the Borg. They were a race of enhanced humans. We will all become Borgs in the future. It is certainly beginning to look like that. Oh yeah, the Borg were all under the power of a collective brain.

By Kenneth J. McCormick The Webmaster, Copyright © 2007 by About Facts Net and its licensors. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to reproduce this article if no changes are made and all links, if any, remain intact.

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