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Captain Cyborg Is Back! Kevin Warwick Predicts the Future

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,24 days | from the all-hail-the-new-flesh dept.

Input Devices 57

richi writes "Kevin Warwick: His name raises extremes of opinion. For more than a decade, this highly controversial cybernetics professor has been making waves. His high-profile experiments — and even higher-profile claim that he's the first living cyborg — earned him column inches and unflattering nicknames. In this Forbes interview, 'Captain Cyborg' talks about exploding motorcycles, wireless power, and fish and chips."

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Kevin Warwick = (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45001031)

Captain Fuckwit. Not Captain Cyborg.

Re:Kevin Warwick = (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45004339)

How the fuck did this get modded insightful!?

Re:Kevin Warwick = (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,24 days | (#45004531)

because it is.

"âoeI increase the voltageâ"what will happen? Well thereâ(TM)s only one way to find out. Iâ(TM)m alright at 40 Volts, push it up to 50.â"

YEAH SCIENCE! MOTHERFUCKERS! PUSH TO FIFTY!

I could stick an arduino up my ass. it wouldn't make me a cyborg and we could know without doing it what would happen if I did it.

Re:Kevin Warwick = (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45009875)

How the fuck did this get modded insightful!?

Oh you're funny. Protip. All the AC commenters actually have modpoints.

Steve Mann (3, Interesting)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | 1 year,24 days | (#45001041)

Steve Mann [wikipedia.org] (Wearcam, Eyetap, etc.) has been the first living cyborg since at least the 80s.

Re:Steve Mann (2)

Sockatume (732728) | 1 year,24 days | (#45001083)

If we're going for pedantry - and I assume that's what this is about - someone who actually implants tech inside his body has more of a claim than somebody who just wears it as an accessory.

Re:Steve Mann (1)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,24 days | (#45001287)

And why would pedantry go for that? We'd have to give the score to the first person with a wooden leg, fake teeth, or glass eye in that case.

Re:Steve Mann (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,24 days | (#45001313)

I don't think simple machines count. I think you need machinery for it to be a cyborg thing. Also, wooden legs, fake teeth, and glass eyes are all readily detachable. The eye is at least sort of inside the body, but it's not a machine at all.

Re:Steve Mann (1)

Sockatume (732728) | 1 year,24 days | (#45001659)

I have started a dangerous game here. I'll head it off by proposing the first man to accidentally ingest a wristwatch.

Re:Steve Mann (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45002217)

What about a pacemaker? According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] the first completely implantable pacemaker was implanted as early as 1958. Which would make Arne Larsson the first Cyborg, at a time when Steve Mann wasn't even yet born.

Re:Steve Mann (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,24 days | (#45004033)

I don't think simple machines count. I think you need machinery for it to be a cyborg thing.

The "cyb-" part implies something cybernetic being a part of the mix. For example, a leg prosthesis with actuators and control circuitry connected to your neural system through some interface would qualify, but a wooden peg would not.

Re:Steve Mann (2)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,24 days | (#45004221)

You are correct. It has to be implanted and be a machine or electronic device. My eye's lens replacement I got back in 2006 counts - unlike the old style lenses, it sits on struts and will focus, powered by the eye's muscle. People with artificial joint implants are cyborgs. A pacemaker or a cochlear implant makes you a cyborg. A prosthetic or Google Glasses or sewing a useless chip under your skin does not.

Most cyborgs are geezers. You will be assimilated... if you're lucky.

Warwick's no cyborg, he's a loon. Mann doesn't seem to be playing with a full deck, either.

Re:Steve Mann (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45005979)

My father has a pacemaker, a cardioverter-defibrillator and eye lenses. So I reckon he's been a cyborg for over 10 years now, when the first pacemaker was implanted.

Re:Steve Mann (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,24 days | (#45005787)

well we have guys with experimental camera sensors feeding the brains with images(not very high resolution, but still).

that's more of a claim to being cyborg than these guys, or doing stuff like slapping an rfid tag into your skin(because if that's cyborg then we have millions of cyborg pets!).

Re:Steve Mann (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45002283)

I believe the requirement for cyborg-hood, is that there be some form of communication between the device and the host.

Re:Steve Mann (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45002903)

this.

the device and the body have to work together somehow.

the pacemaker is a one-way communication, maybe it counts.

Re:Steve Mann (1)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,24 days | (#45009641)

That still leaves the peg leg and the false teeth. They give tactile feedback to the host.

Re:Steve Mann (1)

meerling (1487879) | 1 year,24 days | (#45003907)

There have been actual cyborgs before, and as to W or M, they don't qualify. To be a cyborg you must have implanted into your body a device that replicates, or enhances a function that the body already has, or endows new ones, and that capability must be something that cannot function properly if outside the body.

I don't see anything that Mann has actually implanted, so he fails.
Warwick fails for the same reason. The only thing he implanted was an id chip. It would have worked just as well in his pocket as under his skin.

On the other hand, we've had people with lens implants in the eyes, joint implants in the hips, heart implants, even an electrode array that gave the blind the ability to see, even if it was a very primitive array. (If I recall properly, the first blind person to 'see' via cybernetics only saw an 8x8 matrix of dots.)
So if you want passive cybernetics, they're there. If you prefer active, that also has been around for a LONG time. Heck, even the artificial heart the "Jarvik-7" was implanted into someone way back in 1982. That's over THIRTY YEARS AGO.

Somebody needs to give 'captain cyborg' self-promotion whore a reality check.
And probably a wet mackerel to the face.
Along those lines, the media needs to stop talking about that fake.

Re:Steve Mann (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45009887)

I have a Tinanium Jaw. I got in a car accident. They had the technology...

Re:Steve Mann (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45001271)

Um, he just wears cameras on his head. That doesn't make him a cyborg.

Unless you want to get super-literal and say it does, but in that case, he's not even close to being the first person to use technology to enhance their abilities.

Re:Steve Mann (1)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,24 days | (#45001375)

Um, he just wears cameras on his head. That doesn't make him a cyborg.

Ok, why doesn't that make him a cyborg? Obviously, not as hardcore as implanting machines/high tech in yourself, but it's a matter of degree not of nature.

Unless you want to get super-literal

Well, we do have to go by the definitions of words.

Re:Steve Mann (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45001639)

I had a prosthetic foot decades before dildo dave and his google goggles, the difference is that I don't call myself a cyborg because that is beyond gay.

Re:Steve Mann (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | 1 year,24 days | (#45001729)

Are you calling Captain Steve Austin gay, you fucking godless commie??

Re:Steve Mann (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45002011)

I had a prosthetic foot decades before dildo dave and his google goggles, the difference is that I don't call myself a cyborg because that is beyond gay.

So what you're saying is that you *are* a cyborg, but you won't admit it because you're in denial about being "beyond gay"?

Dude, it's 2013, no-one's going to think any less of you if you get yourself a boyfriend. Not even if that boyfriend is "Dildo Dave". ;-)

Re:Steve Mann (1)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | 1 year,24 days | (#45002795)

Um, he just wears cameras on his head. That doesn't make him a cyborg.

Ok, why doesn't that make him a cyborg? Obviously, not as hardcore as implanting machines/high tech in yourself, but it's a matter of degree not of nature.

If I stick a cellphone up my ass, will I be a cyborg too?

Re:Steve Mann (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45003401)

Nope. Just an average iPhone user.

Re:Steve Mann (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45003855)

Because any camera man who mounted one on his body would be a cyborg. And that happened WAY before this guy did it.

Re:Steve Mann (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,24 days | (#45007891)

artificial heart, pacemakers, implanted vision sensors..

all those things are much more in the vein of "being cyborg". all of those also vastly enhanced capabilities of who they were stuck into, which makes them more than attention whoring.

Publicity the likely motive (5, Insightful)

mikewilsonuk (1676196) | 1 year,24 days | (#45001047)

If the good captain is back in the public eye, it probably means he had a new book to promote.

Re:Publicity the likely motive (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,24 days | (#45001253)

Or he's ready to ASSIMILATE US ALL!

                                                                 

Re:Publicity the likely motive (1)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,24 days | (#45004079)

Except he's not a real cyborg. No artificial knees or hips, no eye lens or cochlear implants, not even a pacemaker. I, on the other hand, was assimilated in 2006 when I had a focusable lens implanted in my left eye to replace the natural lens. I was severely nearsighted all my life and wore thick glasses, then had contacts AND reading glasses in middle age. Now not only do I no longer need corrective lenses, I have better than 20/20 vision. I see better than a kid, and I'm 61.

Resistance is futile? When the time comes there will be no resistance, you'll beg to be assimilated. I love being a cyborg! Beats the hell out of wearing coke bottle glasses!

The scene in that one STNG where there's a closeup of a needle going into Picard's eye? Yeah, that actually did happen to me (only it was a human named Dr. Yea that stuck the needle in... and yes, I was awake. Freaky but painless).

Re:Publicity the likely motive (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | 1 year,24 days | (#45009899)

Cybernetics makes humans more human.

Re:Publicity the likely motive (1, Interesting)

gsslay (807818) | 1 year,24 days | (#45001483)

How dare he promote his book! He should sneak it out under plain brown paper cover and not say a word. If he carries on with this kind of publicity nonsense, why, people may find themselves reading it! And then where would we be?!

Warwick has done a few daft stunts, but that's how you get the media to pay attention? Science needs people pushing at the edges of mainstream. They may often be on the wrong track, but I'd rather they were there doing it than not.

...fish and chips? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,24 days | (#45001167)

I assume that when Warwick talks about "fish and chips", they're not your ordinary fast food...

He said 'fission chips' (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45001555)

But was misquoted.

Re:...fish and chips? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45003615)

When Warwick talks about fish and chips he's referring to sharks with frickin' lasers!!!

John Titor says he's overrated (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | 1 year,24 days | (#45001177)

And I trust a man FROM the future to know it better than just any old cyborg.

Um... Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45001215)

Grass hoppers. That's it...

A former student (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45001319)

He's a funny fellow. Plays a little sillier than he is. Quite a lot of tenacity. I enjoyed the lectures, though I got off the course as soon as I could.

Kevin Bloody Warwick (3, Interesting)

brain159 (113897) | 1 year,24 days | (#45001491)

The only thing I need to say about Kevin Bloody Warwick is this:

In his lectures in the Intro To Cybernetics module at the University Of Reading, he played long video clips from The Lawnmower Man. With a straight face.

(Source: BSc in comp sci at Reading, 2000 - 2003)

Re:Kevin Bloody Warwick (3, Interesting)

seanellis (302682) | 1 year,24 days | (#45002039)

As a more ragged and old alumnus of the Reading University Cybs Deprtment (1984-1987), I have to add my own observation.

Prior to Prof. Warwick being engaged, we were a backwater department of about 25 students per year, stuck in half of a drafty old WWII building at the Earley end of the campus, equipped wth a heating system inherited from early Pleistocene times. (The other half was the psychlogy department.)

Warwick was appointed one year after I left. Within a year after that, the department moved to a nice shiny new building with hot water and transistors so plentiful that they didn't have to be desoldered and reused at the end of a project. I think that he can be credited with at least some of this upswing in fortune, even if he is a regular figure of fun in the news.

Re:Kevin Bloody Warwick (4, Insightful)

HeckRuler (1369601) | 1 year,24 days | (#45002219)

Soooo.... He's a political mover and shaker that can get public funds funneled to his department to give his underlings a kooshier life while they... do whatever it is they do. Presumably they're doing something more important and beneficial to society than those poor shlubs in the psychology department who are still in the drafty WWII-era building.

You know what would justify an "upswing in forturne" for that department? Actually doing some science, graduating students that go onto do impressive things in their field, publishing meaningful papers, and bringing glory to the school for all the awesome shit they do. The bit where the professor gets in the news and you get a swanky building are supposed to come after that, not before.

Re:Kevin Bloody Warwick (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45002389)

"The bit where the professor gets in the news and you get a swanky building are supposed to come after that, not before."

You're obviously doing it wrong.

Re:Kevin Bloody Warwick (1)

melikamp (631205) | 1 year,24 days | (#45006497)

Why all the hate? The dude connected a computer interface directly to his nervous system, and it worked as intended. Even without knowing any details, I think this is quite nice.

While we are at it, can you please define what you mean by "impressive" things in the field of Cybernetics, "meaningful" papers, and bringing "glory" to the school? You dismiss the talent for raising money, which is an extremely useful skill for anyone but a pure mathematician, and the one we can quantify more or less objectively. You then ask him to satisfy your personal, hopelessly subjective goals. I got news for you: the fundamental science is basically leisure, the very opposite of planting seeds or digging a ditch. We don't do it for any kind of profit or return, we do it because it's fun, we share the results with the world, and every now and then a small portion of our research happens to be useful hundreds of years in the future, which is the best we can hope for.

Re:Kevin Bloody Warwick (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | 1 year,24 days | (#45007923)

Oh, don't get me wrong, I don't even know the guy or what he's really done. It's just that Seanellis's defense of the man falls short. Once you parse through it, the defense actually looks like an insult to the man. You know, cause it's showcasing the meaningless metrics rather than what would actually impress us.

can you please define what you mean by "impressive" things in the field of Cybernetics,

Connecting a computer interface to a nervous system is indeed impressive. Kinda old-hat now a days, but it's something that they're continually striving to do better all the time. Also on the list of impressive cybernetics: replacement eyes (or really, any sensory-input that originates from a computer that's shortcutting our other senses), thought-controlled limbs, and anything that helps those with locked-in syndrome. You know, letting the blind see and the lame walk. That sort of thing.

"meaningful" papers,

That'd be subjective to someone more knowledgeable in the field of cybernetics. But papers that are referenced a lot seem to count.

and bringing "glory" to the school?

Seeing their peers shattered at conferences and having them flee before you. Drinking your enemies' blood from their own skulls as their women and children lament their loss with your name blazing across the sky in 50' high letter of roaring fire. And getting grants I guess.

You dismiss the talent for raising money

Damn straight. Professors really shouldn't piss away their time writing grant proposals. They should focus on how to sustain 50' high letters of fire.

You then ask him to satisfy your personal, hopelessly subjective goals.

Yes. Yes I do. Welcome to politics. If you want to spend my money, you better impress me.

I got news for you: the fundamental science is basically leisure, the very opposite of planting seeds or digging a ditch. We don't do it for any kind of profit or return, we do it because it's fun, we share the results with the world, and every now and then a small portion of our research happens to be useful hundreds of years in the future, which is the best we can hope for.

I prefer my science to be done in the name of progress and advancing human knowledge and capabilities. If you know of any grad students, professors, or departments that are primarily focused on their own leisure, please name them so we can de-fund them and put that money towards something worthwhile.

Re:Kevin Bloody Warwick (1)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,23 days | (#45016029)

Soooo.... He's a political mover and shaker that can get public funds funneled to his department to give his underlings a kooshier life while they... do whatever it is they do.

What does "kooshier" mean? Google has no clue, it shows Kooshier as being a brand of paint and suggests that I may have misspelled "kosher", which doesn't fit in the context of your sentence. Is it some sort of British slang?

Re:Kevin Bloody Warwick (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45017447)

Softer, easier, like a cushion.

Re:Kevin Bloody Warwick (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | 1 year,23 days | (#45019753)

Huh, I guess I derived it from kooshy or koosh, which is the brand name of those balls with all the rubber strands sticking out of them.

See kids, this is what marketing does to you after 20 years.

Re:Kevin Bloody Warwick (1)

richi (74551) | 1 year,24 days | (#45003203)

Blimey! Look at that! It's Sean Ellis!

And other co-class-of-1987 phrases punctuated with an exclamation mark.

Hello, old chap.

Re:Kevin Bloody Warwick (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#45012721)

As another Alumni of Reading who had him for Lectures I can certainly say that the fact that he had no prepared notes or slides and scrawled on an overhead projector did not endear him to us. He is the reason I chose Reading though and I owe him that. Bish on the other hand was a top guy.

Cyborg? Lol! (4, Funny)

StoneyMahoney (1488261) | 1 year,24 days | (#45001709)

For anyone interested in being 'the kind of cyborg'* this guy was, it's way too easy.

1 - Put your RFID-based travel pass in your glove
2 - Open ticket barriers by waving your hand at the sensor

(*Other options: Jedi knight, wizard, the media's idea of Kevin Mitnick)

Re:Cyborg? Lol! (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | 1 year,24 days | (#45002375)

The only reason you'd want to surgically implant something is for that feedback where typing things in fingers or fiddling with knobs and such just won't cut it. Replacement eyeballs, limb control, and thought controlled devices are really cool. Or, you know, it's making up for something your body is just failing to do: pacemakers, dialysis, and such.

But for everything else, you want it to be trivially replaceable, upgradeable, and not to fuck around with SURGERY. You want your external brain to be a comfortable 3 cm OUTSIDE of your body where it's convenient to put down, and pick up. You know, in a pocket. Like a phone.

 

Cochlear Implants (1)

ruinevil (852677) | 1 year,24 days | (#45002045)

People with them are probably the first cyborgs.

Re:Cochlear Implants (1)

Lanforod (1344011) | 1 year,24 days | (#45004029)

I'd say that would be a candidate. First useful one was done in 78, though the first CI ever was done in 1957. I just got one myself!

d-d-d-douche (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45003067)

This fellow sounds like a bit of a douche bag.

Oh, if only everyone could be interviewed in a national journal about their opinions!

His name raises extremes of opinion. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | 1 year,24 days | (#45003921)

I have no idea who that is.

xbox 360 (1)

sumitjadhav137 (3012081) | 1 year,13 days | (#45107995)

waiting for xbox
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