Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Engineered Enhancers Closer Than You Think

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the steve-austin dept.

Technology 344

Roland Piquepaille writes "Happy 2035! Thirty years from now, we'll use bionic eyes giving us 'zoom vision' for faster reactions. Nanobots injected in our bloodstream will complement our immune system. Artificial muscles built with electroactive polymers will help us to be stronger and faster. So you think it's science fiction? Not at all. You'll see that some people are so convinced that this kind of human enhancements will happen that they predict than in a few decades, all sporting events 'will be split up to accommodate enhanced and unenhanced athletes.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Medical needs (5, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231244)

Perhaps in thirty years we could obtain some degree of enhancement for our eyes that would be optically based. However, a more pressing (and needed) benefit will be a cure or fix for folks with vision loss. "Zoom lenses" and such could relatively easily be accomplished with bionically enhanced optics, but the real trick is going to be designing and implementing the hardware/wetware interface and creating true bionic retinas. Bionic implants for retinal degenerations as currently implemented are not going to work for a variety of reasons (read my doctoral dissertation [utah.edu] to find out why), but there are other approaches that can be taken or modifications that will be successful (part of my current work). Also alternative ways of implementing the interface cortically will likely have some success (not my work, but it is of my colleagues). Artificial retinas are going to be harder than artificial cochleas for the hearing impaired or cortical control of motor functions which are both applications that are having some success currently. The retina is a much more complex tissue with (in our eyes) 55-60 different classes of neurons all wired together in a precise manner to generate proper signals for image interpretability. As an interesting aside, I have said this before on Slashdot, but human eyes are pretty pathetic in terms of their sophistication. Birds, fish and many reptiles have much more sophisticated retinas that perceive what we would term a multi-spectral visual world. A visual scene much richer that the simple three-space world we currently see.

Re:Medical needs (3, Funny)

cghancock01 (790341) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231249)

Does anybody remember the Discovery Channel show "Beyond 2000?" Does anybody have a flying car?

Re:Medical needs (1)

kv9 (697238) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231304)

well kinda [moller.com] ...

Re:Medical needs (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231350)

I'd love to take a peek at your dissertation but it's weighing in at 268MB. Is this normal? Some of us cheap folk are on 1gig max download services...

Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231360)

How much would all these implants cost? I could see them going for more than most people could afford.

It's not a bug, it's a feature (5, Insightful)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231385)

As an interesting aside, I have said this before on Slashdot, but human eyes are pretty pathetic in terms of their sophistication. Birds, fish and many reptiles have much more sophisticated retinas that perceive what we would term a multi-spectral visual world. A visual scene much richer that the simple three-space world we currently see.

Evolution gives organisms the tools they need to survive, not necessarily what those organsims might put down on their wish lists. The ability to sense the world in such detail is much more important to the survival of those creatures than it is for human beings. This is a feature, not a bug. Since this is slashdot, I'm going to assume that you are very familiar with the epsiode in Star Trek where Kirk outmaneuvers aliens with vastly superior intellect and technology. How does he do it? In order to operate the Enterprise, these creatures had to fit themselves into human bodies which have senses that are much more hightened than those of their normal form. Kirk simply overloads their senses to the point that they can't think straight. Just yesterday we had an article here on slashdot about how people are having trouble dealing with the flood of new information available to them. Be thankful that our eyes are more limited than those of birds, fish, and their ilk. Our brains are already having trouble keeping up with the world around us. The day we start seeing in the IR and UV parts of the spectrum, that'll be all the more for us to process on a second-by-second basis.

Good luck with the research. I'm gratified to know that at least someone thinks that this technology should be used first to assist those who are disabled and then used to give super-powers to the rich. All too often medical research caters to stupid things like baldness cures instead of focusing on cures of cancer and Alzheimer's.

GMD

Re:It's not a bug, it's a feature (0)

mshurpik (198339) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231505)

Yes, and whats ironic is that the sensory overload of modern life is precisely what causes vision loss.

The only alternate theory Ive heard (back in high school) is genetic, which doesnt explain why vision loss is present in a majority of the population. Surely we didnt evolve this way in the past 2-400 years (since the invention of glasses).

In any case, human vision is more capable than that of many animals (nice troll). But rabbits dont watch TV, therefore, rabbits dont need to wear glasses.

Re:It's not a bug, it's a feature (1)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231522)

Since this is slashdot, I'm going to assume that you are very familiar with the epsiode in Star Trek where Kirk...
...The day we start seeing in the IR and UV parts of the spectrum, that'll be all the more for us to process on a second-by-second basis.

Well, since you're using Star Trek as an example, Geordi La Forge didn't seem to have any problems with his enhanced vision.

First post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231246)

FP on NewYearsEve ... how sad....

Re:First post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231453)

What's even sadder is that you fail it.

Almost a reality (5, Interesting)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231247)

we'll use bionic eyes giving us 'zoom vision' for faster reactions
Indeed many blind or vision-impaired people have hope today from nanotechnology like this. Scientists are experimenting with thin, photosensitive ceramic films that respond to light much as rods and cones do. Arrays of such films could be implanted in human eyes to restore lost vision.

Re:Almost a reality (2, Interesting)

drakethegreat (832715) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231254)

Will there be some way to provide a view beyond just zoom? Will it be possible to create a tool that allows you to have better horizontal coverage and be more aware of stuff that isn't right infront of us?

Re:Almost a reality (2, Insightful)

phoenix.bam! (642635) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231393)

I doubt that this will be possible without a major reworking of your brain. I am no psych major but I recall that your mind's eye is all you can see, which is the same as your regular eyes. Picture a building in your mind, now have it move towards you, the top of the building will be too tall for you to see and disappear out the top of the cavas that is your imagination, and to include the top of the building you will have to zoom out. And all of this is just in your brain and has nothing to do with your eyes.

Re:Almost a reality (1)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231260)

Sorry, I intended to post a link to NASA's research [slashdot.org] on this subject.

Re:Almost a reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231276)

Sorry, I intended to post a link to NASA's research on this subject.

Dude, I think /code f'ed with your link:

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2002/03jan_bion iceyes.htm

Re:Almost a reality (2, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231336)

What we are going to need however is 1) a way of understanding how the retina is currently constructed (believe it or not, but after 150 years of study, we still don't know exactly how the circuits in the retina are constructed) and 2) how to interface the new films or chips to the cortex to make sensible visual signals. I am optimistic this can occur but we are still a number of years out.

Re:Almost a reality (1)

adeydas (837049) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231363)

Can nanotechnology help in cell transplant and removing genetic disorders too?

Re:Almost a reality (2, Insightful)

lukesl (555535) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231431)

I think that research is interesting in the short term, but ultimately what we want is the ability to regenerate a normal retina. And in the end, I think the retinal regeneration technology will win out over the artificial retina technology.

Re:Almost a reality (2, Funny)

BrainDebugged (835729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231458)

Fine by me, just as long as THEY [lycos.nl] look like THIS [halley.cc] .

30 years ago (2, Insightful)

odano (735445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231252)

30 years ago they said in 30 years we would all be driving flying cars and would have the moon colonized, so I'm not sure how much I can trust predictions like these.

Although it is easy to say with the speed technology is moving things like this will be invented, I am sure there are some giant problems that will need to be solved first, and unless we get lucky I dont think these new technologies will be available in my lifetime.

Re:30 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231383)

We probably COULD colonize the moon with today's technology. The hard part was getting there, and we did that 30 years ago. Energy? Solar power is extremely cheap, and large battery arrays can store energy for the lunar night. Atomosphere? We've successfully created self sufficient biodomes on earth, we can do it there.

What we lack is the political will to go there, and thus the money to fund such an undertaking.

Re:30 years ago (1)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231405)

I'd say it was more social limitations that prevented these events from happening.

1. Flying cars
We have trains that "fly" above the tracks. The reason people don't have flying cars is there is enough people killing themselves in regular "stay on the ground" cars.

2. Moon colonization
If the cold war had not ended and the competition still existed, there would have been a lot more space activity.

Re:30 years ago (1)

bloo9298 (258454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231463)

And in the sidenotes the predictions often said something about linking computers and being able to communicate across continents more easily... :-)

Teeth? (1, Offtopic)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231255)

There were some rumors on developing a technique of implanting stem cells or something like this to regrow missing teeth. Any news/details about that?

Re:Teeth? (1)

has2k1 (787264) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231429)

Wonderfull idea. That would give smokers a second chance to have great teeth.

Re:Teeth? (1)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231508)

Yeah the news is the government nixed stem cells. Sorry to be the one to report this.

Target date fudgery (1)

OccidentalSlashy (809265) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231257)

Happy 2035! Thirty years from now, we'll use bionic eyes giving us 'zoom vision' for faster reactions

It kind of sounds like you're saying that thirty years in the future, this stuff will still be thirty years in the future.

Only human nature (1)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231258)

I guess it's the human nature that everybody wants to be better, that's why people go to kindergarten, school, high school, university and whatnot.

However, the thing is not everybody can achieve the same result in the school, and I'm sure not everyone can be enhanced to be equally strong with these enhancers.

After enough time has passed, this technology will probably be another toy for a selected few, just Ferrari or Porsche.

Roland Piquepaille and /.: Is there a connection? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231259)

Roland Piquepaille and Slashdot: Is there a connection?

I think most of you are aware of the controversy surrounding regular Slashdot article submitter Roland Piquepaille. For those of you who don't know, please allow me to bring forth all the facts. Roland Piquepaille has an online journal (I refuse to use the word "blog") located at www.primidi.com [primidi.com] [primidi.com] . It is titled "Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends". It consists almost entirely of content, both text and pictures, taken from reputable news websites and online technical journals. He does give credit to the other websites, but it wasn't always so. Only after many complaints were raised by the Slashdot readership did he start giving credit where credit was due. However, this is not what the controversy is about.

Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends serves online advertisements through a service called Blogads, located at www.blogads.com [blogads.com] [blogads.com]. Blogads is not your traditional online advertiser; rather than base payments on click-throughs, Blogads pays a flat fee based on the level of traffic your online journal generates. This way Blogads can guarantee that an advertisement on a particular online journal will reach a particular number of users. So advertisements on high traffic online journals are appropriately more expensive to buy, but the advertisement is guaranteed to be seen by a large amount of people. This, in turn, encourages people like Roland Piquepaille to try their best to increase traffic to their journals in order to increase the going rates for advertisements on their web pages. But advertisers do have some flexibility. Blogads serves two classes of advertisements. The premium ad space that is seen at the top of the web page by all viewers is reserved for "Special Advertisers"; it holds only one advertisement. The secondary ad space is located near the bottom half of the page, so that the user must scroll down the window to see it. This space can contain up to four advertisements and is reserved for regular advertisers, or just "Advertisers". Visit Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends (www.primidi.com [primidi.com] [primidi.com]) to see it for yourself.

Before we talk about money, let's talk about the service that Roland Piquepaille provides in his journal. He goes out and looks for interesting articles about new and emerging technologies. He provides a very brief overview of the articles, then copies a few choice paragraphs and the occasional picture from each article and puts them up on his web page. Finally, he adds a minimal amount of original content between the copied-and-pasted text in an effort to make the journal entry coherent and appear to add value to the original articles. Nothing more, nothing less.

Now let's talk about money.

Visit http://www.blogads.com/order_html?adstrip_category =tech&politics= [blogads.com] [blogads.com] to check the following facts for yourself. As of today, December XX 2004, the going rate for the premium advertisement space on Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends is $375 for one month. One of the four standard advertisements costs $150 for one month. So, the maximum advertising space brings in $375 x 1 + $150 x 4 = $975 for one month. Obviously not all $975 will go directly to Roland Piquepaille, as Blogads gets a portion of that as a service fee, but he will receive the majority of it. According to the FAQ [blogads.com] [blogads.com], Blogads takes 20%. So Roland Piquepaille gets 80% of $975, a maximum of $780 each month. www.primidi.com is hosted by clara.net (look it up at http://www.networksolutions.com/en_US/whois/index [networksolutions.com] [networksolutions.com]) . Browsing clara.net's hosting solutions, the most expensive hosting service is their Clarahost Advanced (http://www.uk.clara.net/clarahost/advanced.php [clara.net] [clara.net]) priced at ?69.99 GBP. This is roughly, at the time of this writing, $130 USD. Assuming Roland Piquepaille pays for the Clarahost Advanced hosting service, he is out $130 leaving him with a maximum net profit of $650 each month. Keeping your website registered with Network Solutions cost $34.99 per year, or about $3 per month. This leaves Roland Piquepaille with $647 each month. He may pay for additional services related to his online journal, but I was unable to find any evidence of this.

All of the above are cold, hard, verifiable facts, except where stated otherwise.

Now I will give you my personal opinion.

It appears that every single article submitted to Slashdot by Roland Piquepaille is accepted, and he submits multiple articles each month. As of today, it is clear that ten articles were accepted in October, six in November, and four in December (so far). See http://slashdot.org/~rpiquepa [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] for yourself. Some generate lots of discussion; others very little. What is clear is that, on a whole, this generates a lot of traffic for Roland Piquepaille. Just over 150000 hits each month according to Blogads. And the higher the traffic, the higher the advertisement rates Roland Piquepaille can charge. So, why do the Slashdot editors accept every single story from Roland Piquepaille? Is the content of his journal interesting and insightful? Of course it is, but not by Roland Piquepaille's doing. The actual content of his journal is ripped from the real articles, but at least he gives them credit now. Does the content of his journal bring about energitic discussion from the Slashdot readership? Yes, because the original articles from which he got his content are well written and researched and full of details.

So you may be asking, "What is so controversial about this?" Well, in almost every single article submitted by Roland Piquepaille, Slashdot readers complain that Roland Piquepaille is simply plaigarizing the original articles and that rather than linking to Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends on the front page of Slashdot (guaranteeing a large amount of traffic for him), Slashdot should instead link to the original articles. In essence, avoid going through the middle man (and making money for him!). The Slashdot readership that can see through Roland Piquepaille's farce objects on the basis that he stands to make a generous amount of money by doing very little work and instead piggy-backing on the hard work of other professional writers. Others argue that he is providing us with a service and should not be ashamed to want to get paid for it. But exactly what service is he providing us with?

He copies-and-pastes the meat of his journal entries from professional and academic journals and news magazines and submits about seven or eight of these "articles" to Slashdot each month.

Is this "service" worth up to $647 a month? Or, does each "article" represent up to $80 of work?

The real question is, why does Slashdot continue to accept every single one of his submissions when many of the readers see through the scam and whole-heartedly object to what he is doing? Maybe the Slashdot editors don't have much journalistic integrity. Haha, just kidding. We all know they wouldn't know integrity if it bitch-slapped a disobediant user talking about Slashcode internals or shut down www.censorware.org [google.com] [google.com] in a temper tantrum. Anyway, what incentive would Slashdot editors have to link to lame rehashes of original and insightful technology articles? What incentive would Roland Piquepaille have to constantly seek these tech articles and rehash them into lame journal entires and submit them to Slashdot? I submit to you, the Slashdot reader, that the incentive for each is one and the same. Now that you have been informed of the facts of the situation, you can make your own decision.

So that's what it's about (3, Funny)

paughsw (620959) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231261)

So that's what all these "enhancement" emails I've been getting are about.

How long until Prosthetic Bodies? (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231262)

Are the norm?

STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231263)

Slashdot editors, WAKE UP [slashdot.org] ! Stop posting everything Roland submits, please!

Re:STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231324)

remeber this is michael we're talking about here, the domain-hijacking, ip banning nazi. RR stories are posted mostly by him by far.

Re:STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231388)

This article doesn't link to Roland's website! WAKE UP!

Mod parent -1 Troll

Re:STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231417)

Are you blind? His name _is_ a link to his website. Maybe you're the one who should wake up.

Re:STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231475)

Are you blind?

Maybe the grandparent poster needs some body enhancements to fix that problem...

Re:STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT! (1)

koko775 (617640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231494)

Considering that he's submitted over 100 stories in the past year (search slashdot for Roland Piquepaille), he probably makes quite a decent living over his "research" and "journalism".

An Actual Reality (1)

zmilo (815667) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231265)

Can't...get...slashdot...out...of...my...head...

I hate Slashdot so much...... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231267)

It's like Jerry Springer for geeks. Please kill me.

Re:I hate Slashdot so much...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231315)

Michael! Michael! Michael! Michael! Michael! Whoooo

Re:I hate Slashdot so much...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231403)

" It's like Jerry Springer for geeks. Please kill me."

Ok. Where do you live? :)

Oh yeah? (1)

cghancock01 (790341) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231268)

Does anybody remember the Discovery Channel show "Beyond 2000?" Does anybody have a flyin car yet?

Evidence that this will happen includes... (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231271)

Athleats with normal 20/20 vision getting laser caritotimy to correct their vision to higher acuity than 'normal' 20/15 or 20/10.

Re:Evidence that this will happen includes... (1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231311)

thus pushes the question, what will be normal then?

3n1arg3 yur p3n1s!1!1! (2, Funny)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231272)

You'll see that some people are so convinced that [these] kind of human enhancements will happen...

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I keep getting email about "human enhancements".

But no nanobot is going to make this geek cool. ;)

No More Roland!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231274)

This Roland Piquepaille stuff is getting on my nerves. There is obviously some kind of either backdoor deal, or favoritism for this guy getting stories.

Where is your journalistic integrity?

Hey Slashdot! I feel like having the option to block this guy out on my Edit Home Page [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] Page. I mean, he has more submissions than "samzenpus," whoever the hell that is.

Don't force me to write a RSS filter that blocks phrasewords out. I'm feeling too lazy atm.

Interesting... (1)

zwilliams07 (840650) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231279)

/humming the Ghost In The Shell theme

Re:Interesting... (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231387)

Hey, we have another 25 years for that...

Even if we never get the cyberbrains, I won't be upset as long as I get my Tachikoma.
=Smidge=

Already split... (4, Funny)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231280)

, all sporting events 'will be split up to accommodate enhanced and unenhanced athletes.'"

Isn't that the difference between pro and amateur?

Re:Already split... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231413)

, all sporting events 'will be split up to accommodate enhanced and unenhanced athletes.'"

Isn't that the difference between pro and amateur?

I suspect most amateurs are 'enhanced' these days as well. Hell, most of the guys down at the local gym are enhanced.

Re:Already split... (1)

phoenix.bam! (642635) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231454)

Are all sporting events split up to accomodate athletes on steriods and those who are clean? I don't see why the enhanced/unenhanced would be any different.

Give me... (1)

NarrMaster (760073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231285)

Eyes that zoom and see in the infrared spectrum (and hope my brain adapts, or at least gives me a color overlay of heat) when it gets dark and faster reflexes, and I will be happy.

In the year 2000 (2, Funny)

Viper168 (650370) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231286)

I hear that by the year 2000 we'll even have flying cars!

To the future!

Re:In the year 2000 (1)

bozojoe (102606) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231395)

And they fold up into briefcases you can carry (with enchanced muscles)!!

Re:In the year 2000 (1)

Viper168 (650370) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231439)

Oh, those.

Uh, I've already got one, you see. It's very nice-a.

Re:In the year 2000 (1)

pnaro (78663) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231448)

Just because you didn't get yours yet, doesn't mean the rest of us aren't laughing at you! You probably believe you are going to get laid sometime too!

Steve Austin. Astronaut. A man barely alive. (4, Funny)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231288)

Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better ... stronger ... faster.
/obligatory

Re:Steve Austin. Astronaut. A man barely alive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231317)

And let's call the new Austin: Austin Powers! [austinpowers.com]

DANGER WILL ROBINSON! (1)

RileyLewis (826273) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231292)

Rolando Alert!

The real question.... (5, Insightful)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231297)

In thirty years, will Roland Piquepaille still be spamming Slashdot?

Cheers,

b&

Steroids? (2, Interesting)

kaedemichi255 (834073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231298)

There are athletes being "enhanced" right now. In my opinion, although those certain biotech innovations are probably not realistically going to arrive in the mass market in just a few decades, perhaps the use of technology in the medicinal/health sectors will spur the development of new ways of practicing traditional medicine that may ultimately have the same effect as the sci-fi-ish inventions we dream about.

They said the same thing in the 50s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231299)

"In 2000, Everyone will have flying cars and take vacations to Saturn and have their robo-maid make breakfast!"

Grey goo (1)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231302)

Any time I see nanotech discussed I always see someone panicing about "grey goo". Could someone please explain to me the whole "grey goo" phobia?

Re:Grey goo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231344)

Dunno, perhaps it's a reference to some old scifi movie, in black and white. Where goo of other colors (green) would have been grey on screen.

Re:Grey goo (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231365)

The grey goo concept is a nanobot that does nothing but self-replicate, or at least does the best approximation with the material at hand. The fear is such a creation would turn everything, including anything intended to stop it, into more grey goo.

Re:Grey goo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231370)

Here's the basic idea:

If there is malevolent, autonomous nanotechnology with a built in system for energy mining (like eating your face), we basically have no way to see it, fight it, etc.

It's scary to think about fighting things we can't see.

Re:Grey goo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231376)

The idea is that some mythical "self-replicating" nano-bot will do just that, copying it self at a exponential rate (since the copies are all busy copying themselves as well).

With exponential growth, they would quickly consume the entire earth.

Not gonna happen.

Such things as this could cause war. (2, Interesting)

Punboy (737239) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231305)

Gene Roddenberry predicted a war between enhanced humans and regular humans. Remember? Khan? And then there was another war like that later in the 21st century I think. Either way, both sides had significant casualties. I wouldn't be surprised if it actually happened, would you?

Star Trek geekout (1)

istewart (463887) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231394)

Originally, the Eugenics Wars were set in the late 21st century (around 1996), according to "Space Seed." The war later in the 21st century was from a throwaway line in a DS9 episode, and a blatant attempt to make up for the fact that the Eugenics Wars didn't really happen. :)

Greg Cox has lately authored a good series of ST novels on the Eugenics Wars. He recasts it as a kind of "behind-the-scenes" thing centered around real life events. The enhancements to Khan and his bretheren mainly seem to focus on muscle strength and cognitive abilities, not necessarily any enhanced optics or anything the article's talking about. Perhaps designer gene modification to one's unborn offspring will become popular, but that would probably be far more dangerous than bionics.

Re:Such things as this could cause war. (2, Funny)

TLLOTS (827806) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231422)

Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

Sorry, couldn't resist :P

This is just a dream, Fale Expectations..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231310)

Most folks who get cancer, pak, ALS, alhemizers, and other terminal diseases died from them within a few years. Yet, this article is offering medical expectations that weren't even possible on star trek... Come on down to earth for the new year celebration.

Coming to spam you... (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231318)

Viagrabots!

Sports, sports, so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231325)

Am I the only one who couldn't care less what happens to spectator sports? These technologies will have such a broad impact, the effect on spectator sports is very near to be one of the least interesting ones...

Pilots (3, Funny)

Nine Tenths of The W (829559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231347)

What would this mean for pilots, given the strict perfect vision/no eye damage requirements they have?

And, more importantly, when can I get razor blades that shoot out from under my fingernails?

Re:Pilots (2, Funny)

GoogleBot (729748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231491)

...And, more importantly, when can I get razor blades that shoot out from under my fingernails?

Im not sure about that, but on a related note, anyone know where I can find a cowboy named Case?

Apparently, he may be able to do some work for me...

Kurzweil foresaw this. (0)

FireballX301 (766274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231353)

I have a copy of 'The Age of Spiritual Machines' by Ray Kurzweil, and he essentially predicts that organic systems and bodies will be outmoded within a century. Personally, I find this vision disturbing, and am personally against add-ons that don't 'repair' the human body. I'm by no means religious, but there has to be some pride in using what was given to you by luck of the draw to the best of your abilities.

But full cyborgs are bound to exist sooner or later.

30 years ago... (1)

jr87 (653146) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231356)

we said something similar....I want my colony on mars damnit!

We won't have a choice (4, Interesting)

omnirealm (244599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231358)

Nanobots injected in our bloodstream will complement our immune system.



Actually, I do not think we will have a choice in the matter on this one. Before too long, there will be hostile (or just poorly designed and self-replicating) nanobots that will kill us when they get into our bodies. We will need some sort of immediate defense against this new threat; if anything, an outbreak caused by a malicious type of nanobot will spurn the development of the nanobot that complements our immune system and defends against the malicious nanobot. This sort of thing has long been addressed in science fiction novels, but it seems like something that is closer than we might imagine.

Enchanceds' competition already exists (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231359)

It's called Paralympics [paralympic.org] .

Sporting is like that now - just make it official (2, Interesting)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231367)

...all sporting events 'will be split up to accommodate enhanced and unenhanced athletes.'"

Judging by the number of athletes that get caught for using different kinds of doping substances at every major event, this is reality right now.

I have been wondering if we should do a split now; ie. have separate races for "boosted" athletes and another series for "traditional". The boosted version could have all kinds of medical companies as sponsors...Think of that bodybuilder with Pfizer tattooed on his muscles. Of course, life expectancy drops to around 30 years until the heart explodes, but at least you get famous.

Maybe they could even have separate points for "athletes" and "teams" like in motorsports. Teams would have loads of MDs coming up with better and more powerful stuff...

Since I really don't care about traditional sporting events at all, but this version might be fun to watch from an (bio-)engineering point of view.

Check the patents! (1)

payndz (589033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231368)

Artificial muscles? Bionic eyes? If the name 'Genom Corp' or 'Brian J Mason' is attached to any of the patents, then by 2032 (or 2040, if you prefer) we might have more to worry about than athletes cheating at the Olympics!

The Two I'm Looking Forward to are (4, Interesting)

ewanrg (446949) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231373)

Personally, the two enhancements I'm looking forward to are:

1) Augmented memory. No more forgetting names or passwords. Though it does add some real interesting issues for DRM (can you force me to forget a movie after remembering it X times)

2) Direct connect to the net - the ability to check GPS to figure out what I might be looking at, or the apocryphal doing google searches when asked a question would be very useful.

Just my .02 worth...

---

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a blog [blogspot.com]

Re:The Two I'm Looking Forward to are (1)

WolfWithoutAClause (162946) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231488)

You can already do these.

1) Augmented memory. No more forgetting names or passwords.

Actually, mnemonic techniques [web-us.com] give you that, you know, like those 'memory man' guys that can remember the names of the entire audience? That's how they do that.

2) Direct connect to the net

I already have that :-)

- the ability to check GPS to figure out what I might be looking at,

Geocaching [geocaching.com] and it's kin?

or the apocryphal doing google searches when asked a question would be very useful.

I used to do that in audio conference meetings, I would sit at my desk and be online at the same time. Really cool.

Allready here (1)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231380)

"all sporting events 'will be split up to accommodate enhanced and unenhanced athletes"

I recall a comedian talking about performance enhancing drugs and the people who say it is ok for an athlete to enhance their performances with any means they can. His response was "Ok, you enhance yourself with steroids, I'll enhance myself with this motor car."

I am an athlete that is enhanced by being encased in metal in which my power is increased to several hundred hp.

PS: "happy new beer" "Crappy glue fear" "Snappy blue gear" whatever.

"science" + "fiction" (4, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231392)

Thirty years from now, we'll use bionic eyes [...] science fiction? Not at all.

When you're making predictions about the future, hypothetical applications of current scientific research, you are making science fiction!

Same joke many times (1)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231401)

Who cares about being able to bench cars? Admit to yourself how rarely this would be useful and grow as a human being.

Of course, usefulness has little to do with the first cybernetic implant on *my* christmas list in 2020.

The Mr Stud's Implant. [passagen.se]

Every robot will have a 12" steel johnson. [goats.com]

Re:Same joke many times (1)

NarrMaster (760073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231436)

Well, the Bench Press has a small carryover to punching power (small because the hips and torso play a more important role), so, benching a car + increased strength in other areas = scary punching strength. That would be pretty useful.

You want karate?

ignorance of underlying biology (5, Insightful)

lukesl (555535) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231402)

I feel like I see articles like this all the time, and the underlying current is one of thinking that there are all these engineering breakthroughs that will make things that operate better than the native biological system. Engineers often tend to think this way, not unlike the carpenter who thinks the moon is made of wood. As a biologist, I may be somewhat guilty of the opposite bias, but the truth of the matter is that engineers have seldom been able to make materials and machines that operate as well as their biological counterparts. For example, artificial joints and teeth are all vastly inferior to their biological counterparts, and they will be for a while yet.

My point is that human enhancement will occur, but this article grossly underestimates the role molecular biology will have in the near future. For example, to make soldiers with more endurance, you could try replacing their blood with an artificial substitute, or you could give them recombinant erythropoeitin to increase their red blood cell count. The EPO injections are trivial (ask professional bicyclists), but after years and years of research, we still don't have an acceptable artificial blood substitute.

As far as artificial muscles go...that is just ridiculous. To think that in 30 years we will be implanting stuff like that into peoples' bodies. We will be growing muscle tissue in vats and implanting long before we deal with artifical stuff. However, first we will be using relatively simple methods to locally control muscle growth (like small molecule inhibitors of receptors for hormones that inhibit muscle growth, etc.) That alone will be huge.

I think the real lack of conceptual understanding has to do with the evolutionary perspective. Basically, humans are incredibly good at doing things that humans have to do in the wild, and the only easy enhancements that we can make are "enhancements" that actually decrease our fitness from the hunter-gatherer perspective. For example, stronger muscles require a huge food intake, so they're selected against. In this day and age, that's easy to get around, with steroids or other technologies. It's easy to increase endurance with EPO injections, but there are obvious problems (e.g. death) associated with that as well. People seem to think that it will be as easy to improve cognitive abilities or immune system function, but that's just wrong. Our brains and immune systems already operate pretty much at their optimum, and claims that we could simply inject "nanobots" that improve the function of either are ridiculously ignorant.

Here's another prediction (5, Insightful)

Alceste (138400) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231412)

In thirty years slashdot will still be enamored with poorly researched, jargon infused, poorly written future-bation.

Huh? (4, Interesting)

Gyan (6853) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231415)

You'll see that some people are so convinced that this kind of human enhancements will happen that they predict than in a few decades, all sporting events 'will be split up to accommodate enhanced and unenhanced athletes.'"

What's the difference between enhanced and unenhanced?

Isn't the athlete from a rich country with well-equipped training facilities, tailored nutrition and good trainers already an enhanced athlete compared to an athlete from some small 3rd world country?

This dichotomy to what constitutes enhancement and what doesn't smacks of a medieval perspective of the human condition.

Re:Huh? (1)

Metagenki (845230) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231503)

No. There's a difference between somebody who is natural and somebody who has a modified body. Having better training facilities is not the same as being altered by drugs or especially engineering.

I'm not religious, but I think this stuff is wrong and kinda scary.

Good.... (2, Funny)

mikeswi (658619) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231416)

Because I can't see across the friggin living room to the TV without my eyeglasses.....

What? (3, Informative)

YOU LIKEWISE FAIL IT (651184) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231423)

So you think it's science fiction? Not at all. You'll see that some people are so convinced that this kind of human enhancements will happen...

I can go down to the local crystal shop as well and find people that are convinced the unicorns and fey folk are coming back - this doesn't make it any less fictitious.

Sadly, in this world, wishing don't make it so.

YLFI

Already have these things (2, Funny)

bshellenberg (779684) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231449)

I didn't RTFA (just the news story) and from what is covered there, just grab some steroids, cocaine and some over-prescribed glasses. No need to wait.

Who the fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231459)

is going to pay for all this?

So? (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231481)

Some 40 years ago there were scientists that believed we'd have flying cars and a sightseeing trips to mars by now.

My point is that you shouldn't believe everything you read.

If this is for real … (4, Funny)

Compact Dick (518888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231493)

... I will need a new handle.

Prey (the novel) (1)

britneys 9th husband (741556) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231498)

Anyone read Prey by Michael Crichton? I don't think this is such a good idea. The last place I want nanobots is in my bloodstream.

Enhanced Althetes=Better Hockey Fights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11231509)

think about it:

While enchancing atheletes physical abilities will result in more interesting sports, it will also affect the atheletes behavior.

If you make superhumans just to play games, and the atheletes now can't control their emotions, who's to say that the futurre will not lead to more devastating hockey fights and more bench-clearing and head-popping-off brawls.

God forbid a facemask call in football will be changed to something out of Mortal Kombat, with a lineman holding up a bloodied quartebacks' helmeted head, and, the scoreborad saying: Gruntsberger Sets New Record for Quarterback Decaps!

And, help us all, if the venues don't wall out the fans. A cyborged-up Ron Artest could wreak havoc even if the fans sneak in their beer cup cannon arm attachments.

On the brighter side, maybe the sport of curling would be more interesting because there wouldn't be a need for brooms, instead participants would use their lizardified tongues to flick the puck down the ice, or something like that.

Nonetheless, let the age of Mortal Kombat begin!!!!!!!

The Postman (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 9 years ago | (#11231517)

I suggest everyone read the book The Postman. The movie was loosely based on the book but leaves out the more interesting parts about human enhancements for military use and such. It's really quite a good book regardless to if you liked the movie or not.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?