The disappearing human–machine divide
Warwick, Kevin (2013)
The Donner Institute, Åbo Akademi
Kevin Warwick is Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, England where his research interests are artificial intelligence, robotics, biomedical engineering and control. He obtained his PhD and later a DSc from Imperial College London and has a further DrSc from the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague. He has six honorary doctorates. He has published a number of books including I, Cyborg and March of the Machines (2002), his most recent being Artificial Intelligence: The Basics (2012). He has appeared in the Guinness Book of Records for his research on several occasions and is perhaps best known for his implant self-experimentation, linking his own nervous system with a computer network.
In this article a look is taken at some of the different ways in which the human–machine divide is rapidly disappearing. In each case the technical basis is described and then some of the implications are also considered. In particular results from experiments are discussed in terms of their meaning and application possibilities. The article is written from the perspective of scientific experimentation opening up realistic possibilities to be faced in the future, rather than giving conclusive comments. In each case consideration is also given to some of the philosophical questions that arise.