Beyond Human: Living with Robots and Cyborgs

Overview

Concepts once purely fiction ? robots, cyborg parts, artificial intelligences ? are becoming part of everyday reality. Soon robots will be everywhere, performing surgery, exploring hazardous places, making rescues, fighting fires, handling heavy goods. After a decade or two, they will be as unremarkable as the computer screen is now in offices, airports or restaurants.

Cyborgs will be less obvious. These additions to the human body are interior now, as rebuilt joints, elbows and...

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Beyond Human: Living with Robots and Cyborgs

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Overview

Concepts once purely fiction — robots, cyborg parts, artificial intelligences — are becoming part of everyday reality. Soon robots will be everywhere, performing surgery, exploring hazardous places, making rescues, fighting fires, handling heavy goods. After a decade or two, they will be as unremarkable as the computer screen is now in offices, airports or restaurants.

Cyborgs will be less obvious. These additions to the human body are interior now, as rebuilt joints, elbows and hearts. Soon we will cross the line between repair and augmentation, probably first in sports medicine, then spreading to everyone who wants to make a body perform better, last longer, than it ordinarily could. Controversy will arise, but it will not stop the desire to live longer and be stronger than we are.

This book treats the landscape of human self-change and robotic development as poles of the same general phenomenon.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Deep Time

"Professor and distinguished sf writer Benford adds another reflective title to his large and rapidly expanding oeuvre. Hearty and compelling, his new book elucidates some of the inherent problems humanity faces in communicating over the expanse of time. This slim book addresses environmental issues in order to change how we think about the human impact on Earth; the goal is to make us good stewards. Recommended for all public and academic libraries.—Library Journal

"Combining the flair of a novelist with the cutting-edge science of a physicist, Gregory Benford tells a fascinating tale of one of the deepest questions human beings can ask: How do we communicate with our distant descendants or with extraterrestrials? I know of no book that combines these ingredients in such a hearty meal for the intellect." —John L. Casti, Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM; author of Paradigms Lost and The Cambridge Quintet

"We have no evolutionary basis for thinking rationally about the distant future, and Gregory Benford's delightful book documents our feeble efforts to do so. We feel a sense of responsibility to and for a future far beyond our span, and it will not go away. Deep Time addresses the why and the how of truly deep issues, in a fun read. I know of no other book on this intriguing subject." —Hal Lewis, Professor of Physics, University of California at Santa Barbara; author of Technological Risk

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765310828
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 9/18/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 10.04 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregory Benford

GREGORY BENFORD teaches at the University of California and lives in Irvine, California. Benford is a winner of the United Nations Medal for Literature, and the Nebula Award for his novel Timescape. In1995 he received the Lord Prize for contributions to science. Benford conducts research in plasma turbulence theory and experimentation, and in astrophysics. He has published well over a hundred papers in fields of physics from condensed matter, particle physics, plasmas and mathematical physics, and several in biological conservation.

ELIZABETH MALARTRE is the pen name for a biologist and writer living in Laguna Beach. She is a multiple-award winning environmentalist with a 25-year career in land preservation. Her current research centers on the Pandora moth in the Eastern Sierra in California.

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Table of Contents

Preface 7

Part I Man Plus: Augmentation: From an Old Tradition to Our Brave New Bionic World 13

1 You, Too, Can Be Superhuman 23

2 The Augmented Animal 39

3 Chips, Brains, and Minds 73

4 Man Plus & Plus & Plus &... 101

Part II Robots Plus: Anthrobots-Machines R Us 129

5 Robots to Order 133

6 Robowar 149

7 The Rights and Wrongs of Robots 161

8 Us and Them 179

Part III 'Bots, 'Borgs, Bionics, and Betters: Reservations Recommended 195

9 Wearable Computers: Blending Man and Machine 197

10 Metaman 221

11 The Long Perspective 239

References 257

Acknowledgments 261

Index 263

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