Apparently, the future is about us organic humans becoming mechanical transhumans, humans with robotic bodies. Personally, I doubt that this can be done. My doubt stems from the fact that I do not think we can put the consciousness of a human into either a mechanical or a digitally made body. We don’t know what consciousness is let alone catch it, bundle it up and upload to it a robot.
We hear Elon Musk and others like him rant on about the neural link and how we will all be put into a connected neural network, our brains will all be connected to each other and to computers. To do this Musk and his team have to develop a super intelligence style artificial intelligence but once he has solved it we will be able to download films straight to our brains to watch from inside our heads, we will be able to download a teaching program for anything we want to learn-having trouble doing maths? Well just plug it and have the network that your brain is connected to do it all for you.
Can our consciousness be connected to this type of machinery and network? I think it’s impossible.
Yet we have been programmed to be prepared for this since most of us were kids. Many of you reading this will remember the bionic man, Steve Austin. OK, it’s a TV series but as a kid I loved it and thought it would be great to have an arm, a leg or an eye replaced with a robotic version. Then along came Jaime Sommers, the bionic woman followed by Maximillian, the bionic dog. So as a kid I believed that my pets would live for ever because their body would be replaced with robotic parts and, Gods forbid, should I lose a limb in an accident it would be replaced with a bionic one.
The future looked fantastic! I would be faster and stronger with my bionics, the definition of which is the construction of artificial systems by the fusion of science and nature. In other words, computer driven arms and legs.
How did Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers get their bionic arms and legs to do as they wished? They must have been implanted with some kind of chip that provides a neural to limb connection.
So, in the future we could all have our organic bodies, insides and out, replaced with mechanical cybernetic style bodies and have our brain placed into it. My next question would be what about the mind?
The mind and the brain maybe connected but they are not the same thing. The mind is complex, not an actual thing, we have very little understanding of it, how it works, where it actually is. Most people will say it is in the brain and that would make sense since the brain is the organic computer inside of us that makes the body work and integrates all the sensory information from our body and helps control our bodily functions.
The mind, as said above, is not a ‘thing’, it is connected to our consciousness, it makes us aware of ourselves and the world around us but it is not a physical object. Which is where I get confused as to the ideas of Musk and others like him that the future could be us walking about in robotic suits being cyborgs. Is it possible?
Many years ago, I would have loved this idea but now I am not so sure. I have enough trouble getting my laptop to work properly let alone a cyborg body. Computers seems to have a mind of their own, their mission seems to be to piss me off. My laptop likes to go slow when I am in a hurry, it decides to do updates when I am halfway through an important project, it wants to restart to update itself at the most inconvenient times and so on.
Will my cyborg be like that? Will I have the patience to deal with my robotic body suddenly deciding it was going to have a download or an update or reboot itself just as I am in the middle of something? If I am trapped in my cyborg body when this happens there will be no escape whereas with my laptop when it does this, rather than fume and want to thrown it out of the window I can just get up and walk away.
Not sure if that will be possible when my mind is trapped in a cyborg body….
On a more serious note I have written a fictional account of the pros and cons of the future of humanity and whether it will stay organic or find the ability to actually transform consciousness into a cyborg style body. This and more is looked at in my latest book ‘Monkey Mind Robot Body’ available as paperback and of course as an immediate download of an eBook straight to your neural link.