Monday, 27 October 2003

The Borg Hypothesis

The subtitle of this blog is
Intermittent postings from Canberra, Australia on Software Development, Space, Politics, and Interesting URLs.

And of course, Brains...
So it's interesting to see an Interesting URL which encompasses Software Development, Space, and Brains. A quote:
For long-duration space missions, we must approach Borgification from two directions:
  • Machines, as we know them today, must become more biological in certain respects. They must possess functionalities such as self-repair and self-defense, for example. (Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are already working on systems that can train themselves to become new circuits.) Not just when the machines are in use, but also as they are created and decommissioned, processes must be more biological -that is, more like growing and recycling than manufacturing and discarding.
  • Bodies, as we know them today, must become more machine-like in certain respects. We are already on that path, but taking it further, wouldn't it be nice, for example, to fix our bodies so that radiation and low gravity do less harm? Computational technology also holds great and perhaps more immediate promise, for instance, using artificial intelligence technologies inside us.
For long-duration space missions, we may have to put intelligent technologies inside of us. Brave new worlds are usually described in a context implying choice, choice of paths that might lead either to utopias or to hells. Perhaps humanity made its choice already, eons ago when creatures first began wondering at the stars.
One of my first posts on this blog was "Computer, Heal Thyself" (you'll have to scroll down to it). FedSat's High Performance Computing Experiment demonstrated exactly this biological-like "self-repair" capability when damaged by Radiation. This stuff is not too far away, we should be thinking about the ethical implications now.

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