Kevin Warwick on Singularity 1 on 1: Be/Come the Cy/Borg

by Socrates on February 21, 2011

This is my second interview with Prof. Kevin Warwick.

Last time I had him on Singularity 1 on 1 - You Have to Take Risks to be Part of the Future, he shared his views on a wide variety of topics such as human and artificial intelligence, robotics, the technological singularity, God, the beginning of the universe and so on.

This time around Kevin discusses issues such as: the difference between genius and madness; the magnetic implants and sensory-substitution-devices developed by his students (see picture gallery below); the recent problems surrounding his rat-brain-cell-robot project; the historical contribution, under-appreciated genius and tragic life of Alan Turing; the Turing Test; Watson - IBM’s amazing Jeopardy champion; and, finally, be/coming cy/borg.

As always, you can listen to or download the audio above or watch the full video of the interview below. Most importantly – don’t hesitate to let me know what you think…

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Picture Gallery:

Who is Kevin Warwick?

Kevin Warwick is Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, England, where he carries out research in artificial intelligence, control, robotics and cyborgs.

As well as publishing over 500 research papers, Kevin’s experiments into implant technology led to him being featured as the cover story on the US magazine Wired. He has been awarded higher doctorates (DSc) both by Imperial College and the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, and has received Honorary Doctorates from Aston University, Bradford University and Coventry University. He was presented with The Future of Health Technology Award in MIT, was made an Honorary Member of the Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, received The IEE Senior Achievement Medal and the Mountbatten Medal. In 2000 Kevin presented the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, entitled “The Rise of the Robots”.

Kevin’s most recent research involves the invention of an intelligent deep brain stimulator to counteract the effects of Parkinson Disease tremors. Another project involves the use of biological neural networks to drive robots around. Kevin is though best known for his pioneering experiments involving a neuro-surgical implantation into the median nerves of his left arm to link his nervous system directly to a computer. He was successful with the first extra-sensory (ultrasonic) input for a human and with the first purely electronic telegraphic communication experiment between the nervous systems of two humans — himself and his wife Irena.

For more information you can visit Kevin Warwick’s Official Site:

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  • Pandaren

    Great and funny interview! Thanks again for good work. Looking forward for his next interview.

    From Finland

  • CMStewart

    Warwick believes Watson has a (rudimentary) “appreciative understanding” of its functioning as we humans define “appreciative understanding”? That sounds like a keystone for human rights for AI.

    Great insights about the Borg. Who knows? That may be our fate. I agree- the Borg would be clever enough to either: 1. make us think we need to join above all else or 2. pull a sleight of hand so smooth and quick we wouldn’t know what happened, and even if we knew, we wouldn’t care.

    Great interview! Humorous and thought-provoking.

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