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Captain Cyborg Is Back! Kevin Warwick Predicts the Future 57

richi writes "Kevin Warwick: His name raises extremes of opinion. For more than a decade, this highly controversial cybernetics professor has been making waves. His high-profile experiments — and even higher-profile claim that he's the first living cyborg — earned him column inches and unflattering nicknames. In this Forbes interview, 'Captain Cyborg' talks about exploding motorcycles, wireless power, and fish and chips."
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Captain Cyborg Is Back! Kevin Warwick Predicts the Future

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  • Kevin Warwick = (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Captain Fuckwit. Not Captain Cyborg.

  • Steve Mann (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NoImNotNineVolt ( 832851 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @08:20AM (#45001041) Homepage
    Steve Mann [] (Wearcam, Eyetap, etc.) has been the first living cyborg since at least the 80s.
    • If we're going for pedantry - and I assume that's what this is about - someone who actually implants tech inside his body has more of a claim than somebody who just wears it as an accessory.

      • by khallow ( 566160 )
        And why would pedantry go for that? We'd have to give the score to the first person with a wooden leg, fake teeth, or glass eye in that case.
        • I don't think simple machines count. I think you need machinery for it to be a cyborg thing. Also, wooden legs, fake teeth, and glass eyes are all readily detachable. The eye is at least sort of inside the body, but it's not a machine at all.

          • I have started a dangerous game here. I'll head it off by proposing the first man to accidentally ingest a wristwatch.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            What about a pacemaker? According to Wikipedia [] the first completely implantable pacemaker was implanted as early as 1958. Which would make Arne Larsson the first Cyborg, at a time when Steve Mann wasn't even yet born.

          • I don't think simple machines count. I think you need machinery for it to be a cyborg thing.

            The "cyb-" part implies something cybernetic being a part of the mix. For example, a leg prosthesis with actuators and control circuitry connected to your neural system through some interface would qualify, but a wooden peg would not.

          • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

            You are correct. It has to be implanted and be a machine or electronic device. My eye's lens replacement I got back in 2006 counts - unlike the old style lenses, it sits on struts and will focus, powered by the eye's muscle. People with artificial joint implants are cyborgs. A pacemaker or a cochlear implant makes you a cyborg. A prosthetic or Google Glasses or sewing a useless chip under your skin does not.

            Most cyborgs are geezers. You will be assimilated... if you're lucky.

            Warwick's no cyborg, he's a loon

          • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

            well we have guys with experimental camera sensors feeding the brains with images(not very high resolution, but still).

            that's more of a claim to being cyborg than these guys, or doing stuff like slapping an rfid tag into your skin(because if that's cyborg then we have millions of cyborg pets!).

      • There have been actual cyborgs before, and as to W or M, they don't qualify. To be a cyborg you must have implanted into your body a device that replicates, or enhances a function that the body already has, or endows new ones, and that capability must be something that cannot function properly if outside the body.

        I don't see anything that Mann has actually implanted, so he fails.
        Warwick fails for the same reason. The only thing he implanted was an id chip. It would have worked just as well in his pocket as
  • by mikewilsonuk ( 1676196 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @08:21AM (#45001047)

    If the good captain is back in the public eye, it probably means he had a new book to promote.

    • Or he's ready to ASSIMILATE US ALL!


      • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

        Except he's not a real cyborg. No artificial knees or hips, no eye lens or cochlear implants, not even a pacemaker. I, on the other hand, was assimilated in 2006 when I had a focusable lens implanted in my left eye to replace the natural lens. I was severely nearsighted all my life and wore thick glasses, then had contacts AND reading glasses in middle age. Now not only do I no longer need corrective lenses, I have better than 20/20 vision. I see better than a kid, and I'm 61.

        Resistance is futile? When the

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gsslay ( 807818 )

      How dare he promote his book! He should sneak it out under plain brown paper cover and not say a word. If he carries on with this kind of publicity nonsense, why, people may find themselves reading it! And then where would we be?!

      Warwick has done a few daft stunts, but that's how you get the media to pay attention? Science needs people pushing at the edges of mainstream. They may often be on the wrong track, but I'd rather they were there doing it than not.

  • I assume that when Warwick talks about "fish and chips", they're not your ordinary fast food...
  • by TWiTfan ( 2887093 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @08:36AM (#45001177)

    And I trust a man FROM the future to know it better than just any old cyborg.

  • Kevin Bloody Warwick (Score:4, Interesting)

    by brain159 ( 113897 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @09:09AM (#45001491) Journal

    The only thing I need to say about Kevin Bloody Warwick is this:

    In his lectures in the Intro To Cybernetics module at the University Of Reading, he played long video clips from The Lawnmower Man. With a straight face.

    (Source: BSc in comp sci at Reading, 2000 - 2003)

    • by seanellis ( 302682 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @09:57AM (#45002039) Homepage Journal

      As a more ragged and old alumnus of the Reading University Cybs Deprtment (1984-1987), I have to add my own observation.

      Prior to Prof. Warwick being engaged, we were a backwater department of about 25 students per year, stuck in half of a drafty old WWII building at the Earley end of the campus, equipped wth a heating system inherited from early Pleistocene times. (The other half was the psychlogy department.)

      Warwick was appointed one year after I left. Within a year after that, the department moved to a nice shiny new building with hot water and transistors so plentiful that they didn't have to be desoldered and reused at the end of a project. I think that he can be credited with at least some of this upswing in fortune, even if he is a regular figure of fun in the news.

      • by HeckRuler ( 1369601 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @10:11AM (#45002219)

        Soooo.... He's a political mover and shaker that can get public funds funneled to his department to give his underlings a kooshier life while they... do whatever it is they do. Presumably they're doing something more important and beneficial to society than those poor shlubs in the psychology department who are still in the drafty WWII-era building.

        You know what would justify an "upswing in forturne" for that department? Actually doing some science, graduating students that go onto do impressive things in their field, publishing meaningful papers, and bringing glory to the school for all the awesome shit they do. The bit where the professor gets in the news and you get a swanky building are supposed to come after that, not before.

        • Why all the hate? The dude connected a computer interface directly to his nervous system, and it worked as intended. Even without knowing any details, I think this is quite nice.

          While we are at it, can you please define what you mean by "impressive" things in the field of Cybernetics, "meaningful" papers, and bringing "glory" to the school? You dismiss the talent for raising money, which is an extremely useful skill for anyone but a pure mathematician, and the one we can quantify more or less objectively.

          • Oh, don't get me wrong, I don't even know the guy or what he's really done. It's just that Seanellis's defense of the man falls short. Once you parse through it, the defense actually looks like an insult to the man. You know, cause it's showcasing the meaningless metrics rather than what would actually impress us.

            can you please define what you mean by "impressive" things in the field of Cybernetics,

            Connecting a computer interface to a nervous system is indeed impressive. Kinda old-hat now a days, but it's something that they're continually striving to do better all the time. Also on the list

        • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

          Soooo.... He's a political mover and shaker that can get public funds funneled to his department to give his underlings a kooshier life while they... do whatever it is they do.

          What does "kooshier" mean? Google has no clue, it shows Kooshier as being a brand of paint and suggests that I may have misspelled "kosher", which doesn't fit in the context of your sentence. Is it some sort of British slang?

      • by richi ( 74551 )

        Blimey! Look at that! It's Sean Ellis!

        And other co-class-of-1987 phrases punctuated with an exclamation mark.

        Hello, old chap.

  • by StoneyMahoney ( 1488261 ) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @09:30AM (#45001709)

    For anyone interested in being 'the kind of cyborg'* this guy was, it's way too easy.

    1 - Put your RFID-based travel pass in your glove
    2 - Open ticket barriers by waving your hand at the sensor

    (*Other options: Jedi knight, wizard, the media's idea of Kevin Mitnick)

    • The only reason you'd want to surgically implant something is for that feedback where typing things in fingers or fiddling with knobs and such just won't cut it. Replacement eyeballs, limb control, and thought controlled devices are really cool. Or, you know, it's making up for something your body is just failing to do: pacemakers, dialysis, and such.

      But for everything else, you want it to be trivially replaceable, upgradeable, and not to fuck around with SURGERY. You want your external brain to be a comfor

  • People with them are probably the first cyborgs.
    • I'd say that would be a candidate. First useful one was done in 78, though the first CI ever was done in 1957. I just got one myself!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This fellow sounds like a bit of a douche bag.

    Oh, if only everyone could be interviewed in a national journal about their opinions!

  • I have no idea who that is.

  • waiting for xbox

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