Re: headless horseman

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sat Jan 06 2001 - 21:37:01 MST

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> I think it is doable. The heart can manage on its own fairly well
> (people survive having the vagus nerve cut, for example when
> undergoing heart transplants), and giving it electrical stimulation is
> old hat. The digestive system is equipped with a quite self-sufficient
> neural network, and given some extra stimulance it would likely be
> possible to keep it running. Muscle control of excretion and
> urination might be lacking, but I guess that could be fixed with
> electric stimulation or cathethers. If it doesn't work, you could
> always use total parentheral nutrition.
> The most obvious problem is lack of hormonal control from the
> pituitary; while hormones could be supplied with a cathether the
> natural hormones follow fairly complex rhythms that can be tricky to
> reproduce. I don't think that is a serious problem, but it is yet
> another factor that might decrease viability.
> I guess that it might be more work than its worth, but maybe body
> gardening is a hobby some people might like.

Hm... I was just wondering whether you could hook up an AI to such a
body. I'm not quite sure what the point of that would be, aside from the
sheer exhiliaration of mad science.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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