Re: Future Tech.

Anders Sandberg (
Wed, 7 May 1997 21:10:42 +0200 (MET DST)

On Wed, 7 May 1997, MikeRose wrote:

> I personally doubt an 'artificial brain' will be possible in 2037. Have
> British Telecom gone absolutely mad?

No, but the newspapers are uncritical. The artificial brain (the "Soulsucker
2000 Chip") was intended as a dramatic and humoristic ending of their
talk, but some journalists thought it was reality, and then other
journalists copied them, and so on.

> 1999 : man-made blood and artificial pancreas will be available to
> patients. We will also be "talking to our fridges" by introducing an email
> pager that you talk to, with a magnet on the back to attatch to
> aforementioned refridgerator.

The artificial pancreas is underway, and the email pager practically
exists (it just has to become cheaper; think ubiquitious computing).

> 2007 : we will be carrying "personal health monitors" to warn us before we
> become ill.

Sounds hard to implement without direct access into the bloodstream - not
entirely advisable but perhaps doable. I would implement it as a biosensor
chip implanted beneath the skin on the left arm so that a combined
clock/monitor could communicate with it and measure temperature, blood
pressure and chemical balance. Not entirely reliable, but probably useful.

> 2010 : artificial cats and dogs will be introduced
> The robot "cat" is already here and living in Pearson's kitchen. "It would
> not take much to add robotic legs and furry covering and replacing the
> insides with a radio link to a pwerful computer. The cat could then be
> your personal butler, booking taxis, doing your home shopping and sorting
> out your accounts."

The household robot - it is always 20 years into the future, just like
fusion. But agents are here, and seeing them as pets and animals rather
than servants might be an useful metaphor.

> 2015 : a bionic man will artifical legs will be a reality

Well, we can already make myoelectric legs. I assume that by 2015 they
finally become useful if we can develop battery technology far enough
(this is the current limiting factor - would you trust a leg that could
give out after a few hours use?).

> "because of advances in processing speed and memory storage, computers wil
> be more intelligent and creative than man in 2015. By 2025 we will be able
> to read what the brain is thinking and feed information into it to
> supercede learning."

Lot's of assumptions, but Hans Moravec agrees.

> 2020 : Property values become so high that complete underground cities are
> constructed, serviced by computerised appliances that will recognise our
> desires by body language.

Underground cities are more expensive to build than skyscraper cities and
arcologies. Devices reacting to body language are being researched today
(affective computing, see the MIT Media Lab).

> 2030 : other artifical organs will be available such as lungs, kidneys,
> liver and "senses"

A conservative estimate. It is likely that at least the liver will be
based on real cells, perhaps cloned or from animals.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
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