Artificial Creation, Lab-Made Humans

Discussion in 'World News' started by Admin, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

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    Artificial Creation, Lab-Made Humans: Scientists Grow Human Eggs to Full Maturity Outside the Womb
    For the first time, scientists have developed human eggs, outside the of the human body, from the earliest stages in ovarian tissue and grown them to full maturity.

    The research paves the way towards lab-grown humans, and further increases the reality that mankind is attempting to remove the Hand of God from creation.

    Artificial wombs, artificial eggs, artificial intelligence, all of which was once science fiction, is now becoming reality. Happening now is the research to create children outside of a mothers womb, and even further, entirely design the creation through manipulating its DNA.

    For the reason of alleviating infertility, scientists have sidestepped the ethical boundaries, and are directly closing in on developing methods to create lab-grown babies.

    “Being able to fully develop human eggs in the lab could widen the scope of available fertility treatments. We are now working on optimizing the conditions that support egg development in this way and studying how healthy they are,” said Evelyn Telfer, who co-led the work.

    “This early data suggests this may well be feasible in the future,” said Ali Abbara, a senior clinical lecturer in endocrinology at Imperial College London.

    “(But) the technology remains at an early stage, and much more work is needed to make sure that the technique is safe and optimized before we ascertain whether these eggs remain normal during the process, and can be fertilized to form embryos that could lead to healthy babies.” – See Works Cited for Sourcing Information."

    As previously discussed in our section on Genetic Engineering, scientists are creating the possibility to develop humans outside of the womb, through what is called an artificial womb.

    Scientists and researchers have worked tirelessly to bring to life an ‘ectogenesis,’ where humanity no longer needs humanity to create babies. The coming problem is much bigger than the one we face today, and unfortunately so many fail to realize the drastic shift in our culture is due to an agenda driving scientific discovery.

    In fact, science has brought us so close to these ungodly creations that artists are beginning to develop ‘the style’ of artificial wombs. In the video above, two university students have developed what a realistic artificial womb could look like, in the near future.

    While implementation of these ‘developments’ is still a ways off, the technology, methodology, and ability to further push the bounds ethics and humanity is already available.

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  2. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

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    'Clear and present danger' from new A.I

    Artificial intelligence is expected to become a "game changer" enabling more sophisticated cyber and physical attacks on individuals, groups and institutions, international experts warn.

    The world is likely to see rapid growth in cyber crime and the use of drones over the next decade, with "an unprecedented rise in the use of (internet) 'bots' to manipulate everything from elections to the news agenda and social media," the experts said in a report.

    The 26 experts from Cambridge and Oxford universities, think-tanks, cyber-security firms and digital rights groups urged governments and corporations to "address the clear and present danger inherent in the myriad applications of A.I."

    "A.I. will alter the landscape of risk for citizens, organisations and states - whether it's criminals training machines to hack or 'phish' at human levels of performance or privacy-eliminating surveillance, profiling and repression," said one of the authors, Miles Brundage, a researcher at Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute.

    Brundage warned that systems based on artificial intelligence often "significantly surpass" human performance.

    "It is troubling, but necessary, to consider the implications of superhuman hacking, surveillance, persuasion, and physical target identification, as well as A.I. capabilities that are subhuman but nevertheless much more scalable than human labour," he said.


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  3. Admin

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    The human body: the next frontier for technology
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    The brain could potentially be trained to operate technology planted in the body.​
    The Australian
    12:00AM February 22, 2018


    Get ready for the technology body invasion. Connected sensors, millimetre-sized robots and even a supplementary brain could enhance our lives from within our bodies. And we may not mind if we like the benefits. Then again, we may care if this internal technology makes us more vulnerable to hacking. Imagine being murdered from across the globe by an anonymous bot. An Inspector Morse, Holmes or a Vera might hit a brick wall trying to find the villain.

    The truth is, humankind already is comfortable with some tech augmenting our bodies. We welcome Cochlear implants, pacemakers, replacement hips and knee joints when we need them, and the prospect of organs being 3-D printed or grown from stem cells is on the horizon. That will extend lives. At the cutting edge there are prosthetic limbs we can control with the brain.

    But going further, the debate gets contentious. Biohacking was a discussion point at this week’s SingularityU conference in Sydney, organised by US-based start-up Singularity University.

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    The tech think tank was founded in 2008 at the NASA Research Park in California and makes a business out of predicting the future. It holds summits worldwide and this week hosted its first in Australia. It is banking on its futurists, enthusiasts and academics making the right calls about rapid technological change for the benefit of policymakers, businesspeople and investors.

    But not everyone at Singularity University is a conventional futurist. Take Tim Cannon, the chief information officer of Grindhouse Netware, a biotechnical start-up that builds gadgetry that can be implanted in your body. Such biohackers are called grinders.

    Cannon is more than your typical cyborg in waiting. Sure, he has an RFID (radio-frequency identification) tag in his hand, which allows him to open security doors with his palm. He has subcutaneous “light tattoos” that highlight skin and tattoos on the surface.

    He also experimented with embedding a sensor in his body that measures his internal temperature and is linked to his home climate control system. If his body feels hot, the house cools down.

    Cannon says he is working with Utah State University on sensors that can be implanted in cattle to record and transmit their vital signs. The outcome is instant feedback on the health of a herd: an illness, a cow on heat, pregnancy or early detection of a disease affecting an entire herd.

    Heart rate, oxygen saturation, pulse wave velocity and body temperature are some of the measurable metrics. Implants would be connected through a long-range wide area network, he says.

    Cannon believes in 15 years humans will be embedded with enough biometric sensors to gain an accurate picture of their health — a human version of a diagnostic computer system in a car.

    It’s the linking of these devices to the periphery of the central nervous system, and eventually to the nervous system, that is particularly contentious. He points to experiments where a culture of rat brain cells can react to sensor data and move a robot. It could be the basis for a second brain — an implanted human coprocessor.

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    Light tattoos aided by body implants​
    Instead of augmenting our existing brains, we could command a co-processor brain to perform more complex tasks. It could be linked to a battery of sensors in our bodies, and offer feedback.

    The electrical pulses generated by the brain to control, say, the movement of your little finger can be mapped, so it also would be possible to map such functions on to commanding a co-processor brain.

    Cannon has a long-term vision that journeys into theology. Across time, he sees the human brain connected to so much technology that most of our organic bodies become redundant. He says humans won’t travel to the stars in spaceships, they will be those spaceships.

    Other researchers are focused on the here and now. Sarah Bergbreiter, associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland, specialises in building centimetre-scale robots that use millimetre-scale power systems.

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    Associate Professor Sarah Bergbreiter specialises in micro-robotics.​
    Some of her tiny robots are smaller than ants. Their mission is to travel in the body to the sites of trauma and carry out procedures under a surgeon’s control.

    “Don’t think of a creepy crawling insect inside of you, I think that’s a wrong image perhaps,” Bergbreiter says. “If you think of what you could fit at the end of a catheter in terms of sensing, actuation control and mechanisms, you can do much more complex surgical tasks with much less invasiveness. There’s a lot of medical procedures the people are looking at using these for, everything from eye surgery to GI (gastrointestinal) tract work.”

    A mini submarine in your system? “Well, not quite Fantastic Voyage,” she replies, referring to Richard Fleischer’s 1966 sci-fi movie about a shrunken submarine inside a human body attempting to remove a blood clot. But it does sound like Fantastic Voyage come true.

    “My long-term goal is to start looking at the medical applications of the work that we do,” Bergbreiter says. “The other thing we primarily use them for is with biologists to understand biomechanics, how things can run around as well as they do.”

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    Assoc Prof Bergbreiter's microbots are smaller than an ant. Photo: Ryan St Pierre​
    As a specialist in tiny robots, can she say whether it’s true that tiny flying mechanical insects are used for espionage — robots resembling a proverbial fly on the wall? She dismisses the idea. “Something that can fly around is still pretty far out because of the power challenges. It becomes a battery challenge,” she says.

    A colleague was working on flying robots with a wing span of 3cm or so, she says. They fly, but the battery size and weight limits flight time to seconds or, at best, to minutes. However, drones about 5cm across are being used in the field for surveillance.

    Invasive body tech may seem empowering to some and frightening to others. But there is a cost either way: the growing susceptibility of the human body to hacking, with digital viruses potentially as lethal as biological ones.

    “Now for the very first time, with pacemakers and Cochlear implants and the like, the human body itself is subject to cyber attack,” says Marc Goodman, author of bestseller Future Crimes.

    It seems you could be killed by a bot operating on the other side of the world, in what would be the perfect murder. “In my paper Who Does the Autopsy, the question that I posed is, when you have a 70 or 80-year-old man who died and had a pacemaker, how will you know if it’s natural causes or if the pacemaker was hacked?

    “Because currently the court has no experience in doing computer forensics on all these devices, and the police have no experience in doing it,” he tells The Australian.

    Goodman also warns about genetic privacy. He says that, a few years ago, to sequence someone’s genome cost $US3 billion. Now there are companies in the US that will do a version of your genetic sequencing for $US99 ($126).
    Tune in weekly to Chloé James & Chris Griffith for the latest consumer technology news on TECH.biz, 6.30pm Wednesdays on Sky Business.
    “If you read the terms of service it says they’ve got the right to sell your genetic data to advertisers. There will be quite a few privacy concerns around this. Prospective employers, insurers and criminals could glean personal information such as sexual orientation, temperament, psychological challenges, and whether you have schizophrenia. Criminals could replicate your DNA and leave it at the scene of a crime.”

    Whether these particular outcomes manifest remains to be seen. But the augmentation of the human body with technology is a prospect that Singularity University is grappling with, nonetheless.

    The Australian

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  4. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member


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    Brain implants are happening — are you ready for yours?

    Brain implants or other types of neural links, such as Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) between the brain, the internet, and the cloud, are quickly entering the realm of science rather than science fiction.

    The Defense Advanced Research Agency is ready to run trials with closed-loop mood control chips linked to AI that can deliver an electrical impulse to regulate a soldier’s mood. In the private sector, Elon Musk has announced Neuralink — a neurotechnology venture that will not only focus on fighting diseases but also on augmenting humans so they can better compete with machines.

    The technology is advancing in campuses and government-backed labs around the world, attracting serious funding from established technology players, technology institutes, and top universities. For instance, Professor Newton Howard of Oxford University has produced a functional neural implant prototype by combining some of the brightest minds at MIT, Oxford, and Georgetown, and the resources and technical know-how of Intel and Qualcomm.

    All of this begs the question: Is the world ready for this kind of human enhancement, and is it a worthy idea to pursue in the first place? Well, I for one wouldn’t be standing in line waiting for my brain implant, as it would take away too much of what makes me who I am.

    The ‘promises’ of a bio-enhanced future
    The introduction of brain implants that we normal people could buy at the mall will open a Pandora’s box of possibilities. It’s one of those technological leaps that makes you wonder if our future is going to be heaven or hell (#Hellven). This is something that I spend a lot of time thinking about, and have written extensively about in articles and for my book.

    I know it might sound like a cliché, but many of the potential “upgrades to human” will probably end up downgrading our lives in terms of health and happiness. While we might gain certain superpowers, we would also lose many attributes that define us as human beings.

    How could we retain non-algorithmic-generated characteristics such as serendipity, surprise, mystery, and even free will in a world dominated by super-intelligent machines connected directly to our mind? Wouldn’t a constant connection to a cloud with virtually limitless computing capacity lead to total dependency, to a radical loss of human autonomy, and ultimately, to the total dehumanization of society?

    Granted, pretty much everybody would want superhuman powers, and many of us would do almost anything to become god-like cyborgs. If humanity were asked to choose, this would for many seem a no-brainer.

    Here’s the argument that probably most of use will be faced with:

    “You are using a smartphone, right? You are using Google Maps. You own a notebook. So why not use a brain-computer-interface or a neurolace — the same thing, but more efficient and without the hassle of having any external device!”

    But here’s where this logic goes wrong: Fundamentally messing with who we are as humans, redesigning our biology and our chemistry and transcending the limitations of our minds and hearts is a different cup of tea than using external devices to extend our abilities in basic ways — like finding a faster way to a location.

    As the philosopher and futurist Marshall McLuhan said repeatedly, every extension of man is also an amputation of man’s capability somewhere else. While small amputations such as using Google Translate rather than translating words ourselves may be acceptable to most, quintessentially human attributes such as giving birth should not be amputated — regardless of what some technologists suggest.

    We need to ask ourselves what we want to be in the future. This is the most important question facing us as we enter an age of unlimited possibilities, which we will see in our own lifetime. Because independent of what we choose, there will be profound consequences.

    Will this decision be truly and solely ours to make?
    What I’m worried about the most — and what you need to consider as well — is whether we’ll even have an actual choice to “opt out” if BCIs are implemented. Assuming that the benefits of these technologies are so plentiful, will we be able to find a good job without a BCI? Will we be able to opt out without becoming useless, like someone who insists on banging away on a typewriter or sending telegrams instead of using a computer?

    Neural implants’ exponential impact on learning and cognitive ability will pressure people to start using them at a very young age, which will naturally translate into parents having to make this decision for their children. So the question becomes: How far would you go to give your child an edge? Will it be just a matter of principles, or also a financial decision, that will lead to even more inequality? This would generate lifelong differences in productivity, wages and opportunity, dividing society from birth into two classes — the upgraded and those left behind.

    When will we get to the point where society is faced with such a radical new course? It will not come without a serious debate and a fight, of course. The anti-vaccine movement has shown that even the slightest risk or the rarest malfunction can become a stick with which those opposed to neural implants could use to bludgeon proponents.

    Similarly, implants may, over time, overcome most of the ethical issues and become the norm in mainstream society — and even lead to legislation that facilitates and legitimizes their use. AI will then work its way into every part of our life and someday we won’t be able to function without it, losing our independence and a lot of what makes us human.

    But worry not, this won’t happen overnight.

    Today, more questions are being posed than answered. The reason is that before an age of acceptance, there needs to be an age of discussion to sort out ethical and moral issues. We need to raise questions, issue warnings and keep a close watch on advances in this nascent technology before we agree to a buy-in, and before we lose our right to decide.

    The technological argument for BCIs will need to be watertight, based on years of research and a track record of improving society, before the ethical concerns of such a revolutionary development can begin to fade. Before we jump on an unstoppable bandwagon, we also need to offer opt-outs to those unwilling to hop on. Alternatives to BCIs could include boundaries added to the technology, such as an underage prohibition, and even anti-discrimination protections for those who choose not to embrace the movement.

    The technology is already here. Human nature means it could be decades or more before everyone is offered that choice. But it’s coming. It won’t happen soon, or without a fight. But that still doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prepare for it.

    Nicholas Borsotto Machado Monteiro contributed to this story. He is the lead economist and researcher of the Good Technology Collective.

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