Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thinking machines

Despite beginning with the Cogito of Descartes, an article in today's Sydney Morning Herald about a Thinking Machine does not herald the rise of autonomous robot armies. It does, however, raise some interesting questions about the nature of thought, the mind and art.

Performance artist Stelarc sees his creation as an extension of the human:

"We seamlessly float between functioning as physical bodies and also functioning using technology," he said. "We're accessing information in the human body with a multiplicity of machines and the body is increasingly functioning via wireless and the internet. We're functioning beyond the boundaries of our skin and the space we inhabit."

Taking the next step from this machine that can respond to our questions, recent developments in information technology have suggested that the future may offer the chance to have direct internet access in your head without the need for a mechanical interface such as a computer. When we can download the entirety of human knowledge in our brains, will we know everything?

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