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[Science Fiction] is becoming [Science]

FiskavFiskav Registered User regular
edited January 2012 in Debate and/or Discourse
So, I just read this article about the US creating cyborg insects. I couldn't help but think that I used to read this sort of stuff (about people controlling animals) in Science Fiction novels. Is Science stretching its boundaries, and can "playing God" have a limit in the modern world?

Share your thoughts!

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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    Trivia: the demonstration that life force was probably a physical process was carried out by L. A. Galvani in 1791, making a frog's leg twitch using electricity.

  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    During WW2 an American author was investigated by government agencies for being so incredibly close to details about the Manhattan Project.

    http://www.americainwwii.com/stories/ynamregetsthebomb.html
    No matter how ridiculous the plot, US intelligence wasn’t laughing. The story’s detailed descriptions of powdered uranium oxide, or a fuse “in a tiny can of cadmium alloy containing a speck of radium in a beryllium holder,” were much too close to the nuts-and-bolts reality of the Manhattan Project. And what about this exploding U-235? At the beginning of March, the War Department sent an investigator from the Counter-Intelligence Corps to the offices of Astounding to speak with editor John W. Campbell.

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic I've Done Worse Registered User regular
    I always find it amazing that all the theoretical details (which were all the details anybody had at the time) of Nuclear Fission were just kicking around Europe in plain text letters between scientists. Then things get a little quiet as the realize just how much bang such a reaction would release.

    Trogg wrote: »
    Not as positive as AIDS and cancer, but positive nonetheless.
  • seabassseabass Doctor MassachusettsRegistered User regular
    I always find it amazing that all the theoretical details (which were all the details anybody had at the time) of Nuclear Fission were just kicking around Europe in plain text letters between scientists. Then things get a little quiet as the realize just how much bang such a reaction would release.

    The letter that Einstein sent to the president about the possibility of a bomb is pretty awesome.

    I know in my field (AI), we can't decide if we should encourage taking grand goals from science fiction or not. Two years ago at the largest North American conference for AI, we invited Vernor Vinge, a scifi author and computer scientist, to talk about cognitive aides, their role in science going forward, and what our field could do to make them more powerful. On the other hand, general artificial intelligence never makes a showing at the conferences people take seriously, and if a paper on it were to be submitted, it would probably be subjected to extra scrutiny.

    Science is all about stretching boundaries. That is the point. You find out where the boundary is between what we know and what we don't know yet, and you try to push it a little bit. I don't think that knowledge is inherently good or bad; it's more like a hammer. You can build a house with a hammer, or you can bash a man's skull in. Some bits of information skew to one side of the build / bash spectrum, but even things obviously geared towards military applications tend to have uses in other areas.

    Run you pigeons, it's Robert Frost!
  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    I want computer eyes like Elusive Man. They will get Internet inside them and I'll never get anything done again.

    steam_sig.png
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_retinal_display

    it wouldn't surprise me if this becomes a reality at some point

  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_retinal_display

    it wouldn't surprise me if this becomes a reality at some point

    My vision is augmented.

    steam_sig.png
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    I like to bandy this paper around a lot, was done last year in October:

    http://www.transhumanistic.com/2011/10/monkeys-control-virtual-arm-and-feel-virtual-textures-through-thought/
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21976021

    My favorite quote, and mind you, these are actual words from a paper published in Nature:
    Our BMBI demonstrated direct bidirectional communication between a primate brain and an external actuator. Because both the afferent and efferent channels bypassed the subject’s body, we propose that BMBIs can effectively liberate a brain from the physical constraints of the body.

    f1i3ys.jpg
  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    Where's my cybershell containing nothing but my brain and spine floating in a jar!

  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    Winky wrote:
    I like to bandy this paper around a lot, was done last year in October:

    http://www.transhumanistic.com/2011/10/monkeys-control-virtual-arm-and-feel-virtual-textures-through-thought/
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21976021

    My favorite quote, and mind you, these are actual words from a paper published in Nature:
    Our BMBI demonstrated direct bidirectional communication between a primate brain and an external actuator. Because both the afferent and efferent channels bypassed the subject’s body, we propose that BMBIs can effectively liberate a brain from the physical constraints of the body.

    Wonder what Shirow Masamune thinks about that.

  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    Winky wrote:
    I like to bandy this paper around a lot, was done last year in October:

    http://www.transhumanistic.com/2011/10/monkeys-control-virtual-arm-and-feel-virtual-textures-through-thought/
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21976021

    My favorite quote, and mind you, these are actual words from a paper published in Nature:
    Our BMBI demonstrated direct bidirectional communication between a primate brain and an external actuator. Because both the afferent and efferent channels bypassed the subject’s body, we propose that BMBIs can effectively liberate a brain from the physical constraints of the body.

    Wonder what Shirow Masamune thinks about that.

    Wow, I looked him up since I have only seen the show never read the manga.

    His art is actually incredibly pornographic.

    f1i3ys.jpg
  • seabassseabass Doctor MassachusettsRegistered User regular
    Winky wrote:
    I like to bandy this paper around a lot, was done last year in October:

    http://www.transhumanistic.com/2011/10/monkeys-control-virtual-arm-and-feel-virtual-textures-through-thought/
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21976021

    My favorite quote, and mind you, these are actual words from a paper published in Nature:
    Our BMBI demonstrated direct bidirectional communication between a primate brain and an external actuator. Because both the afferent and efferent channels bypassed the subject’s body, we propose that BMBIs can effectively liberate a brain from the physical constraints of the body.

    If we're going to talk about awesome prosthesis, we should mention the replacement eyes that they have now. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8568485.stm. You have a camera mounted on your head, relaying signals onto a board placed on the tongue, which has super dense super sensitive nerve endings. After a little bit of training, you can learn to 'see' with the thing. I've seen videos of people using these to play catch, drive cars on closed courses, etc.

    Run you pigeons, it's Robert Frost!
  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited January 2012
    seabass wrote:
    If we're going to talk about awesome prosthesis, we should mention the replacement eyes that they have now. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8568485.stm. You have a camera mounted on your head, relaying signals onto a board placed on the tongue, which has super dense super sensitive nerve endings. After a little bit of training, you can learn to 'see' with the thing. I've seen videos of people using these to play catch, drive cars on closed courses, etc.

    Wow. I can't even imagine how that would be to experience.

    Not to mention how this shows that your brain is incredibly adaptable.

    Echo on
  • seabassseabass Doctor MassachusettsRegistered User regular
    Echo wrote:
    seabass wrote:
    If we're going to talk about awesome prosthesis, we should mention the replacement eyes that they have now. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8568485.stm. You have a camera mounted on your head, relaying signals onto a board placed on the tongue, which has super dense super sensitive nerve endings. After a little bit of training, you can learn to 'see' with the thing. I've seen videos of people using these to play catch, drive cars on closed courses, etc.

    Wow. I can't even imagine how that would be to experience.

    Not to mention how this shows that your brain is incredibly adaptable.

    I can't find the video now, but the guy describes it. At first he was trying to feel the world with his tongue, but at some point his brain takes over, like a switch going on. FMRI shows that after a bit of use, your brain starts using the visual cortex to process the input from the device.

    Run you pigeons, it's Robert Frost!
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    There is a $10m prize for the first guy to come up with a Medical Tricorder.

    For those who don't watch Star Trek, a tricorder is what they call their standard hand-held scanner for the wibbly wobbly weird thing of the day, and one existed for medical issues. This guy is offering a cash prize if someone can create a device that can accurately monitor the body's vital signs and accurately diagnose 15 conditions.

    It's not science fact yet, but encouraging people to work on it is awesome.

  • seabassseabass Doctor MassachusettsRegistered User regular
    There is a $10m prize for the first guy to come up with a Medical Tricorder.

    For those who don't watch Star Trek, a tricorder is what they call their standard hand-held scanner for the wibbly wobbly weird thing of the day, and one existed for medical issues. This guy is offering a cash prize if someone can create a device that can accurately monitor the body's vital signs and accurately diagnose 15 conditions.

    It's not science fact yet, but encouraging people to work on it is awesome.

    That's from the same guys that did the X-prize, right?

    DARPA is funding a new space exploration initiative to build a vessel that can function for at least 100 years autonomously. I don't know if they've made funding decisions yet, but I know the call has already been made.

    Run you pigeons, it's Robert Frost!
  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Winky wrote:
    Winky wrote:
    I like to bandy this paper around a lot, was done last year in October:

    http://www.transhumanistic.com/2011/10/monkeys-control-virtual-arm-and-feel-virtual-textures-through-thought/
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21976021

    My favorite quote, and mind you, these are actual words from a paper published in Nature:
    Our BMBI demonstrated direct bidirectional communication between a primate brain and an external actuator. Because both the afferent and efferent channels bypassed the subject’s body, we propose that BMBIs can effectively liberate a brain from the physical constraints of the body.

    Wonder what Shirow Masamune thinks about that.

    Wow, I looked him up since I have only seen the show never read the manga.

    His art is actually incredibly pornographic.

    Whoops. Yeah, he's known for two things: GitS and titties. The movie for example. Oddly enough he did the art for Fire Emblem - Shadow Dragon.

    Cantido on
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  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    he also did real drive, kind of a predecessor to gits, and of course the gits series... which is great

    sc.jpgsc.jpg
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    There is a $10m prize for the first guy to come up with a Medical Tricorder.

    For those who don't watch Star Trek, a tricorder is what they call their standard hand-held scanner for the wibbly wobbly weird thing of the day, and one existed for medical issues. This guy is offering a cash prize if someone can create a device that can accurately monitor the body's vital signs and accurately diagnose 15 conditions.

    It's not science fact yet, but encouraging people to work on it is awesome.

    my cell has a tricorder app that makes all the annoying noises

  • RchanenRchanen Registered User regular
    he also did real drive, kind of a predecessor to gits, and of course the gits series... which is great

    Also Appleseed. A good author, with real good sci-fi. But always the titties.

    Toldo wrote:
    Preacher wrote:
    Skinny guys fight till their burger. Screw debates lets have Barack Obama and Willard Romney rumble in the mofoing jungle.
    Obama punches Romney.
    "Okay, now wait a minute. You've had your turn. Let me have a turn. Wait a minute," Romney says.
    Obama punches Romney.
  • RchanenRchanen Registered User regular
    I like the the US Military is working on powered exoskeletons.

    Toldo wrote:
    Preacher wrote:
    Skinny guys fight till their burger. Screw debates lets have Barack Obama and Willard Romney rumble in the mofoing jungle.
    Obama punches Romney.
    "Okay, now wait a minute. You've had your turn. Let me have a turn. Wait a minute," Romney says.
    Obama punches Romney.
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    screw tricorders give me a sonic screwdriver

  • ForarForar #432 Already prepping for Toronto Fan Expo!Registered User regular
    Rchanen wrote: »
    I like the the US Military is working on powered exoskeletons.

    They've been working on them for decades. I've seen some impressive videos of smaller scale work, but far as I recall the main stopping point is battery power. Since tethering the things or projected electricity might not be/isn't feasible on that scale.

    But yeah, I lust for the day that we have power loaders and combat power armour. Infantry/special forces that require anti-tank weaponry to injure or kill would be a pretty decisive advantage.

    sigone.png
  • BSoBBSoB Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    There is a $10m prize for the first guy to come up with a Medical Tricorder.

    For those who don't watch Star Trek, a tricorder is what they call their standard hand-held scanner for the wibbly wobbly weird thing of the day, and one existed for medical issues. This guy is offering a cash prize if someone can create a device that can accurately monitor the body's vital signs and accurately diagnose 15 conditions.

    It's not science fact yet, but encouraging people to work on it is awesome.

    Star trek predicted the I-Pad.

    The title of this thread is kinda funny considering that Jules Verne, who is credited with STARTING science fiction as a genre made some of the best predictions. So litteraly since Science fiction began, science was becoming it.

    BSoB on
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    edited January 2012
    BSoB wrote:
    There is a $10m prize for the first guy to come up with a Medical Tricorder.

    For those who don't watch Star Trek, a tricorder is what they call their standard hand-held scanner for the wibbly wobbly weird thing of the day, and one existed for medical issues. This guy is offering a cash prize if someone can create a device that can accurately monitor the body's vital signs and accurately diagnose 15 conditions.

    It's not science fact yet, but encouraging people to work on it is awesome.

    Star trek predicted the I-Pad.

    The title of this thread is kinda funny considering that Jules Verne, who is credited with STARTING science fiction as a genre made some of the best predictions. So litteraly since Science fiction began, science was becoming it.

    It's not hard to make "predictions" when you're the sons of a time traveler.

    AManFromEarth on
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  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    [quot
    There is a $10m prize for the first guy to come up with a Medical Tricorder.

    For those who don't watch Star Trek, a tricorder is what they call their standard hand-held scanner for the wibbly wobbly weird thing of the day, and one existed for medical issues. This guy is offering a cash prize if someone can create a device that can accurately monitor the body's vital signs and accurately diagnose 15 conditions.

    It's not science fact yet, but encouraging people to work on it is awesome.

    the major downside of this is the constant inner battle of people using it. The even present desire to say "He's dead Jim", no matter how poor in taste it would be.

    sig_zpsf0994cbd.jpg
  • Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    MakerBot!



    It's a fucking replicator from Star Trek. This model is even called "Replicator". I want a 3D printer so fucking bad.

    I'm constantly surprised by how much science fiction drives forward technology.

    Ragnar Dragonfyre on
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  • JoolanderJoolander It's like Christmas But with more ... ME!Registered User regular
    BSoB wrote:
    There is a $10m prize for the first guy to come up with a Medical Tricorder.

    For those who don't watch Star Trek, a tricorder is what they call their standard hand-held scanner for the wibbly wobbly weird thing of the day, and one existed for medical issues. This guy is offering a cash prize if someone can create a device that can accurately monitor the body's vital signs and accurately diagnose 15 conditions.

    It's not science fact yet, but encouraging people to work on it is awesome.

    Star trek predicted the I-Pad.

    The title of this thread is kinda funny considering that Jules Verne, who is credited with STARTING science fiction as a genre made some of the best predictions. So litteraly since Science fiction began, science was becoming it.

    It's not hard to make "predictions" when you're the sons of a time traveler.

    :^:

    1JM7Sqi.jpg
  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    Unfortunately a real life tricorder would almost certainly only be safe to operate while wearing a lead radiation suit

    XBLIVE: Biggestoverride
    League of Legends: override367
  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    I really feel that ghost in the shell is an incredible example of where we will be within 50 years. I think it takes place in 2030 (and there are things that I think would speed up technology to happen, like a major world war type conflict). Except the discoveries of true AI's(which is kind of the plot of the movies, and the subplot of the series).

    I think if manufacturing were up to it we could still hit that point at 2030, but I dont think we will keep up with advances in AI.

    And yes that guys drawings are super pr0n. They allude that the main character still lives that lifestyle in the show, we just never see her personal life.

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  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    Good. Immortality and ripeass titties await humanity in the future :D

    steam_sig.png
  • TeaSpoonTeaSpoon Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Cantido wrote:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_retinal_display

    it wouldn't surprise me if this becomes a reality at some point

    My vision is augmented.

    This is outdated, last-generation tech.

    See this:



    Some scientists figured out a way to decrypt the encryption used by the eye to send information to the brain. This means they can replace organic eyes with cameras, and they have done so in animal testing. If you watch the process being explained in the presentation, you'll realize that the information sent to the brain doesn't necessarily have to come from a live camera stream.

    This means it's possible to play movies directly in your head.

    The presentation also explains that the same method of decrypting information can also be used on other senses. Through this process, it's theoretically possible to completely replace all organic senses with artificial data input: Virtual Reality. We're seeing the beginnings of the Matrix here!

    And controlling your virtual avatar shouldn't be difficult, what with all the new devices that interpret electrical activity inside the brain. Another method might be to intercept the information from your brain to your muscles and translate them into movement of your avatar. This should be relatively easy compared to the difficulty of creating the information input devices.

    TeaSpoon on
  • JoolanderJoolander It's like Christmas But with more ... ME!Registered User regular
    TeaSpoon wrote:
    Cantido wrote:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_retinal_display

    it wouldn't surprise me if this becomes a reality at some point

    My vision is augmented.

    This is outdated, last-generation tech.

    See this:



    Some scientists figured out a way to decrypt the encryption used by the eye to send information to the brain. This means they can replace organic eyes with cameras, and they have done so in animal testing. If you watch the process being explained in the presentation, you'll realize that the information sent to the brain doesn't necessarily have to come from a live camera stream.

    This means it's possible to play movies directly in your head.

    The presentation also explains that the same method of decrypting information can also be used on other senses. Through this process, it's theoretically possible to completely replace all organic senses with artificial data input: Virtual Reality. We're seeing the beginnings of the Matrix here!

    And controlling your virtual avatar shouldn't be difficult, what with all the new devices that interpret electrical activity inside the brain. Another method might be to intercept the information from your brain to your muscles and translate them into movement of your avatar. This should be relatively easy compared to the difficulty of creating the information input devices.


    I don't know if this terrifyingly awesome, or awesomely terrifying

    1JM7Sqi.jpg
  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    Problem is, whenever we make these "science fiction" technologies, they turn out way less cool than we imagined.
    MakerBot!



    It's a fucking replicator from Star Trek. This model is even called "Replicator". I want a 3D printer so fucking bad.

    I'm constantly surprised by how much science fiction drives forward technology.

    3D printers are a good example. Waaaaaay less cool than a replicator.

    And I don't care what anyone says, we have flying cars, but they're called helicopters.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    Problem is, whenever we make these "science fiction" technologies, they turn out way less cool than we imagined.
    MakerBot!



    It's a fucking replicator from Star Trek. This model is even called "Replicator". I want a 3D printer so fucking bad.

    I'm constantly surprised by how much science fiction drives forward technology.

    3D printers are a good example. Waaaaaay less cool than a replicator.

    And I don't care what anyone says, we have flying cars, but they're called helicopters.

    They're still pretty cool, though.

    I feel like we could have flying cars if we really wanted. We have everything you need to build one. But flying cars are a horrible idea (A fender bender on Sk-I 95 resulted in the death of twelve people today, more at 11). Hover cars would be cool, but ultimately pointless for the average consumer.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • TeaSpoonTeaSpoon Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Joolander wrote:
    TeaSpoon wrote:
    Cantido wrote:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_retinal_display

    it wouldn't surprise me if this becomes a reality at some point

    My vision is augmented.

    This is outdated, last-generation tech.

    See this:



    Some scientists figured out a way to decrypt the encryption used by the eye to send information to the brain. This means they can replace organic eyes with cameras, and they have done so in animal testing. If you watch the process being explained in the presentation, you'll realize that the information sent to the brain doesn't necessarily have to come from a live camera stream.

    This means it's possible to play movies directly in your head.

    The presentation also explains that the same method of decrypting information can also be used on other senses. Through this process, it's theoretically possible to completely replace all organic senses with artificial data input: Virtual Reality. We're seeing the beginnings of the Matrix here!

    And controlling your virtual avatar shouldn't be difficult, what with all the new devices that interpret electrical activity inside the brain. Another method might be to intercept the information from your brain to your muscles and translate them into movement of your avatar. This should be relatively easy compared to the difficulty of creating the information input devices.


    I don't know if this terrifyingly awesome, or awesomely terrifying

    I should add, if you can control an avatar in a virtual reality, you should also be able to control an android body. It's the same principle. Sort of. In fact, you could do away with an organic body altogether and just be a brain inside a robotic body.

    Someone mentioned Ghost in the Shell earlier. This is it.

    [EDIT] I just thought of something neat. Artificial synesthesia. You could take in image from the hubble telescope, encode it, and feed it into your other senses. You'd be able to smell distant galaxies or listen to the harmony of the spheres.

    You could do other stuff too. Imagine being able to feel the color green or taste the sound of bells. Imagine what wonders we'll experience when artists get hold of this technology.

    And the best part is that it's all just information. You could put life experiences on a website or something. Create a torrent of memories, a cloud of feelings.

    Hah, imagine using facebook and feeling someone poke you from across the continent.

    TeaSpoon on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    Flying is mad expensive too

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    they're kind of like jetpacks: cool but not that practical and also hilariously dangerous

    The craziest reality-imitates-fiction thing to me is that we are now using remote controlled planes to spy on/blow up people on the other side of the world, and people are just like, oh yeah, predator drones whatever.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    if the rapture don't come cousin, then pass the guns
    I'll burn'em for the return of my investment funds
  • SquiddyBiscuitSquiddyBiscuit Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    TeaSpoon wrote:
    Spoiler:

    I should add, if you can control an avatar in a virtual reality, you should also be able to control an android body. It's the same principle. Sort of. In fact, you could do away with an organic body altogether and just be a brain inside a robotic body.

    Someone mentioned Ghost in the Shell earlier. This is it.

    Even better, bury your brain in a nuclear blast resistant shell that is wirelessly connected to your robot body - that way you're out of harms way should you be hit by a truck or fall down a mountain.

    Then you just connect to a new body.

    SquiddyBiscuit on
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