Today, we often witness science fiction transitioning into the realm of science fact. Often thoughts of future realms include accellerated space travel, robots, and cyborgs. As it seems, we are indeed a step closer to the latter. Cyborg is defined as a,”person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elements built into the body”. Although the initial preface to that definition originally stated, “a fictional or hypothetical”, we believe it only a short matter of time before such prefixes are deleted.
Scientists have recently unlocked the ability to run small machines off the glucose your body produces. Since our body breaks food down into this simple form, and transmits it to the body’s necessary parts, scientists began working on converting glucose into a type of biofuel. Obviously there are benefits to this that immediately come to the mind. Why not power pacemakers on such an energy source? A surgeon could hook a vein or artery up to the device. Blood would be diverted into the mechanism and whatever ammount of glucose needed would be extracted to power the equipment. As such, the implant could theoretically run forever on this energy source that expires only when the body does. Additionally, battery drain issues would be solved when incorporating additional features into such testing devices. A doctor could wirelessly check your vital stats via bluetooth without worrying about battery drain (a limitation that has vexed medical device creators previously, as premature battery drain on life-support systems has it’s obvious downside).
Taking a que from the bluetooth enabled status updates, biomedical scientists have also engineered implantable touch screens! Just think, no need to worry about misplacing your iPhone again. A touch screen could be inserted just under your skin on your forearm. This could be linked with a Bluetooth implanted in your ear canal. All of which of course taps into your blood as a source of bio-cell energy. The question is of course, how far could this technology be taken?
Enter the clock that uses flies as a power source!
It actually catches flies and deposits them into a bacteria filled container. That bacteria breaks down the organic material and voila! The electricity is created, your clock is powered, your house is pest free. The question of course one would logically make is do we want machines to learn how to kill and harness energy from blood? Where could this lead in the future? What is possibly most concerning is the fact that scientists have estimated that we have at most 50 years until the “cingularity”. This phenominon is described as computerized artificial intelligence becoming as smart as humans. We aren’t just talking about the storage of information either. Computers and or robots will have the ability to actually think, reason, and make judgements baised on previous knowledge. Will we presume to maintain our mastery over (dare I say) “beings” of such intelligence. One must worry about whether they will make a claim of superiority. Do we reason with other species we look down upon? Do we talk to the ant before we step on it, snuffing out it’s life? Of course we hope this is an over dramatization and robots indeed stay three laws safe. Or will humanity look back at the movie “the Matrix” as sage like prophecy?