Neurotechnology may be on the verge of overturning the essential nature of humanity.
All it took was a few jolts of electricity to turn ordinary rats into roborats and for pundits to leap to the conclusion that ordinary humans will soon be transformed into Robo-Humans. Scientists at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn sparked a media frenzy when they demonstrated that rats with electrodes implanted in their brains could be steered like remote-controlled toy cars through an obstacle course. Using a laptop equipped with a wireless transmitter, a researcher stimulated cortical cells governing whisker sensations and reinforced those signals by zapping the rats’ pleasure centers. Presto! With this simple setup, the team had created living robots.
Publications around the world proclaimed the imminence of those familiar science-fiction staples, surgically implanted devices that electronically monitor and manipulate our minds.The Economistwarned that neurotechnology may be on the verge of “overturning the essential nature of humanity,”and The…
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