More notes at http://tanguay.info/learntracker
C O U R S E 
A Brief History of Humankind
Dr. Yuval Noah Harari, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
The Future of Cyborgs and Robots
Notes taken on August 3, 2014 by Edward Tanguay
cyborg engineering
combining organic and inorganic parts such as a human with bionic hands
in a sense all of us are cyborgs today since our natural senses and functions are supplemented and improved by eyeglasses, pace-makers, synthetic teeth, plastic hips, or metal screws in our joints
however, in the future, this process is likely to go much further
we are likely to have inorganic devices connected directly to our brains and our nervous systems, devices that will become inseparable from us and that will change our abilities, desires, personalities and identities
the bionic ear
over 300,000 people already have bionic ears (cochlear implants) [KOK-lee-er]
can identify human voices and other important sounds
this cannot only help deaf people acquire basic hearing, it can enable people with normal hearing to acquire new hearing abilities
bionic arms
Jesse Sullivan
lost both arms in electrical accident
Claudia Mitchell
lost her arm in a motorcycle accident
both of them now use bionic arms
these arms are operated by thoughts alone
bionic arms are currently a poor replacement for the original, but they have the potential for unlimited technological advancement
in the future bionic arms and hands will can made much more powerful than our human arms and hands
bionic arms have the advantage that they can be replaced and/or upgraded
they can also be detached from the body and operated at a distance
we are used to our limbs being attached to our body, but this will change
there is no reason why our future limbs will need to be in the same room as our bodies
in experiments with rhesus monkeys, electrodes were attached to their brain
they were trained to control detached arms
2008 experiment: Monkey in North Carolina controlled robot legs in Japan over the Internet
locked-in syndrome
patients lose ability to move bodies
yet cognitive abilities remain intact
they communicate with eye movements
current experiments are attempting to translate brain signals of these patients into meaning
there are scientific projects currently running to create a two-way brain/computer interface
will allow computers to read electrical signals of human brain
potential inter-brain communication
engineering completely non-organic beings
while cyborgs combine organic parts with inorganic parts, robots and software are completely non-organic
software is being created that evolves independently of the creator of the program
computer virus
as it spreads, it replicates millions of time
it is chased by predatory, anti-virus programs which try to destroy it
a human could program a virus to make occasional random replication mistakes
this kind of virus would be more difficult to identify by antivirus software
this will lead to cyberspace containing viruses which no human being engineered, viruses which undergo non-organic evolution
are non-organic, evolving viruses life?
it depends how you define life, but this is a new pathway for evolution to create new phenomena in our real world which affect us and which we can predict only with difficulty, and which is completely independent of the organic world and its limitations
2005 Blue Brain Project
goal is to recreate a brain inside a computer
April 2013 European Union decided to make the Blue Brain Project the flagship project for the next decade by giving it one billion euros in funding