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Kevin Warwick

Professor Kevin Warwick, a professor of cybernetics at the University of Reading, has had a chip placed in his arm, to receive and transmit signals from his nervous system, as well as producing signals of its own. If he and his associates observe no adverse side effects, he plans to place a similar chip in his wife's arm and -- at her insistence -- attempt to transmit signals from one nervous system to another.

If successful, he claims that this arm-twinge-inducing experiment will produce a primitive form of technologically assisted sensory telepathy or empathy.

Notwithstanding the prior existence of interactive electronic muscle, heart and brain implants in thousands of human beings worldwide, Warwick has claimed that this will somehow make him into a "cyborg".

As of March 22 2002, Kevin Warwick has now actually had a chip implanted. See the Ananova story below.

Professor Warwick has made dramatic claims about the importance of his research and the threat of increasing machine intelligence. Many view Warwick as a self-publicist[?], and regard his claims with extreme skepticism. Warwick has been nicknamed as Captain Cyborg in the press.


Warwick's latest foray into controversy revolves around his stated plans to implant an "anti-kidnap" chip into an eleven year old girl, capitalising on recent child murders in England. This has met with derision from some parties, as they point out that

  • the stated GPS and mobile phone technology is highly unlikely to be implantable using today's technology (unless you want a huge mobile-phone sized lump in your body)
  • implanting a chip will not prevent kidnap
  • there are ethical and child protection considerations against such an implant

A New Scientist story, in the issue dated 14 September 2002 (page 25), goes further, stating that the original idea actually came from a news agency, and that the entire story is a publicity stunt.

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