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A Mechanical Engineer Spent 7 Months Building an Epic Cyborg Ninja Helmet – Futurism

In Brief Diego Valdes spent seven months creating a cosplay based off the Metal Gear Solid video game franchise. The partially 3D-printed cyborg helmet is creative in its light fixtures, movable parts, and design.

Diego Valdes is a Mechanical Engineer by day and creative cosplay creator by night. HisYoutube account,diegator,has risen to internet stardom thanks to his most recent creation, the Metal Gear Solid Gray Fox Helmet.

His creation is an homage to the metal gear solid franchise, but even those whoare unaware of the cosplays significance are starstruck by ninja cyborg helmet itself.

The design took Valdes over seven months to complete, and it seems his efforts have paid off. The parts of the masks were 3D printed, while Valdes created his own light fixtures, switches, and facial transitions that can becontrolled and powered by buttons inside the helmet.

Valdes motivation to build this technologically and aesthetically beautiful helmet highlights a trend in our society. We are gradually becoming a community of creators, builders, and innovators. Whether its pushing the envelope of scientific knowledge or investing that knowledge into building what we could previously only imagine, we are coming a long way in building a future ofour own.

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A Mechanical Engineer Spent 7 Months Building an Epic Cyborg Ninja Helmet – Futurism

Turning Cyborg. You May be Microchipped in the Future. – Big Think

You’re putting that where?!

A company in Sweden has been putting microchips in their employees in order to improve efficiency. Frustrated by the hassle of finding keys for doors or a debit card for food? Employees as the Stockholm-based Epicenter can literally use their hand. And while having the microchip implant is currently not mandatory for workers there, the prospect of technology inserted into our body sets off someunderstandable Orwellian fears. There is a fine line between efficiency and control with new technology.

Forget apps. In the near future, we may be saying, “There’s an implant for that.”

So, Why Does This Get Under Our Skin?

On one hand, technology being embedded into our body is nothing dramatically new. Pacemakers, for example, have been used for years to normalize heart rates by sending low-energy electrical pulses. Cats and dogs have also been getting microchipped for quite some time.

On the other hand, microchipping humans is a concept that can easily conjure up images of a dystopian future where everyone is permanentlyconnected to the internet and constantly tracked. There would be no ability to unplug if you are permanently plugged in. And there would be no sense of privacy if you are a perpetual source of data generation. In order to get a full grasp on the issue of microchipping, I reached out to Gerd Leonhard. Gerd is a Swiss futurist and humanist, and author of Technology vs. Humanity: The Coming Clash Between Man and Machine.

The Implants Are Coming

“This is about Human Augmentation,” states Gerd, “and I am afraid it will become as normal as using a mobile phone.” In order for that to happen, Leonhard believes that the microchips used will be much more sophisticated. He cites the prospect of general “apps for the body.” In the near future, we may have nanobots in our bloodstream formonitoring our health, or perhaps internet-enabled contact lenses.

“Tracking chips will become the size of a pin-head,” Gerd continues, “and they will connect to your always-on internetdevicesuch as smart watches orwimaxnetworks in major cities.” The futurist believes that the economic incentives behind connecting everything to the internet (internet of things) will make the microchipping inevitable. Gerd sees this as an extension of the Quantified Self movement and what he calls the global brain. While this may be heaven for some, Gerd points out, it could be hell for others.

Quantified Self or Quantified Slaves?

Gerd believes that microchipping could be considered normal after the process is viewed as easier and less evasive. What people are most concerned about, however, is being forced into having technology embedded into their skin by an employer. “Would you rather be wired or fired?,” states Gerd, imagining a futurewhere under the guise of efficiency and securitycompanies will require employees to be microchipped.

While microchipping would have some obvious security and efficiency benefits, Gerd mentions the irresistible temptation that employers may have is utilizing the technology to track one’s whereabouts, patterns, and perhaps direct datafrom the body (is the employee stressed? Depressed? Sick?). In order to ensure that microchipping technology is not abused by employers, Gerd recommends proactive legislation to consider the privacy concerns and ramificationsof its usage.

Is Microchipping an Upgrade or Downgrade?

“I think we have nothing to gain from a complete symbiosis of man and machine,” states Gerd, “and we will everything to lose.” What he sees as a folly is our pursuit of trying totranscend humanity, as opposed to agreements on new digital rights. With luminaries such as Elon Musk stating that we need to merge with machines, it is clear to see this will be a hotly contested issue in the years to come.

Gerd’s summarizes his positions on technology versus humanity by stating, “embrace technology but don’t become it.”

Perhaps asserting our humanity is the ultimate upgrade.

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Turning Cyborg. You May be Microchipped in the Future. – Big Think

Cyborgs at work: Employees get implanted with microchips – CBS News

STOCKHOLM — The syringe slides in between the thumb and index finger. Then, with a click, a microchip is injected in the employees hand. Another cyborg is created.

What could pass for a dystopian vision of the workplace is almost routine at the Swedish startup hub Epicenter. The company offers to implant its workers and startup members with microchips the size of grains of rice that function as swipe cards: to open doors, operate printers, or buy smoothies with a wave of the hand.

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Lots of pets have them, and now some people do, too — tiny, implantable computer chips. Enthusiasts say the chips offer convenience and security…

The injections have become so popular that workers at Epicenter hold parties for those willing to get implanted.

The biggest benefit I think is convenience, said Patrick Mesterton, co-founder and CEO of Epicenter. As a demonstration, he unlocks a door by merely waving near it. It basically replaces a lot of things you have, other communication devices, whether it be credit cards or keys.

The technology in itself is not new. Such chips are used as virtual collar plates for pets. Companies use them to track deliveries. Its just never been used to tag employees on a broad scale before. Epicenter and a handful of other companies are the first to make chip implants broadly available.

And as with most new technologies, it raises security and privacy issues. While biologically safe, the data generated by the chips can show how often an employee comes to work or what they buy. Unlike company swipe cards or smartphones, which can generate the same data, a person cannot easily separate themselves from the chip.

Of course, putting things into your body is quite a big step to do and it was even for me at first, said Mesterton, remembering how he initially had had doubts.

But then on the other hand, I mean, people have been implanting things into their body, like pacemakers and stuff to control your heart, he said. Thats a way, way more serious thing than having a small chip that can actually communicate with devices.

Epicenter, which is home to more than 100 companies and some 2,000 workers, began implanting workers in January 2015. Now, about 150 workers have them. A company based in Belgium also offers its employees such implants, and there are isolated cases around the world where tech enthusiasts have tried this out in recent years.

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Researchers at North Carolina State University are turning cockroaches into joystick-controlled cyborgs for use in search and rescue operations. …

The small implants use Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, the same as in contactless credit cards or mobile payments. When activated by a reader a few centimeters (inches) away, a small amount of data flows between the two devices via electromagnetic waves. The implants are passive, meaning they contain information that other devices can read, but cannot read information themselves.

Ben Libberton, a microbiologist at Stockholms Karolinska Institute, says hackers could conceivably gain huge swathes of information from embedded microchips. The ethical dilemmas will become bigger the more sophisticated the microchips become.

The data that you could possibly get from a chip that is embedded in your body is a lot different from the data that you can get from a smartphone, he says. Conceptually you could get data about your health, you could get data about your whereabouts, how often youre working, how long youre working, if youre taking toilet breaks and things like that.

Libberton said that if such data is collected, the big question remains of what happens to it, who uses it, and for what purpose.

So far, Epicenters group of cyborgs doesnt seem too concerned.

People ask me, Are you chipped? and I say, Yes, why not, said Fredric Kaijser, 47, the chief experience officer at Epicenter. And they all get excited about privacy issues and what that means and so forth. And for me its just a matter of I like to try new things and just see it as more of an enabler and what that would bring into the future.

The implants have become so popular that Epicenter workers stage monthly events where attendees have the option of being chipped for free.

That means visits from self-described body hacker Jowan Osterlund from Biohax Sweden who performs the operation.

He injects the implants using pre-loaded syringes into the fleshy area of the hand, just next to the thumb. The process lasts a few seconds, and more often than not there are no screams and barely a drop of blood. The next step for electronics is to move into the body, he says.

Sandra Haglof, 25, who works for Eventomatic, an events company that works with Epicenter, has had three piercings before, and her left hand barely shakes as Osterlund injects the small chip.

I want to be part of the future, she laughs.

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Cyborgs at work: Employees get implanted with microchips – CBS News

A Brief Look at Cyborgs in Film – Chapelboro.com

Ghost in the Shell, a live-action adaptation of the manga and subsequent anime of thesame name,is currently making the rounds in theaters. The film follows the metaphysical exploits of Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg law enforcement operative in the high-tech, low-life fictional future prefecture of Niihama, Japan. The Major, as played by Scarlett Johansson, is the latest in a rich canon of films featuring cybernetic beings. Let us take a moment today to look back at a few great moments in cyborg cinema, as we pay tribute to a few semi-mechanical heroes

To clarify, a cyborg is any combination of a human being and a machine. They can take many forms, from a person with a single robotic part such as the villainous Donald Pierce and his robotic arm in the recent Logan to full robotic bodies with human brains and minimal other parts.

Regardless of their level of humanity, storytellers and audiences alike are fascinated with cyborgs. The earliest fictional cyborg can be found in Edgar Allen Poes short story The Man Who Was Used Up. Written in 1843, the story follows a man injured so extensively in battle that most of his body is made up of elaborate mechanical parts.

Films did not receive their first cyborg until almost a hundred years later in the beloved 1939 film the Wizard of Oz, featuring the Tin Man. While not generally thought of as a cyborg, the Tin Man as detailed in the various Oz books and plays was once a normal man, named Nick Chopper. He was chopped to pieces by an enchanted axe and his damaged body was forced to reside in a heartless metal suit. The Tin Man and his quest to find a heart was the precursor to countless other cyborgs in search of heart and humanity.

One of the most popular settings for cyborg characters is the cold reaches of outer space. Out among the stars, cyborgs have filled every role imaginable, from feckless heroes to remorseless villains. On the side of good we have the likes of Geordi La Forge, from Star Trek: The Next Generation, which ran from 1987-1994. La Forge and the crew of the Enterprise-D often faced off against a cybernetic hive mind called the Borg, an army of brainwashed cyborgs that think and act as one.

The most famous spacefaring cyborg is unquestionably Darth Vader. Sith lord, estranged father and pop-culture icon. A combination of a robotic suit and fallen hero, Darth Vader is both awe-inspiring and terrifying whenever and wherever he appears. His iconic mask, raspy machine-assisted breath and his booming voice provided by the great James Earl Jones all cement his status as one of the greatest cyborgs in all of fiction.

Arguably the best part of any story in which he appears, the Sith lord has been iconic from the second he strode on screen in 1977. A recent cameo appearances in Rouge One: A Star Wars Story put him squarely back in the limelight after decades of appearances in novels, comics, and more parodies than can be counted. He uttered one of the most famous (and most misquoted) lines in cinematic history, occupies the roles of both villain and tragic hero, and is instantly recognizable to anyone that has had access to a television in the last three decades.

Vader is the last word in cybernetic villainy. Despite his evil appearance and actions, however, Vader still struggles with his lost humanity not unlike the Tin Man.

The protagonist of Ghost in the Shell, Major Motoko Kusanagi, is part of a long-standing tradition of cybernetic law enforcement in science fiction. There are countless cyborg cops, but a few manage to rise above the rest. Detective Spooner, from the 2004 I-Robot, is one such officer. Portrayed by Will Smith, Spooner is a robot-hating detective living in a distant future, where robots are common. He also happens to have a robotic arm. Aside from being a spectacular source of irony, the arm comes in handy during many of the films outrageous action scenes.

Of the many cybernetic law enforcers in popular culture, none are more iconic than RoboCop. Formerly a police officer named Alex Murphy who was killed on the job, RoboCop is the man-made-machine that combines equal parts ultraviolence, emotion and comedic effect for a cyborg that is more than the sum of his parts.

Aside from the original 1987 film by Paul Verhoeven that bears his name (a masterpiece) and its two sequels (not masterpieces), RoboCop has appeared in a number of television shows, both live action and animated, as well as a forgettable remake released a few years ago. Complete with killer catchphrases and an iconic look, RoboCop is ultimately brought to life by an all-time great performance by character actor Peter Weller. The original RoboCop movie remains relevant as a study in both pitch-black satire and over-the-top violence, but its the character of Alex Murphy/RoboCop that retains instant recognition.

Superhero stories have a long history with cyborgs, from villains like Doctor Octopus with his robotic arms to heroes like Iron Man, who walks around wearing a small arc-reactor on his chest. Filmgoers have also recently been introduced to the Winter Soldier, a brainwashed super-soldier with a robotic arm.

November will see the release of Justice League, a super-team extravaganza featuring a cyborg imaginatively named Cyborg. Cyborg has been an important part of the DC Comics universe since he was introduced in 1980. After a horrific interdimensional accident left teenager Victor Stone mutilated, his father outfits his broken body with experimental robotic parts to save his life. When Victor realizes that he cant return to his old life, he takes the name Cyborg and joins the Teen Titans, a team of young heroes and fellow outcasts. In recent years, Cyborg has been upgraded to the Justice League, DCs premier team of super heroes.

Outside of comics, Cyborg appeared in the well-received animated show Teen Titans, as well as its comically-focused successor Teen Titans Go! He is set to make his big-screen debut this fall in Justice League.

Decades after the Tin Man first pined for a heart, Hollywood is still putting out movies featuring part-human, part-robot characters searching for love, acceptance and the occasional criminal/rebel/alien to battle. From television and comics to video games and podcasts, cyborgs are everywhere. They remain relevant for a simple reason: theyre fascinating. They are fascinating because as we march further into the future and cybernetics become more reality than science fiction, cyborgs and their stories force us to ask where the robot ends, where the person begins, and whether the tin men of the future will have hearts.

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A Brief Look at Cyborgs in Film – Chapelboro.com

Cyborg at 28: The 4 most important things about the JCVD epic – Blastr

Wow, Jean-Claude Van Damme really kicked up the kick-o-meter in this one.

28 years ago today, Cyborg hit theaters. And oh, what a wonderful day it was!

So much to love in this one, from one of the most over-the-top villains in the history of cinema (and that’s saying something) to some truly inspired costumes to JCVD doing his thing all over the filthy post-apocalyptic landscape. It’s sheer joy. Joy, dammit!

Here are the four most important things about this extremely important movie.

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Cyborg at 28: The 4 most important things about the JCVD epic – Blastr

How Ghost in the Shell ducks the philosophical questions posed by a cyborg future – The Independent

How closely will we live with the technology we use in the future? How will it change us? And how close is close? Ghost in the Shell imagines a futuristic, hi-tech but grimy and ghetto-ridden Japanese metropolis populated by people, robots, and technologically-enhanced human cyborgs.

Beyond the superhuman strength, resilience, and X-ray vision provided by bodily enhancements, one of the most transformative aspects of this world is the idea of brain augmentation, that as cyborgs we might have two brains rather than one. Our biological brain the ghost in the shell would interface via neural implants to powerful embedded computers that would give us lightning fast reactions and heightened powers of reasoning, learning and memory.

First written as a Manga comic series in 1989 during the early days of the internet, Ghost in the Shells creator, Japanese artist Masamune Shirow, foresaw that this brain-computer interface would overcome the fundamental limitation of the human condition: that our minds are trapped inside our heads. In Shirows transhuman future our minds would be free to roam, relaying thoughts and imaginings to other networked brains, entering via the cloud into distant devices and sensors, even deep diving the mind of another in order to understand and share their experiences.

Johansson as Major in Rupert Saundersnew film which superimposes the myth of the American all-action hero on a character who is the antithesis of that idea(Paramount)

Shirows stories also pinpointed some of the dangers of this giant technological leap. In a world where knowledge is power, these brain-computer interfaces would create new tools for government surveillance and control, and new kinds of crime such as mind-jacking the remote control of anothers thoughts and actions. Nevertheless there was also a spiritual side to Shirows narrative: that the cyborg condition might be the next step in our evolution, and that the widening of perspective and the merging of individuality from a networking of minds could be a path to enlightenment.

Borrowing heavily from Ghost in the Shells re-telling by director Mamoru Oshii in his classic 1995 animated film version, the newly arrived Hollywood cinematic interpretation stars Scarlett Johansson as Major, a cyborg working for Section 9, a government-run security organisation charged with fighting corruption and terrorism. Directed by Rupert Sanders, the new film is visually stunning and the storyline lovingly recreates some of the best scenes from the original anime.

Sadly though, Sanders movie pulls its punches around the core question of how this technology could change the human condition. Indeed, if casting Western actors in most key roles wasnt enough, the new film also engages in a form of cultural appropriation by superimposing the myth of the American all-action hero who you are is defined by what you do on a character who is almost the complete antithesis of that notion.

The Japanese artistMasamuna Shirowcreated the Manga comic series in 1989(Rex)

Major fights the battles of her masters with increasing reluctance, questioning the actions asked of her, drawn to escape and contemplation. This is no action hero, but someone trying to piece together fragments of meaning from within her cyborg existence with which to assemble a worthwhile life.

A scene midway through the film shows, even more bluntly, the central role of memory in creating the self. We see the complete breakdown of a man who, having been mind-jacked, faces the realisation that his identity is built on false memories of a life never lived, and a family who never existed. The 1995 anime insists that we are individuals only because of our memories. While the new film retains much of the same story line, it refuses to follow the inference. Rather than being defined by our memories, Majors voice tells us that we cling to memories as if they define us, but what we do defines us. Perhaps this is meant to be reassuring, but to me it is both confusing and unfaithful to the spirit of the original tale.

ShirowsManga comic series claimed thecyborg future could be a path to enlightenment(Rex)

The new film also backs away from another key idea of Shirows work, that the human mind even the human species is, in essence, information. Where the 1995 anime talked of the possibility of leaving the physical body the shell elevating consciousness to a higher plane and becoming part of all things, the remake has only veiled hints that such a merging minds, or a melding of the human mind with the internet, could be either positive or transformational.

In the real world, the notion of networked minds is already upon us. Touchscreens, keypads, cameras, mobile, the cloud: we are more and more directly and instantly linked to a widening circle of people, while opening up our personal lives to surveillance and potential manipulation by governments, advertisers, or worse.

Brain-computer interfaces are also on their way. There are already brain implants that can mitigate some of the symptoms of brain conditions, from Parkinsons disease to depression. Others are being developed to overcome sensory impairments such as blindness or to control a paralysed limb. On the other hand, the remote control of behaviour using implanted brain stimulators has been demonstrated in several animal species, a frightening technology that could be applied to humans if someone were to choose to misuse it in that way.

The possibility of voluntarily networking our minds is also here. Devices like the Emotiv are simple wearable EEG-based devices that can detect some of the signature electrical signals emitted by our brains, and are sufficiently intelligent to interpret those signals and turn them into useful output. For example, an Emotiv connected to a computer can control a videogame by the power of the wearers thoughts alone.

In terms of artificial intelligence, the work in my lab at Sheffield Robotics explores the possibility of building robot analogues of human memory for events and experiences. The fusion of such systems with the human brain is not possible with todays technology but it is imaginable in the decades to come. Were an electronic implant developed that could vastly improve your memory and intelligence, would you be tempted? Such technologies may be on the horizon, and science fiction imaginings such as Ghost in the Shell suggest that their power to fundamentally change the human condition should not be underestimated.

Tony Prescott is professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and director of the Sheffield Robotics Institute, University of Sheffield. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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How Ghost in the Shell ducks the philosophical questions posed by a cyborg future – The Independent

Cyborg cockroaches called biobots are the latest search and rescue technology – The Plaid Zebra (blog)

Cyborg cockroaches called biobots are the latest search and rescue technology

BY: DUSTIN BATTY

Rescuing survivors from a collapsed structure is an extremely dangerous endeavour. Because of the uncertain stability of the disaster area, rescue efforts are risky for everyone involved. The rescuers are in danger of falling through an unstable section of the structure, and the survivors are in danger of the structure further collapsing on top of them. For this reason, it is crucial that survivors be located as precisely as possible before the rubble is moved, to minimize the chance of further collapses or accidents.

Rescue teams are already equipped with some tools that help them locate survivors. According to the Phoenix Regional Standard Operating Procedures, these tools include search canines (if available), and specialty search equipment such as search cameras and acoustic listening devices. An IRIS article adds a thermal image camera system, which shows areas of body heat, and a carbon dioxide analyzer, which helps [them] detect people who might be unconscious but still breathing to the list of currently available tech.

Despite all of these techniques, locating survivors with precision can still be difficult. To help solve this problem, researchers in North Carolina have been developing biobots, a fancy term for cyborg cockroaches. The cockroaches have been augmented with a wireless computer system that inputs directional signals into the insects brain, making it turn left or right, or go forward. The cybernetic component also uses very precise locating technology that keeps track of exactly where the biobot is at any given time.

These remote control cockroaches are able to safely get into small or unstable spaces and explore the area. The major hurdle that researchers are currently attempting to overcome is the fact that the people in control of the biobots will not know the layout of the collapsed structure. This means that the biobots will have to explore the structure without precise input. As a Science Daily article explains, researchers have found that, when left to wander on their own, the cockroaches prefer to stay near the walls rather than exploring the open space. In attempting to overcome this difficulty, the researchers discovered that the insects were much more likely to explore the open space if they were given frequent random directional commands. This technique shows promise for practical application in collapsed structures.

Using these directional commands and their precise locator technology, a swarm of these biobots could quickly create a map of the interior of a collapsed structure, providing invaluable information that could help rescue efforts become much safer. Edgar Lobaton, one of the co-authors of the research papers, said that the map provided by a swarm of biobots would be of practical use for helping to locate survivors after a disaster, finding a safe way to reach survivors, or for helping responders determine how structurally safe a building may be.

As crazy as it might sound, it looks like cyborg cockroaches may become a staple of future disaster area rescue efforts.

Tagged: biobots, collapsed structures, cybernetics, cyborg cockroaches, disaster areas, search and rescue, technology

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Cyborg cockroaches called biobots are the latest search and rescue technology – The Plaid Zebra (blog)

Cris Cyborg not waiting for Germaine de Randamie, wants … – MMAmania.com

All clear.

Cristiane Justino is ready to say goodbye to the 140-pound catchweight fights once and for all and recently informed Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) that shes prepared to make her debut in the newly-created featherweight division.

With or without reigning 145-pound titleholder Germaine de Randamie.

Better late than never.

If Iron Lady is unable to heal up in time for a Cyborg fight, thanks to damage sustained in her UFC 208 win over Holly Holm last month in Brooklyn, New York, then Justino will settle for whoever has the courage to step up.

Are we going to find an opponent? I believe the UFC has the capability to make that happen, no doubt in my mind, head coach Jason Parillo told FanSideds Extra Rounds Podcast. We cant sit on the shelf and wait. It doesnt do us no good to sit back. Who knows how long wed have to wait on that too.

I hear this featherweight has nothing to do next month.

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Cris Cyborg not waiting for Germaine de Randamie, wants … – MMAmania.com

Mars, Tomb of Futurism: The Hopes of Success Are Dependent on Cyborg Humans – Futurism

Tend Your Own Garden

If immortality is the Holy Grail of Futurism then the colonization of Mars is its Holy Sepulchrea big empty tomb. Both attract their pilgrims: the former is a fairytale; the latter is a real place just out of reach, a sort of tantalizing inspiration to hungry dreamers everywhere salivating for land that doesnt belong to them. These days, from the promises of Elon Musk to the heroics of Matt Damon, we positively fetishize Mars. Yet my advice to the 11th century crusader and the 21st century Martian colonist would be the same: tend your own garden.

Im afraid that this is blasphemy from someone who calls himself a Transhumanist. After all, the colonization of space is tangentially connected enough to other themes associated with technological progress that theyre ordinarily all lumped together under the general banner of Futurism. In an increasingly divisive political climate, the promises of SpaceX and Mars One shine like the hope of some long-awaited escape from ourselves.

More fundamentally, the allure of space colonization is at the heart of some of our most beloved cultural narratives, shaping the aspirations of explorers since the first days of NASA and the Soviet Space Program. Even the earliest films lionized astronauts. The moon landing was the greatest collective lived experience of the twentieth century, this perfect human achievement more majestic than the pyramids and just as pointless only to the cynical.

Today, we might not have cities on the moon, but the fruits of space programs enrich our lives immeasurably. And given our recklessness when it comes to the fragile environment of this planet, perhaps we could use another world as a backup, just in case. We already have the technology to achieve the goal of getting to Mars, though for a perfect storm of reasons, it has yet to happen. But isnt getting there a worthy goal? And wont the journey there (and not only the physical journey, but the technical refinements forged along the way) benefit the cause of Progress with a capital P? Then what the hell am I complaining about?

My intention here isnt to trash space exploration or regale you with clickbait about the top eleven reasons why the colonization of Mars would be a tragic mistake at this juncture in time. However, I want to seriously problematize the prospective colonization, if youll excuse a word that academics tend to overuse. I dont want to focus on the hackneyed and frankly shortsighted idea that the money spent on getting to Mars could be better employed for services here on earth.

My critique has to do with the repercussions of contemporary attitudes about the seemingly unrelated topics of imperialism in outer space on the one hand and Transhumanism on the other. Cultural prejudices enshrining heroic astronauts blazing across the sky and mad scientists forging abominations pose serious problems for Transhumanists of all stripes and would-be Martian colonists alike.

If the predominant image of space colonizers enshrined in our zeitgeist is heroic pioneers soaring across the galaxy in the name of science and adventure, the narratives surrounding genetic engineering and cyborgs are positively apocalyptic by comparisonjust think of Frankenstein, the Terminator, and GATTACA.

The reasons for this difference in our intuitions are varied. They partly have to do with the genealogy of our ideas about imperialism in outer space, which are grounded in discourse about the benefits of the exploration and exploitation of underdeveloped foreign lands, exotic travelogues, Cold War propaganda, epic films, etc. They also have to do with the attitudes that surround Transhumanism, grounded in skepticism about discredited fields like galvanism, the abuses of the eugenicists, deep-seated fears surrounding physiological dislocation and dismemberment, etc.

The end result of all this discourse is that, right now in the popular imagination, would-be cyborgs are monsters and would-be Martian colonists are heroes. Lets take it for granted that the exploration of Mars would provide net benefits for society at large. Nevertheless, whether from the vantage point of someone who wants to investigate Mars and preserve its landscape (lets call this the environmentalist perspective) or someone who wants to colonize and terraform it (the imperialist perspective, which incidentally seems to completely dominate the environmentalist one), the problem inherent in this tension is immense.

First, imagine you were an environmentalist who felt strongly against the radical transformation of Mars. Your reasons might be varied. To you, the urge to dominate nature with the clutter of terrestrial civilization might seem arrogant and intrusive. True, there are no indigenous Martians to despoil. But the process of terraforming the planets surface would still seem to be hugely rapacious.

Imagine drowning its pristine scarlet valleys in water and clouding its translucent atmosphere with chemicals. Wouldnt even the most single-minded developer preserve some of the planets original landscape rather than transform it all? Doesnt this intuition concede that there is inherent value and beauty in the wild state of the place? If advanced aliens exist within visitable distance of our planet, they are evidently the type to silently observe or ignore us rather than actively intervene in our affairs. How primitive it might seem to them that our conception of space travel in 2017 is still bound to the small-minded earthly impulse to barge in, dominate nature, and claim random parcels of it as our own.

From this perspective, the only visits to Mars should be undertaken for the sake of exploration rather than colonization. The best agents to do so would be robots and cyborgs rather than unenhanced human beings, whose imprint on the environment would be immense by comparison. Yet until the development of cyborgs, we are doomed to either only know Mars indirectly or permanently scar its landscape as successive generations of pioneers perish on its inhospitable surface.

Now, consider the imperialist perspective. To you, between climate change, nuclear war, plague, and pestilence, the existential threats to human civilization are great enough that you feel we need to colonize Mars as soon as possible or face the potential extermination of civilization as we know it. The preservation of the beauty of nature is all well and good, after all, but human interests come first.

Yet the conditions on Mars for the colonizers would be like something out of Dante; indeed, the first Martian immigrants should be prepared to die, warns Elon Musk.

As it is, we cant even control the weather yet here on Earth, let alone create a colony on another planet with an inhospitable atmosphere. The bright eyed and bushy tailed original colonists would be like Joseph Conrads Mr. Kurtz, fantasizing about the march of civilization but ending up the lonely dupes of capitalism wallowing in lunacy in a dark place where they shouldnt have ventured in the first place.

On closer reflection, the imperialist would realize that until it became feasible to travel to Mars on a mass scale, the original colonies could only remain pitiable outposts for misguided dying settlers and insanely rich tourists rather than anything like a safety net for civilization at large. The fastest and most efficient way to transform the landscape would be by the sweat of cyborgs. And yet ironically, with the advent of cyborgs, the need to terraform the environment to suit un-enhanced human needs would perhaps be moot.

While I might have misgivings about the subjugation of a planet ironically named for the god of conquest, I dont want to disparage a journey there as an admirable Futurist goal. But whether you are an advocate of peaceful exploration or large-scale colonization, the time has come to think realistically about the requisite intermediate steps. We need to make heroes of the pioneers who are willing to risk their lives and careers to overcome the hurdles on the way to our destination in this dark march toward whatever it is were approaching.

Cyborgs and space explorers are entirely akin in their willingness to risk their lives for the sake of challenging the boundaries of conceivability. Yet in 2017, we call volunteers for the journey to Mars heroes, and there are no volunteers at all for brain implants because no doctor would ever dream of performing such an operation or convening a conference to discuss plans for one.

If a prominent surgeon called for volunteers and warned, as Musk did, that they must be prepared to die, I wonder if the public would meet the declaration with the same resigned sigh in recognition of the heroism of all involved. The principle is precisely the same: a human life is at stake. Yet we are willing to sanctify the sacrificeof the astronaut and glorify him, but would rather reverse engineer a machine analogous to a human brain than implant a machine into one

Investment in Mars in the absence of Transhumanism as a vigorous social ideology doesnt necessarily come at the expense of Transhumanism, but it does come at the expense of the future of Mars. The most widespread current projections of the next century of human development imagine the needs of unenhanced humans predominating as a matter of course. Hence, long-term plans for Mars call for terraforming the planet to create a second Earth. Yet this limitation in our imaginations augurs great brutality and a great deal of human blood spilled along the way as we struggle to dominate conditions not meant for our bodies.

This, of course, does not mean I think there should be no exploration of Mars, or even that I am dead-set against eventual colonization. But I would hope that any such colonization would be undertaken in a spirit of great respect for nature, imposing upon it, let alone uprooting it, as little as possible. And I would also pray that the path toward colonization would be blazed with as few deaths as possible along the way.

Yet this can only take place after the ascendancy of Transhumanism and not a moment before it. For the time being, I would no more recommend a journey to Mars than I would a voyage across the Atlantic to an ancient Roman armed with nothing but a leaky triremeand his copy of Ptolemy.

David Vincent Kimel is a doctoral student in History at Yale. Connect with him on Twitter and Instagram (spqrkimel). Visit his blog at earthasitis.com.

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Mars, Tomb of Futurism: The Hopes of Success Are Dependent on Cyborg Humans – Futurism

Cris Cyborg Says She’s Ready to Fight Again | champions.co – champions.co

When Cris “Cyborg” Justino was cleared by USADA of her anti-doping issues, everyone had hoped a fight between her and the UFC women’s featherweight champion, Germaine de Randamie, would be scheduled. After all, it was Cyborg that had campaigned for the division to be built in the first place. But de Randamie doesn’t seem all the eager to face off with the powerhouse … and who could blame her?

Now that Cris has recovered from two severe weight cuts, she says she it ready to return to the Octagon with or without Germaine.

Germaine has been insistent on a rematch with former UFC bantamweight champion, Holly Holm, after defeating her to become the first women’s featherweight champion amid controversy and accusations of an unfair fight. She has also said that if she is not going to rematch Holly, she will be taking time off to have surgery.

What I heard in her speech after her fight, she already pre-meditated everything that happened in that, said Jason Parillo, Cyborg’s head coach, on FanSideds Extra Rounds Podcast. As soon as Cris Cyborgs name came up, she went straight to hand surgery. I dont blame her. Ill be honest with you; I dont blame her. I dont blame any girl for not wanting to fight Cris Cyborg.

Cyborg had been offered the title shot initially, but due to medical issues has to turn down the fight. She was later flagged by USADA due to a medication she was prescribed to recover from two back to back tough weight cuts. She was cleared of any wrongdoing earlier this year.

But with Cris finally recovered and cleared to return to Octagon, she, and her coach, don’t want to be waiting around for the champion.

“We cant sit on the shelf and wait,” Parillo said. “It doesnt do us no good to sit back. Who knows how long wed have to wait on that too.”

Cris has not fought since Septemeber when she defeated Lina Lansberg at UFC Fight Night 95 via a second round TKO.

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Cris Cyborg Says She’s Ready to Fight Again | champions.co – champions.co

Amanda Nunes’ plans for second UFC title reign don’t include Cris … – CBSSports.com

UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes goal of becoming the first female fighter in company history to win titles in multiple weight classes remains. Whether she plans to act on that goal, however, apparently depends upon who is holding the 145-pound title.

Nunes, 28, has stated her preference is to face UFC womens featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie (7-3), who defeated Holly Holm for the inaugural title in a disputed decision at UFC 208 in February.

It was Nunes (14-4), of course, who finished de Randamie by first-round TKO in their 2013 bantamweight bout. But asked by a group of media members on Tuesday while vacationing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, whether she would be just as willing to challenge for the belt if fellow Brailizan Cris Cyborg Justino was wearing it, Nunes switched gears.

Cris is a huge for 145; Im little for 135, Nunes said in an interview captured by MMAFighting.com. In order to fight Cris Cyborg, I would have to train at a specific weight to get more muscles and be stronger. This takes time to do.

The champion right now is Germaine de Randamie. I have fought Germaine before and she is for my weight class. Thats why I want to go up because I have beat her before and know I can beat her.

Justino (17-1), the current Invicta FC featherweight champion, made her long-awited UFC debut last May, winning a pair of bouts against Leslie Smith and Lina Lansberg at catchweights of 140 pounds. But the former Strikeforce champion turned down multiple UFC offers to fight for the inaugural 145-pound title, claiming she needed more time to train and cut weight.

This is the thing — I want to see Cris Cyborg as [UFC] champion, Nunes said. She is deserving. She is a warrior like me and [the featherweight] division is open for her. She has taken days off, and I know she is going to come back. If she is taking a long time [to return], I want to go up and fight Germaine. But if Cris comes back, I really want to see Cris as champion.

Nunes captured the bantamweight title by knocking out Miesha Tate at UFC 200 in July before coming back with an emphatic 48-second dismantling of a returning Ronda Rousey at UFC 207 in December. But shes likely to have her hands full within her own division in the near future thanks to Valentina Shevchenko, who is fresh off a pair of impressive wins against Holly Holm and Julianna Pena.

Shevchenko (14-2), 28, lost a three-round decision to Nunes last March at UFC 196. But the native of Russian appeared to figure things out in the final round and rallied late to give Nunes all she could handle.

Last month, the typically all-business Shevchenko shared with TMZ Sports her opinion that Nunes is looking for any reason to avoid a rematch. Nunes rejected the notion, saying she has plans to sit down with the UFC and discuss her next step upon her return to the United States.

Im on vacation right now and Im never going to stop enjoying this moment to come back and fight because Valentina wants, Nunes said. Its not like that.

I love this rematch. I love to see Valentina like that because she never was like that, to talk a lot. Im excited to be back in training and see what is next. I will fight her. If she is next, I dont have any problem.

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Amanda Nunes’ plans for second UFC title reign don’t include Cris … – CBSSports.com

Metal Gear Solid movie director talks Cyborg Ninja, Sniper Wolf, fourth wall moments, and more – GamesRadar

The Metal Gear Solid movie will feature a character near and dear to director Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ heart, at least if he has anything to say about it. While promoting his new movie Kong: Skull Island, Vogt-Roberts told IGN that “there’s no world” in which he directs a Metal Gear Solid movie that doesn’t have Gray Fox, AKA the Cyborg Ninja.

“When we were sitting down to think about the script at a certain point it was like, ‘Is Cyborg Ninja in this movie or not?’ And the part of me that was a little kid was like, ‘There’s no world in which I’m ever going to make a Metal Gear movie that Cyborg Ninja is not going to be in.’ It’s really easy to be like, ‘It’s a good character to save for the second one,’ but no, no, no.”

Vogt-Roberts also called himself “a big fan” of Sniper Wolf, so the beautiful-but-deadly sharpshooter may also make an appearance.

Other fan-favorite moments from the PlayStation game may not make it to film, however. Many players to this day remember the shock they felt at being addressed directly by Psycho Mantis as he read the contents of an inserted memory card. But fourth wall shenanigans aren’t high on Vogt-Roberts’ priorities.

“To me, the fourth wall breaking is a little less important than the walking philosophies and ideologies those characters represent, and getting that right and the tone right and things like that,” Vogt-Roberts said. “If breaking the fourth wall makes sense, I’m all for it, [but] I’m more interested in the ‘Kojima conversations’ about whatever song came out then or whatever – it’s that stuff that it just absolutely needs.”

And what does Kojima himself think of all this? Well, he’s a fan of Kong: Skull Island, at least.

I don’t know about you, but that’s all the endorsement I needed to see Kong this weekend and be hyped for development of the MGS movie to continue.

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Metal Gear Solid movie director talks Cyborg Ninja, Sniper Wolf, fourth wall moments, and more – GamesRadar

Megan Anderson: One Day Cris Cyborg and I Will Fight and I’ll Take Her Place – MMAWeekly (blog)


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Megan Anderson: One Day Cris Cyborg and I Will Fight and I'll Take Her Place
MMAWeekly (blog)
Invicta FC interim featherweight champion Megan Anderson held a scrum with reporters at UFC 209, where, not surprisingly, the focus quickly centered on a potential fight with Cris Cyborg Justino and the development of the women's 145-pound division

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How Cyborg Insects Could Save Lives and Stop Our Enemies – NBCNews.com

A first generation version of the backpack guidance system that includes energy harvesting, navigation and optical stimulation on a to-scale model of a dragonfly. Charles Stark Draper Laboratory

Using electricity for this task is too crude, however. “The problem is if you draw a tiny current into the nerve core, you would activate all the nerves around it,” Wheeler says, adding that light activation would provide more specificity.

Draper partnered with Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers, who are genetically modifying dragonflies’ steering neurons to make them sensitive to light. The insects can then be strapped with a Draper-designed backpack that delivers targeted light pulses to specific steering neurons. The backpack also contains a navigation system, sensors, wireless transmitters, and miniature solar panels.

Instead of manually controlling the insects, the team could theoretically program a dragonfly (via the backpack) to do certain tasks, such as investigating a building in a warzone, which it will carry out autonomously. Wheeler thinks the system may be ready for real-world tests in about two years.

Bozkurt suggests biobots are just a stepping stone to miniaturized insect-like robots, which aren’t yet possible due to technological limitations. “If you look at the history of science, before having our automobiles we were riding various beasts of burden,” he says, explaining that biobots are modern science’s beasts of burden.

But Liang thinks there are benefits to keeping robot-like insects around. They’re more inexpensive and energy-efficient than full robots, she says, and have the ability to sense the environment on their own and respond in kind, such by evading unstable rubble or escaping from guard dogs or other dangers during espionage missions.

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Some insects, such as locusts and bees, can also be trained to home in on certain scents, including the chemical cues of explosives. The insects could eventually be remotely

Liang suggests there may be other, more science fiction-like uses to the cyborgs not necessarily possible with full robots. For instance, if your home is infested with roaches, you could release a robo-roach to find their main hiding spaces. The roach, perhaps outfitted with attractive chemical cues, could then be guided outside of your home, luring the other roaches out in a kind of Pied Piper fashion. “This is a crazy idea, but I think it will be possible,” she says.

Compared with machines, cyborg insects are “more versatile and flexible, and they require less control,” Liang says. “They’re more real.”

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The 10 Best Cyborg Reveal Scenes in Movies – ComingSoon.net

One of the coolest parts of any movie focusing on cyborgs, robots, androids or what have you is the scene or scenes where the inner-workings of the machine are revealed to the audience for the first time. Sometimes its a twist, other times its just a chance to see what makes a robot tick. With Paramountslive-action Ghost in the Shell fast approaching on March 31, we thought wed take the opportunity to compile a list of The 10 Best Cyborg Reveal Scenes in Movies, which you can check out in the gallery below!

This is a great time to be celebrating all things robotic, as Anchor Bay is putting out a new limited edition Mondosteelbook Blu-ray ofMamoru Oshiis original 1995 anime masterpiece Ghost in the Shell, which we previewed and can say it still looks incredible for a 20+ year-old movie. Our friends at Scream Factory are also putting out two cyberpunk favorites to Blu-ray, 1990s RoboCop 2 and 1993s RoboCop 3, both packed to the gills with amazing bonus features that even those disappointed by the sequels will find fascinating.

Click here to pre-orderthe Mondo steelbook Ghost in the Shell Blu-ray before its March 14 street date!

Click here to pre-orderRoboCop 2and here to pre-orderRoboCop 3 on Scream Factory Blu-ray before their release on March 21!

Which of the cyborg reveals on our list is your favorite? What are some other great cyborg reveal scenes in movies? Let us know in the comments below!

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The 10 Best Cyborg Reveal Scenes in Movies – ComingSoon.net

Amanda Nunes no longer pursuing UFC Featherweight title fight … – MMAmania.com

Not too long ago, current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) womens Bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes, was lobbying for her chance to get the winner of the first-ever womens Featherweight title fight between Germaine de Randamie and Holly Holm, which ultimately saw Iron Lady come out the victor at UFC 208 (see it).

But now that Cris Cyborg is back in the title picture after she was cleared of any wrongdoing by United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Nunes has opted to forego her plans to compete for the 145-pound strap.

Why?

To hear Lioness tell it, the division belongs to Cyborg.

I do not intend to fight with Cris, Nunes told AG Fight in Brazil (via FOX Sports). But my intention was to fight [Holly Holm or Germaine de Randamie], who were in my category, but Cris is coming back now and Im not interested in going up. I want to see her as the champion. To fight with her, I would have to gain weight and gain muscle. I am at 135 pounds. To do such a job (at 145), I would need at least a year.

And before you perceive Nunes sudden disinterest in winning the 145-pound title as her simply ducking Cyborg, she elaborated further on her decision.

Thats what I said: This category is for Cris, but then she tested positive, Nunes said. But then, two girls from the 135-pound class moved up, one was coming off two defeats and the other was not in the rankings. The champion [Germaine de Randamie] is a girl that I have already defeated. I asked to go up because I can be champion in two categories. My point of view was that they were two athletes from my category and that Cris was not in the game at the time, she concluded.

It probably doesnt matter in the grand scheme of things, as UFC President Dana White pumped the brakes on Amandas quest to move up to featherweight long before Lioness had a change of heart.

As for what is next for Nunes, a rematch against Valentina Shevchenko — whom she defeated at UFC 196 back in 2016 is on the horizon after Bullet finished Julianna Pena UFC on FOX 23. Cyborg, meanwhile, is currently waiting to see if de Randamies hand is healed before she can get a definite date for her first-ever UFC championship bout.

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Amanda Nunes no longer pursuing UFC Featherweight title fight … – MMAmania.com

These tattoos conduct electricity, turning you into a very basic cyborg – Mashable


Mashable
These tattoos conduct electricity, turning you into a very basic cyborg
Mashable
'Tech Tats' are temporary and use ink that conducts electricity. They are fitted with small sensors and trackers that turn them into tiny smart devices. So far the …

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These tattoos conduct electricity, turning you into a very basic cyborg – Mashable

3 tech body modifications to turn you into a cyborg – Memeburn

By Julia Breakey on 7 March, 2017 Share

If youve ever watchedInspector Gadgetand wished that you were as cool as him, then youve chosen the right time to be alive.

Over the past few years, scientists have worked on ways to integrate technology into the human body, with functionality ranging from medical diagnoses to sheer cool factor.

And according to some scientists, the first person to live to 1000 has already been born.

But while you wait for that technology, here are three body modifications that are as close youll get to being a robot today.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed temporary tattoos called DuoSkin last year.

These tattooscan work as a trackpad for your device or even light up when your partner is angry at you, or if your temperature is rising.

And if you desperately want to promote your Instagram, then some even work as NFC tags so no one around you has an excuse not to follow you.

Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao, one of the PhD students involved in this project, is from Taiwan, and she understands the importance of being able to control your appearance. Because of this, she wants to make DuoSkin available to as many people as possible.

You could just use any graphic design software on your computer like Paint to design the circuit, and then hook it up to this very cheap vinyl cutter and cut out the traces on the film layer on top of tattoo paper, she says. After that, you just layer on the gold leaf and then remove it.

Then its simple: apply like you would any temporary tattoo.

Kao believes the future is full of tattoos like this.

They will become an extension of yourself, she asserts.

In 2015, a company formerly known as Chaotic Moon created temporary tattoos that used conductive paint to create circuits on your skin.

The tattoos were meant to accumulate medical data about the wearer, standing in for doctors appointments.

But a search for them pulls up only news articles.Chaotic Moon are now known as Fjord Austin, and they dont mention anything about what they dubbed Tech Tats.

So this one may just be a pipe dream for now.

The Unseenpremiered their new hair dye that changes colour depending on temperatures at London Fashion Week late last month.

The hair dye works similarly to that of a mood ring.

When heat hits the pigment, or if the cool hits the pigment, it changes the bonds of the chemistry to give you a different colour, so its like a chemical reaction, creator Lauren Bowker told Dazed.

Colours include a black to red dye that is affected by higher temperatures (around 31 degrees Celsius) and white to blue that works better in winter (changing at 15 degrees Celsius).

The dye is not yet on the market, but they are seeking a brand partner so they can start giving you the hair you deserve.

Technology like Apple, Google, yes they are technology, but for me technology should be magic and shouldnt be engineered all the time. To me, chemistry and science is witchcraft and so it should be, Bowker says.

Biohacking is a broad term, and it generally refers to DIY biology.

That could mean figuring out how the DNA in plants affects their growth, or how to manipulate genes from another source to make a plant glow in the dark, PBS explains.

Procedures can range from RFID implants that can unlock cars and safes, injections to your eye that give you night vision, andantennae that give colours a sound.

But the most popular procedure for beginners is the implantation of magnets under the skin.

The magnet is said to give people a sixth sense, allowing them tosense magnetic fields, pick up metal objects and detect iron levels in various metals.

So if you are getting bored of sight and taste and need a novel sensory adventure, then perhaps its time to contact your local bodypiercing shop and ask them what they can do.

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3 tech body modifications to turn you into a cyborg – Memeburn

Amanda Nunes: ‘I do Not Intend to Fight Cris Cyborg’ – MMANews.com – MMA News

Amanda Nunes has pumped the brakes on a move to featherweight.

Nunes, who is the reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) womens bantamweight title holder, is likely headed towards a title defense against Valentina Shevchenko. The Lioness entertained a featherweight move when Cris Cyborg was flagged for a potential drug violation.

Now that Cyborg has been cleared to compete and free of any penalty, she may be next in line for a shot at the womens 145-pound gold. Speaking with Flo Combat, Nunes said she doesnt plan on trading leather with Cyborg:

I do not intend to fight with Cris. But my intention was to fight [Holly Holm or Germaine de Randamie], who were in my category, but Cris is coming back now and Im not interested in going up. I want to see her as the champion. To fight with her, I would have to gain weight and gain muscle. I am at 135 pounds. To do such a job (at 145), I would need at least a year. Thats what I said: This category is for Cris. but then she tested positive. But then, two girls from the 135-pound class moved up, one was coming off two defeats and the other was not in the rankings. The champion [Germaine de Randamie] is a girl that I have already defeated. I asked to go up because I can be champion in two categories. My point of view was that they were two athletes from my category and that Cris was not in the game at the time.

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Amanda Nunes: ‘I do Not Intend to Fight Cris Cyborg’ – MMANews.com – MMA News

Are We Ready for Cyborgs? The Tech Is on Its Way – Singularity Hub

Are we ready for cyborgs? More specifically, people with implants that enhance beyond the superficially cosmetic and into the realms of evolved beings?

Jorge Pelegrn-Borondo (Universidad de La Rioja), Eva Reinares-Lara (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos) and Cristina Olarte-Pascual (Universidad de La Rioja), in cooperation with Professor Kiyoshi Murata, from Meiji University in Tokyo, believe society is ready for this melding of (hu)man and machine.

The Spanish academics report “Assessing the acceptance of technological implants (the cyborg): Evidences and challenges” has just been released in the scientific journal Computers in Human Behavior. The report shows a significant proportion of those surveyed are comfortable with the coming cyborg modifications. The group are also collaborating with other academics across the world, including Professor Kiyoshi Murata, for a comparative cross-cultural study roundtable at the 2017 ETHICOMP conference this summer in Turin, Italy.

Quick background: There are already the accepted medical examples: Cochlear implants, pacemakers, cardioverter defibrillators, catheters and heart valves, as well as those that incorporate technology into the body through sensory prostheses: exoskeletons, neuroprostheses, and deep brain stimulation. Then theres the underground biohacking and transhumanism movement, with Amal Graafstra and his double RFID implants as a notable exponent (you can see him in demo mode here).

Unsurprisingly, tech giants are also looking into the cyborg field, experimenting in the lab and registering intriguing patents: Motorola is investigating a neck implant to improve cellular reception and Nokia might be developing a tattoo that vibrates.

We spoke to the reports three authors via email recently. In a series of conversations, they explained the theory behind the report, ethical and evolutionary implications of insideables, and whether theyd go under the knife to achieve cyborg elite status.

How did the term insideables come about? Was it to distinguish from wearables, which are attached to, but not part of, the body?

We initially called them T3ICs (Technological Implants to Increase Innate Capacities). However, we later learned of the work of Lucien Engelen, director of the REshape Center for Health(care) Innovation, who used the term insideables.

What sort of surgically-inserted objects count as insideables?

Insideables are electronic devices implanted in the human body that interact with the user to increase innate human capacities, such as mental agility, memory, or physical strength, or to give us new ones, such as the ability to control machines remotely.

But this is over and beyond the current medical field, right?

Yes. It is important to distinguish between insideables and medical implants. Unlike medical implants, insideables are not implanted for medical reasons (although they may enhance our health).

Needless to say, there are anthropological, philosophical, and ethical questions surrounding the implantation of electronic devices to improve capacities as opposed to for therapeutic (health) reasons.

In your study you refer to Cyborg Theory. Can you explain what that means?

In the field of computational theory of the mind and in cyborg theory (cyborg refers to a blend of the human and the mechanical), the human body is viewed as a machine. The integration of this technology in the body could be seen as an evolutionary leap for the species, whereby reasonable people will improve their capacities as much as technology allows.

The Ministry of Economy and Competitivity (Spain) funded your study. Does that mean Spain is vying to become the center of cyborg theory and insideables manufacturing?

Initially, we received funding from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness to conduct the research. Unfortunately, as a result of the Spanish economic crisis, our work is no longer being funded. However, we believe in it, so we are investing our own time and money. At the academic level, there is considerable interest in our work, and several of our papers have been published in high-impact journals, such as Computers in Human Behavior, Psychology and Marketing, and Frontiers in Psychology. From a social and economic standpoint, it has to be remembered that we are dealing with a line of new products with a potentially huge global market. Quite likely, this technology will usher in a level of change on a par with those generated by the advent of the internet or computers.

As authors of the report, if you could have any insideable implanted, what would you choose and why?

Jorge Pelegrn-Borondo (Universidad de La Rioja): I would implant one of the devices whose market acceptance we are currently studying: a memory implant, specifically, one adapted to learning languages. That would give me access to a vast quantity of information about words in other languages. Of course, information and knowledge (i.e. knowing how to apply that information) are two different things.

Cristina Olarte-Pascual (Universidad de La Rioja): I would also choose a memory implant. I would like to be able to revisit all sorts of memories and nice times regardless of where I am, without the need for an external device like a smartphone. I also think they open up new possibilities for communication and interaction with other people.

Eva Reinares-Lara (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos): Personally, I am on the same page as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who has said that the intention to use technological implants on ones children may be greater than the intention to use them on oneself. While he says he would like to remain natural himself, he says he would want his children to have them if, in a few years, the technology was giving other kids certain advantages.

Finally, your report highlights a potential divide between an implanted elite and the masses without body mods.

Yes, we believe these types of products could greatly exacerbate social differences. We could see the rise of a society consisting of an implanted elite alongside the non-implanted masses, who would be unable to achieve the same levels of development as their implanted counterparts. This will be the focus of our global comparative cross-cultural study roundtable for the 2017 ETHICOMP conference in June.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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Are We Ready for Cyborgs? The Tech Is on Its Way – Singularity Hub


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