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Johan D Nel
 
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Defining a human being

20 July 2014, 17:18


An article by Professor Anton van Niekerk was recently published on the Afrikaans newspaper Beeld’s website  ( actually on the websites of all three Afrikaans newspapers published by Naspers)  http://www.beeld.com/opinie/2013-11-12-forum-word-j-robo-sapiens.
How do you define a human being and humanity. Is Homo sapiens changing into Robo sapiens?

There also other developments in the biologic sciences that Prof van Niekerk  didn’t mention.
Patrick Steptoe’s and Robert Edwards’s achievement regarding the birth of Louise Brown.

Refinement of the techniques used by them lead to the birth of “Dolly the Sheep”. Further refinements lead to the well documented pregnancy  of Elizabeth Adeney.   Pregnancy in menopausal women, virgin births etc. are not any more just superstitious myths but a reality.

Prof. v Niekerk mentioned the advances in computer science, genetic manipulations and the possibility  to integrate human and machine intelligence. He however didn’t refer to three dimensional printers (3D printers).

The more affordable 3D printers is presently limited and can use only materials with a relative low melting point. The ability of these printers are continuously advancing and metal printers are already a reality. The possibility exists that even organic material could be used as printing material.

Software THAT CAN DESIGN THEIR OWN HARDWARE is a possibility. The 3D printer created the opportunity. If a very advance 3D printer is combined with machine intelligence , self duplicating , self advancing machines are created. 

Hardware deteriorate  over time and become useless , the same as biological life. This doesn’t apply to programs. For practical purposes programs can be regarded as immortal.  If an intelligent machine reaches the end of its usable life , its program can be transferred.  If it is able to control a 3D printer , it can resurrect itself.  

All that is necessary to immortalize an advance robot, is an advanced 3d printer , the robot’s operating system ( including all the applicable  programs ) and its memory.  

The “resurrection” can also be postponed by “backing-up (storing)  the robot’s memory and  programs.  The availability of “Cloud Storage” makes this “resurrection a possibility where a 3d printer can access   “Cloud Storage”

Is a virgin birth , a pregnant menopausal woman and a resurrection really myths or possible scientific achievements by an intelligence that is for more advanced than we can imagine?

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