Kevin Warwick, World’s First “Cyborg,” on Artificial Intelligence
“Those who have the technology, those who have been upgraded… will have all the cards.”
— Kevin Warwick
Today, we are joined by Kevin Warwick, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research at Coventry University, and former Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading. Oh… he’s also considered to be the world’s first actual cyborg, having connected his nervous system to the internet nearly 15 years ago. But don’t worry, we’ll get to that later on in the interview…
Kevin is one of the leading researchers in artificial intelligence, robotics, and biomedical engineering, and has authored and co-authored more than 600 research papers and written or edited 27 books including I, Cyborg, QI, The Quest For Intelligence, and In The Mind Of The Machine. He’s also received doctorates and awards from more higher learning institutions than I have time to list, but one interesting one is that the Institute of Physics selected Kevin as one of only 7 eminent scientists to illustrate the ethical impact their scientific work can have… the others, by the way, were Galileo, Einstein, Curie, Novel, Oppenheimer, and Rotblat. You may have also seen Kevin’s work in the National Geographic Documentary, “I, Human.”
This episode goes far and wide, and might be one of the most mind-blowing episodes we’ve ever done. Kevin and I talk about artificial intelligence and what it means for humanity. We talk about cyborgs, and what possibilities technology has for making us truly superhuman, we discuss the future of learning, and even start to understand what it will look like when – not if – a new species of humanoids roam the planet. All in all, it’s an incredibly fascinating episode that will bring you up to date on the cutting edge of technology and help you understand how, in the future, we’ll truly become superhuman.
In this episode, we discuss:
- How Kevin Warwick became interested in artificial intelligence and robotics after his father’s surgery
- What, exactly, is artificial intelligence, and how does it work?
- Why are folks like Elon Musk and Marc Andreessen so scared about AI, and why should you be?
- Will we be able to create safeguards against AI, and if so, how?
- A discussion of Isaac Asimov and the rules he envisioned for AI
- Is Kevin Warwick optimistic about the next 100 years of humanity?
- Is a “Terminator” type scenario actually possible? (surprising)
- What about economics? What happens when machines fill all the jobs done by humans?
- What jobs is Kevin Warwick optimistic about? What would he recommend for his own children?
- How close are we to passing the Turing test? What is the state of AI right now?
- How did Kevin Warwick come to be the world’s first “cyborg,” and what does that mean?
- A description of the superhuman abilities Kevin had as a cyborg
- How will cyborg technology likely make us “superhuman?”
- What will communication look like if and when our brains are connected to the web?
- How will learning be influenced by the rise of artificial intelligence?
- Who will get access to this technology, and who will not?
- The rise of a separate human species – and what will likely happen
- What technologies is Kevin Warwick most excited about?
- Where to learn more about Kevin Warwick
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
- Our previous episode with Aubrey de Grey
- The Terminator
- WestWorld (HBO)
- The Matrix
- The Turing Test (Wikipedia)
- Jonathan’s TEDx Talk
- Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
- Hugo de Garis
- Kevin Warwick on Wikipedia
Favorite Quotes from Kevin Warwick:
“We perhaps don’t even know what intelligence is.”
“Theoretically, we could… But practically, we have no hope at all.”
“It’s intelligence that puts us humans in the powerful position we are in on earth… and here we are, creating something that is potentially more powerful in many ways than our intelligence. It’s sort of writing our own death warrant, really.”
“I’m not too optimistic about humans at all, to be honest.”
“I don’t honestly believe people will have problems with having implants, if they allow the person to do a lot lot more.”