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“We have always been cyborgs, and the distinction between the natural and artificial is so blurred throughout history as to be meaningless—and drawing the distinction tends to be an instrument of domination anyway. Ever since we picked up sticks to aid us in catching food or otherwise manipulating our environments, we have been seamlessly extended by our tools. And this is ultimately a good thing.”

—Donna Haraway

I was searching for examples of systems that have been built that can be controlled by the neurons in the brain and found research about brain based devices:

“…our device has some lovely properties that are necessary to the idea of a conscious artifact. It has that property of indwelling activity. So the brain is already speaking to itself. That’s a very important concept for consciousness.”

I love the idea that an artificial system talking to itself is an important part of consciousness.

“We’re already relying on software to help us make complex decisions, including modeling climate change scenarios, impacts of financial market interventions, and optimal oil-drilling locations. But what happens when every decision, large or small, incorporates decision
support from our machine helpers? This is beginning to happen already, as we routinely check Amazon ratings before buying a product or scan Yelp reviews before deciding where to eat. Imagine a future in which every decision we make incorporates rational analysis of risks and probabilities. We’ll outsource some decisions to machines completely, while also assimilating computational rationality into our own decision processes.”
-Marina Gorbis, Human Plus Machine: A Winning Partnership

 

 

Finished reading:

Reading Now:

Other books I’m reading through or referencing:

The Remarkable Case of Davidson’s Eyes by H.G. Wells

Davidson suddenly can see something that is happening elsewhere, and is blind to everything around him. He can feel what is actually around him, but is completely confused as to what is actually happening since what he sees feels more real than what he hears or feels. His “real” vision slowly returns and there are only patchy areas of the other “dimension” he was seeing into. He later meets someone who happened to be on the ship Davidson was witnessing, thus confirming that Davidson’s eyes were indeed seeing something else that was actually happening (not dreaming about it).

This story relates to some of the research I have been doing into perceptual phenomena. It also reminds of the effect I used to experience, to a lesser degree of course, as a child when I would hold a large mirror around chest level and only look at it while I was walking, so that I could feel like I was walking on the ceiling. Of course, I would trip over things since I was essentially blind to the floor.