The Body Electric: An Anatomy of the New Bionic Senses Review

The Body Electric: An Anatomy of the New Bionic Senses
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The Body Electric: An Anatomy of the New Bionic Senses ReviewThe Body Electric deals with the science of the merging of biology and technology. In it, James Geary discusses the advances in biotechnology and provides a glance into the future when new technologies may replace organs and repair and enhance the senses. Devices made of silicon will eventually enhance the human brain and body in ways unheard of today. In the chapter titled Sight/Vision Thing, we learn that computers will be able to analyse facial expressions for various purposes. In the chapters Hearing/Sounds Of Science and Smell/Advances In Odour Space the possibility is raised of transporting odours and flavours via the internet and if this will become just another advertising tool. There are also Taste/Fun With Electric Tongues; Touch/The World Is Your Interface, in which haptic interfaces are discussed, and finally, Mind/The Sixth Sense. The convergence of biology and technology is a fascinating field; this book also addresses some of the psychological, sociological and philosophical implications of these future technologies. The discussion on new bionic senses becoming available is very interesting, like the possibility of seeing infrared and ultraviolet light, plus the possibility of hitherto unknown senses becoming available. The whole framework of existence is changing as the human body becomes electric, opening wider the doors of perception. This great book contains 13 illustrations and concludes with an extensive bibliography and a helpful index.The Body Electric: An Anatomy of the New Bionic Senses OverviewMarie, a 63-year-old Belgian woman, has been totally blind since the age of 57. But now, thanks to electrodes implanted around her right optic nerve, she can see lights, shapes and colours again. A motorcycle accident in 1993 left Brian Holgersen, a 30-year-old Dane, paralysed from the neck down. But he can now hold a cup, lift a fork and grasp a pen thanks to advanced electronics embedded in his right arm and hand. Marie and Brian are two of a handful of people around the world who have had computer chips implanted in their bodies to extend, enhance or repair their senses. This remarkable convergence of biology and technology is being brought about by melding advanced computers with the human nervous system. This same technology might also one day provide us with bionic senses, such as the ability to see infrared radiation or feel objects at a distance. By linking neurons in the brain directly to silicon chips, scientists are also exploring the possibility of creating virtual eyes, ears and limbs on the Web and allowing people to control appliances by thought alone. Machines are getting silicon senses too.Researchers are endowing computers with the ability to see, hear, smell, taste and touch. Once a computer has its own sensorium, it might at some point learn to think. Drawing on fields as diverse as artificial intelligence and biology, The Body Electric provides an exciting synthesis of the people and technology making this convergence possible, while addressing the psychological, social and philosophical implications of these startling developments. Are you any less 'you' after a bionic implant? If all our senses are electronically enhanced, how will we tell the difference between virtual reality and the actual world? How can privacy be ensured when computers are watching and listening to everything we do and say?--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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