Captain Cyborg accepts another degree from puny humans

10 INPUT honorary_award$ 20 GOTO 10


The nation's favourite would-be cyborg overlord and media strumpet, Professor Kevin Warwick, has been rewarded with another academic bauble.

The post-human Brummie was given a Doctorate from the University of Portsmouth last week for his work as Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading.

It adds to a growing collection. Warwick has already picked up honorary PhDs from Aston University, Coventry University and Bradford University.

Portsmouth credits Warwick with inventing "an intelligent deep brain stimulator to counteract the effects of Parkinson’s disease tremors". This is bit of a generous interpretation of his work, as evidenced by this academic paper. The project involves using a neural network to predict Parkinson's tremors. But the actual invention, the "intelligent stimulator" has to our knowledge - has yet to be invented.

But then as Warwick likes to say: "There can be no absolute reality, there can be no absolute truth" - an invaluable approach for any post-modern scientist. Or Wikipedian.

Last year we noted how Wikipedia's entry for Britain's Greatest Living Scientist had been miraculously cleansed of any controversy or criticism of Warwick's work or public statements. The following passage, the last remnant of any disquiet amongst Warwick's scientific peers, was subsequently removed:

Warwick's tendency to court the media has led some of his critics to accuse him of concentrating on publicity at the cost of research, grossly exaggerating the importance and implications of his "experiments". For example, the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour complained to the organisers of the 2000 Christmas Lectures about their choice of Kevin Warwick, prior to his appearance. They claimed that "he is not a spokesman for our subject and allowing him influence through the Christmas lectures is a danger to the public perception of science.

It has not been reinstated.

On his home page Warwick states 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 being Galileo, Einstein, Curie, Nobel, Oppenheimer and Rotblat" - a link to this schools project.

At this rate, Professor Warwick will soon be gracing the back of a 10 pound note. Move over Darwin - the cyborgs are coming. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Amazon warehouse staff granted second chance to vote for unionization

    US labor watchdog tosses previous failed result in the trash

    America's labor watchdog has given workers at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, another crack at voting for unionization after their first attempt failed earlier this year.

    “It is ordered that the election that commenced on February 8 is set aside, and a new election shall be conducted,” Lisa Henderson, regional director at the National Labor Relations Board, ruled [PDF] on Tuesday.

    “The National Labor Relations Board will conduct a second secret ballot election among the unit employees. Employees will vote whether they wish to be represented for purposes of collective bargaining by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.”

    Continue reading
  • It's the flu season – FluBot, that is: Surge of info-stealing Android malware detected

    And a bunch of bank-account-raiding trojans also identified

    FluBot, a family of Android malware, is circulating again via SMS messaging, according to authorities in Finland.

    The Nordic country's National Cyber Security Center (NCSC-FI) lately warned that scam messages written in Finnish are being sent in the hope that recipients will click the included link to a website that requests permission to install an application that's malicious.

    "The messages are written in Finnish," the NCSC-FI explained. "They are written without Scandinavian letters (å, ä and ö) and include, for example, the characters +, /, &, % and @ in illogical places in the text to make it more difficult for telecommunications operators to filter the messages. The theme of the text may be that the recipient has received a voicemail message or a message from their mobile operator."

    Continue reading
  • AsmREPL: Wing your way through x86-64 assembly language

    Assemblers unite

    Ruby developer and internet japester Aaron Patterson has published a REPL for 64-bit x86 assembly language, enabling interactive coding in the lowest-level language of all.

    REPL stands for "read-evaluate-print loop", and REPLs were first seen in Lisp development environments such as Lisp Machines. They allow incremental development: programmers can write code on the fly, entering expressions or blocks of code, having them evaluated – executed – immediately, and the results printed out. This was viable because of the way Lisp blurred the lines between interpreted and compiled languages; these days, they're a standard feature of most scripting languages.

    Patterson has previously offered ground-breaking developer productivity enhancements such as an analogue terminal bell and performance-enhancing firmware for the Stack Overflow keyboard. This only has Ctrl, C, and V keys for extra-easy copy-pasting, but Patterson's firmware removes the tedious need to hold control.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021