Tag Archives | Cyborg

Professor to Install Camera in the Back of His Head

Wafaa BilalTracy Staedter writes at Discovery News:

According to this article from the Wall Street Journal, Wafaa Bilal, an Iraqi assistant professor at New York University is having a camera surgically embedded in the back of his head.

The unusual act is part of a museum installation called 3rdI. For a year, the camera will take still pictures in one-minute intervals and send them wirelessly to Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar, which will display them on monitors.

Bilal is known for his provocative art. He has a tattoo on his back that details American and Iraqi casualties, he set up a website where people could shoot him remotely with paint balls and created a suicide-bomber avatar of himself in a video game that hunted down President George W. Bush.

The 3rdI project, which launches December 15, has raised a bunch of privacy concerns that the university is still addressing.

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Camera-Headed Birds Keep Tabs on the Citizens of Dutch City

Cyborg BirdsNo worries, it’s just an art project in the Dutch city of Utrecht reported on by Cyriaque Lamar on io9.com:

Has Big Brother begun dabbling in fringe science? No, it’s just a mutant street art project by the artist duo Helden. Here’s how Helden (a.k.a. Thomas voor ‘t Hekke and Bas van Oerle) describe their camerabirds:

‘panoptICONS’ addresses the fact that you are constantly being watched by surveillance cameras in city centres. The surveillance camera seems to have become a real pest that feeds on our privacy. To represent this, camera birds — city birds with cameras instead of heads — were placed throughout the city centre of Utrecht where they feed on our presence. In addition, a camera bird in captivity was displayed to show the feeding process and to make the everyday breach of our privacy more personal and tangible.

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Korean Artist Imagines a Tomorrow of Sentient Machines

Arthur C. Clarke’s 2010: Odyssey Two predicted this was the year when humanity would make contact with an alien intelligence. But if you’ve seen the work of U-Ram Choe, you know the shocking truth: They’re already here.

The brainchild of the South Korean sculptor, “New Urban Species” is an art show disguised as a natural history exhibit from the future, and it’s one of the most engaging displays on tour this year.

U-Ram Choe builds art that comes from a not-to-distant-tomorrow, where organic life and mechanized objects have become one. His kinetic sculptures are not only creepy-fun marvels, they also create a compelling dialog about machine consciousness and the coming Singularity.

In his book Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology, brain researcher Valentino Braitenberg demonstrates how human beings invest the increasingly complex behaviors of mechanical devices with a range of values and abilities including aggression, creative thinking, personality and free will, and how we project ourselves into these moving forms.… Read the rest

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First Human ‘Infected with Computer Virus’ (Video)

Rory Cellan-Jones reports on BBC News:

A British scientist says he is the first man in the world to become infected with a computer virus. Dr Mark Gasson from the University of Reading contaminated a computer chip which was then inserted into his hand.

The device, which enables him to pass through security doors and activate his mobile phone, is a sophisticated version of ID chips used to tag pets.

In trials, Dr Gasson showed that the chip was able to pass on the computer virus to external control systems. If other implanted chips had then connected to the system they too would have been corrupted, he said.

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The Health Care Industry Apocalypse In ‘Repo Men’

New HeartAnnalee Newitz reviews Repo Men on io9.com:

With health care a source of fierce debate in America, a movie like Repo Men was bound to be made. A bloody satire of the marriage between medicine and capitalism, it’s about repo men who collect on overdue artificial organs.

A cult musical about this same topic, called Repo! The Genetic Opera, came out last year, though Repo Men itself was based on a novel called The Repossession Mambo. The idea of scary semi-serial killers who kill to repossess mechanical organs seems to be in the air. Indeed, one of the best parts of Repo Men is the way it captures the sentiments of millions of people who feel dicked over by hospitals and medical insurance companies right now. But the movie’s strength is also its problem: Evil medical corporations are a pretty easy target, and Repo Men gives us a black-and-white view of a problem that is in reality all shades of gray.

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Hypersigils Reconsidered

The InvisiblesVia Technoccult:

I’ve been thinking recently about Grant Morrison’s “hypersigil” concept, but considering as not an occult/magical practice, but as as a cybernetic phenomena. [...]

The way I see it, the online persona, fictional self, or avatar one creates can create feedback loops to reinforce behaviors and perceptions and have a create significant “real world” changes in a person’s life over time.

In the case of Grant Morrison, he was also shaping his persona in the letters column of The Invisibles, in interviews he gave, and his public persona at comic conventions.

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Perform Amateur Home Surgery to Implant Tech Into Your Body

Lepht Anonym writes on h+ magazine:

“Biohacker” Lepht Anonym discusses amateur home surgery to implant technology into her body — and challenges the media portrayal of cyborg prosthetics “that only the elite can afford…”

“I’ve made scalpel incisions in my hands, pushed five-millimeter diameter needles through my skin, and once used a vegetable knife to carve a cavity into the tip of my index finger…”

“Anesthetic is illegal for people like me, so we learn to live without it.”

Now RFID readers can recognize her hand-implanted biochip, and she’s added a series of implants that also sense electromagnetic fields. The implants can register power lines, an active hard drive, and even signals sent by a cell phone, while its magnetism can hold screws to the back of her hand.

“I’m an idiot, but I’m an idiot working in the name of progress. You just need curiosity and the willingness to withstand some pain.”

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Cyborg Anthropologist Amber Case Interviewed

Klint Finley interviews Amber Case on Technoccult:

What are some of your most interesting recent findings?

Some of my favorite things have been mistakes. For instance, when a middle aged woman thinks that she’s sending a private message to someone she’s been seeing, and in reality she posted on her wall for everyone to see.

Yahoo Answers are amazing. It’s where a lot of very young kids ask each other ridiculous questions — and young kids answer back.

Also, looking at people’s signatures. Not their handwritten ones, but their digital ones. How they compose sentences and where they use capitalization. How they respond to things, etc. It really tells a lot about who they are.

The other thing I like to discover is digital artifacts. There are some digital archeologists and historians who try to keep data alive and in circulation. When one considers it, and Stewart Brand has mentioned this quite a bit … data is very fragile.

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A Device That Lets You Type With Your Mind

BrainGridTim Barribeau writes on io9.com

By placing electrode grids inside patients’ skulls, researchers at the Mayo Clinic have created a way for people to type words using only their brainwaves. It’s a major breakthrough for brain-computer interface research.

The experiments were undertaken on patients who already had electrodes in their brain to monitor epilepsy. Readings were taken via electrocorticography (ECoG), as the subjects were shown a grid of letters and numbers. As each symbol was illuminated, the patient was told to focus on the letter or number, and data was recorded. Once this calibration data was taken, the patients would think of a letter or number, and their brain waves would be appropriately translated to the screen. The theory is that this technique will allow people to communicate and type far more easily when they suffer from Lou Gehrig’s disease, MS, or paralysis.

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