Hot answers tagged

89

Mindset shift In a lot of sci-fi movies and books the concept of "The Matrix" is being discussed. Mostly as something negative. While The Borg are displayed mostly as negative too, let me introduce you to the Borg mindset: Problem: There is overwhelming amount of information. So big that one single person cannot even grasp how big the pile of information ...


80

Disclosure: we (Sound Intelligence) sell this exact product. The problem is not detecting a loud noise. That's actually quite easy. But the vast majority of loud noises aren't gunshots. Is your android going to duck every time a door is closed? Another answer quoted 120 dB. That's at the standard measurement distance of 1 meter. Guess what? At that ...


57

There are some great technical and political reasons laid out in existing answers, but there's also a very human answer which has been overlooked: They're creepy. It's the uncanny valley writ large - they're very human-like, but they're not really human. Not like us. That makes most people very uncomfortable, even afraid. And they're substantially more ...


44

It just takes one disaster. Early on when the Caspar technology was still new and people hadn't figured out the quirks yet, a Caspar unit was put into a new ship without the proper therapy and retraining. They went crazy, crashed their ship into a population center and killed thousands of innocent people. Panic ensued. People learned that the Caspars can ...


29

You could follow a natural progression of our current technology and culture: Present-day: People use smart phones to connect to to the internet, communicating and sharing information globally. Automatic translation software helps break down language barriers. Near-future: Internet connectivity is now available as an implant, but the information is still ...


26

This is one of those things that sounds cool until you think about it. If our goal is to get as much of her body converted over as possible this is just going to be sad. She now has prosthetic arms and legs. They work but they are poor substitutes for the real thing. Amputees actually have to have multiple prosthetics for different uses. We can replace ...


26

The cyborg still has to break the nutrients down into forms that can be absorbed into the body. This will require not just a stomach, but some portion of intestines. These, then, will produce waste of some kind. Probably not much, relative to a typical 2,000 calorie diet of solid foods. But some. Further, at least some liquid will need to be processed out ...


25

Caspar Units are independent in the truest meaning of the word. Their ship bodies need absolutely nothing that they cannot provide on their own. When they need repairs, their nanites create and install replacement parts out of asteroids and interstellar dust. When they need energy, they can harvest plasma from the upper layers of the nearest star. ...and ...


20

I think that whether or not to go with androids vs cyborgs depends quite a bit on the background of your society and their level of technological development. Dictionary.com defined 'Cyborg' as "A person whose physiological functioning is aided by or dependent upon a mechanical or electronic device." So technically we have been had cyborgs in existence for ...


19

Many of the humans sleep all of the time. The AIs that govern the body feed the humans excellent dreams. The AIs keep the bodies fit and healthy. Should the human occupant wish to wake and use his or her actual body he is welcome to do so. But the AIs use them the rest of the time. In actuality there are times when it is inconvenient for the AI to have ...


17

Strictly speaking yes, but that does not mean there are not work-arounds While your brain will still need to sleep as much as it does now, your body is now a machine which means you can program yourself to do menial tasks while you sleep. Washing laundry and dishes, mowing your lawn, sweeping, mopping, basically all those mindless things you have to do ...


16

I think signal convolution between the sound and a prerecorded shot sound should suffice to determinate that is actually a shot (a trained human can easily separate shot from other sounds), and we admit that this computation is instantaneous. Thus, only the sound travel time must be taken into consideration. The speed of sound at sea level and in ISA ...


16

The superpowers might regard the Caspar Unit clones as being legal persons in their own right, and thus there is no legal way to restore a Caspar Unit as it would require the mental death of another Caspar Unit (which would be equated with murder). As this is something that is built into the concept of Caspar Units, it is easier to outlaw the entire concept ...


15

Radioactive Diamond Batteries Diamond naturally generates electricity when exposed to radioactivity. So, radioactive diamond batteries are made by forming carbon-14 into diamond and encapsulating it in regular non-radioactive diamond. These diamond batteries have a very specific purpose – low power and extremely long life. A standard twenty-gram non-...


15

Since all the power that you can get is provided by the heart, the absolute maximum power that you can extract is the power provided by the heart. This page provides some estimates to the power provided by the human heart. Most of the estimates are in the 1W - 2W range, and the only outlier (5W) seems to have enough editions reporting erroneous data as to ...


14

Actually, you'd be better off not building an oxygen storage unit, but to build a reversible glucose-oxygen fuel cell. This would have the advantage that when it was doing its thing, not only would oxygen be supplied and $\text{CO}_2$ removed, but glucose would also be supplied, making the recipient almost completely self-sufficient as long as its power ...


13

Here is my answer to this question: Is it theoretically possible for the human body to not defecate? The tricky problem is bile. If a person is fed and watered completely by vein (this is done routinely; total parenteral nutrition) the guts can atrophy but they still make mucus and bacteria still live in them. Even a person on TPN must poop occasionally. A ...


11

Whenever I see "labour-saving technology outlawed" I think "Trade Unions". Clearly the Space Farers Union is strong and can lobby even big governments into forbidding this great technology. Of course, that is not the official story. Some politicians see Caspars as humans and talk about how this is a terrible thing to do to them. "We have to protect ...


9

The human eye is a diffraction-limited optical system, and while it has a typical resolution of 60 arcseconds, should have a theoretical resolution of as low as 20 arcseconds based on its aperture - the human eye's aperture being the diameter of the pupil. It is possible to create a sensor array that can sample an image at the limit of this resolution. ...


9

Cyborgs, because creating an android requires everything from head to toe -- and everything in between, including real AI -- to work, whereas you can replace bits on humans one piece at a time. Which is what we're doing now.


8

I like Pavel's answer, though it does assume that the Borg started as a society just like us. Their evolution could have caused them to develop as extremely social animals, causing them to form tightly knit groups and develop efficient communication skills within those groups, even more so than we did. The people never really developed personal senses of ...


8

Dead. Or at least very broken The human brain requires hormones to operate. For example: Hormones secreted by the adrenals, gonads and thyroid play an important role in mediating how the environment shapes the structure and function of the brain during early development, adult life and senescence. If you were to engage heavily in genetic engineering, ...


8

There's no physical way to achieve this. Whatever you see in a mirror is what you would see if you were in the position where the cyborg sees you in the mirror. The light that is reflected by a mirror is physically no different than the light reaching your eyes directly. Well, unless the mirror is not a true mirror, but actually also some holographic ...


7

A way that would work is to remove the damaged larynx and transplant in a new one. This has been successfully done. When Heidler underwent the transplant 11 years ago, doctors didn't know if he would be able to talk or swallow afterward. They didn't know if the thyroid gland they transplanted along with the larynx would work. They didn't even ...


6

Once the organic material in a cyborg dies, it either needs to be replaced, or the cyborg dies. You cannot keep the dead tissues working; if you could, they wouldn't be dead, after all. How does the cyborg maintain his human identity? Well, as long as his brain is still functioning, you might as well ask how an amputee maintains his humanity. This would be a ...


6

Here is my Borg origin story: Species 0 is a small peaceful species. They have settled their planet and are moving out into space. They encounter species 1. Species 1 is aggressively violent. They stole warp technology from another species that landed on their planet. Species 0 has the technical edge, but one on one, their soldiers are inferior. ...


6

No. "Feasible" parts (not that it has actually been done, but could be considered true if someone told the world he has). Connecting an electrode to an spider glanglia to force it to move where you want it to go. Unfeasible parts Communications. The small size of the spider means that there is little place for an antenna. Emissions would be very short ...


6

Let's say you want to limit yourself to current technologies, and fully cyber, so not grown from stem cells, cloning, or other 100%-bio components. Similarly no support devices (e.g. pacemakers) as the core organ is still biologic. It has to be cyber. Meaning, a piece of wood instead of a leg does not count. Furthermore, we want that the patient be freely ...


6

Artifical photosynthesis has been making a lot of progress lately. Similar to your concept of a layer of skin which converts chemical energy to electricity, a possible better approach (depending, of course, on the lighting conditions of the host planet) would be to instead use a photosynthetic layer. That would make the cyborg very literally green as well as ...


6

A mechanical solution would not solve the problem of tissue damage caused by steep acceleration gradients without actually addressing the mechanism of tissue damage directly. The baffles solutions solves the fuel sloshing problem by dispersing the momentum of a fluid onto a solid plate, and it mostly does that so that the fuel pump intake or level ...


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