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Meet a cyborg this Christmas

10 December 2007 – for immediate release

Professor Kevin Warwick will give this year’s Aston University Christmas Lecture on Wednesday 12 December.

Neural Implants: A New Kind of Medicine or the Next Evolutionary Step? will introduce the audience to ways in which technology and biology are merging.

Prof Warwick explained: 'There are now a number of ways in which technology and biology are being merged - creating what in the science fiction world are termed Cyborgs, or Cybernetic Organisms.’

Prof Warwick will explain his exciting investigations into the use of implant technology and micro electrode arrays during the lecture.

The audience will be introduced to technology for identifying and tracking humans, robots with biological brains, deep brain stimulation for therapeutic purposes and neural implants to enhance human abilities. In each case, practical experiments involving Kevin's own research will be demonstrated to the audience.

The fourth of these experiments led to Kevin receiving a neural implant which linked his nervous system bi-directionally with the internet. With this in place, neural signals were transmitted to technological devices to directly control them, in some cases via the internet, and feedback to the brain was obtained from the fingertips of a robot hand, ultrasonic (extra) sensory input and neural signals directly from another human's nervous system.

Prof Warwick will also share his views on the future prospects for this technology, including the realistic potential, by 2015, for thought communication - thereby opening up tremendous commercial potential.

He continued: ‘Clearly an individual whose brain is part human - part machine can have abilities that far surpass those who remain with a human brain alone. Will such an individual exhibit different moral and ethical values to those of an individual today? If so, will this be the next evolutionary step for humanity?'

ENDS

For further press information please contact Sally Finn on 0121 204 4552.

MEDIA CALL – Prof Warwick will be available between 11.15 and 11.45am in Aston University’s Main reception for photographs and interviews. He will have a robotic hand and an ultrasonic baseball cap with him which will then be demonstrated in the lecture. If you would like to attend the media call please contact the press office in advance on the above number.

Notes to editors: The lecture will take place on Wednesday 12 December in Aston Business School’s Conference Centre at 12.00pm.

Professor Warwick is a graduate of Aston University and is currently based at the University of Reading. For further information about his work, visit www.kevinwarwick.com.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research