Move over gay marriage. It's time we started beating up on robot marriage. You read that right.
From MSNBC.com's Cosmic Log:
In a case of life imitating "Futurama," Maryland's gay-marriage debate has somehow morphed into worries about robot-human marriages.
The rant against robosexuals came during Robert Broadus' testimony against the gay-marriage legislation currently before Maryland legislature. "If you pass this bill, you will set the groundwork, that one day when artificial intelligence is that advanced, we will be considering whether or not people can marry their androids. ... If you say that any two people who love each other can get married, then you set that precedent," said Broadus, who heads Protect Marriage Maryland.
To make his case, Broadus referred to Lieutenant Commander Data's ability to feel emotion and shed a tear in "Star Trek: Generations," a science-fiction movie. "You laugh, but it's true," Broadus said.
Read the rest of this post, by Alan Boyle, here.
But there's more on the same blog, from the same author. Are we getting close to being computer hybrids?
The Singularity is back in the spotlight, thanks to a Time cover story focusing on inventor/futurist Ray Kurzweil and his forecast that "the end of human civilization as we know it" will come in about 35 years ... just as Kurzweil is nearing his 100th birthday.
Kurzweil is doing everything in his power to make sure he's ready for the big event, which he calls the Singularity. He takes 150 pills a day, keeps himself in shape and looks forward to the day when he can start re-engineering his own body for immortality. And he's not alone. Kurzweil has been spreading the word about the Singularity in a series of books and two documentaries ("The Singularity Is Near" and "Transcendent Man") as well as academic programs at Singularity University in California's Silicon Valley.
Kurzweil projects that computers will match human brain power by around the year 2030, opening the way for a rapid merging of electronic and biological intelligence. Around the year 2045, that merger will lead to a worldwide transformation so dramatic that its follow-on effects would be hard to predict. (Hence the term "singularity.")
"It's a little alarmist, but the idea is that ... it's a kind of cyborgian era, when there's a combination of man and machine. Even now, Parkinson's patients have neural implants in their brain, basically," Time's managing editor, Richard Stengel, said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" today. "Why couldn't you be doing that for regular folks, to increase memory, bandwidth, all of that kind of stuff?"
Read the rest of the post here.