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Horizon: Human 2.0 - Part 3

Horizon is the BBC's flagship science documentary. It consists of an extremely numerous collection of documentaries, still being produced at a rate of several per year, and each of which attempt to investigate the hard questions on a pressing topic in science or technology. They speak to experts in the field, and garner as much research and demonstration as possible, for an intellectual audience.

The documentary entitled Human 2.0 is a long look at the near-future for the human condition, taking views from futurists and technologists, examining current research aimed at expanding what it means to be human. The documentary was broadcast on 24 October 2006, so some aspectss are now behind the bleeding edge of research by quite a ways.

Because the BBC - British Broadcasting Corporation - is a government run institution, and because of the nature of the horizon documentary as a public service, the full 47 minute long documentary is freely, and legally available via YouTube. This is part 3. Running time, 9:29 minutes.

Part three starts off with the continuation of Professor Miguel Nicoleus' work on decoding & replicating monkey brain signals. The documentary moves on to discuss the next stage, and implantation in humans. Car crash victim Eric Ramsey, a paraplegic, paralysed from the neck down, who became one of the first recipients of a human brain machine interface. Dr Philip Kennedy discusses this, one of the first human BMIs, and one which is trying to restore the power of speech to Eric.

Next, we turn back to Kurzweil, and attempts to reprogram the metabolism and slow down the aging process. He discusses some of the basics of radical life extension.

After nearly 20 minutes of positivity, well, it is an objective documentary. Welcome to the dark side.

Professor Hugo De Garis is the opposite of all other presenters so far in the documentary. Working at Wuhan University in China, he creates and researches neural networks. He has a very dystopian view of the future, with machines many millions of times more intelligent than humans. He calls these 'artelects' - artificial intellects. He p[redicts a war ultimately, between artelects and their supporrters, and those who oppose them. At one point he mentions the likelihood of deaths by the billions.

After this bombshell, the documentary switches to another bombshell - the 1978 destruction of part of North-Western University, Chicago, via a terrorist bomb from a faction of neo-luddites, using force to try and undo the 'damage caused by the industrial revolution'.

< Part 2 | Back to Main Horizon: Human 2.0 Article | Part 4 >

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Untitled Document .