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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kevin Warwick FIET, FCGI, (born 9 February 1954) is a British engineer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Coventry University in the United Kingdom.[8] He is known for his studies on direct interfaces between computer systems and the human nervous system, and has also done research concerning robotics.[9][10]

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  • ✪ Implants & Technology -- The Future of Healthcare? Kevin Warwick at TEDxWarwick
  • ✪ Cyborgs and Cybernetics | Kevin Warwick
  • ✪ Professor Warwick: Robots, Cyborgs & Ghosts of Christmas Future - Full Lecture
  • ✪ Kevin Warwick, Human Cyborg
  • ✪ The Cyborg Experiments - Kevin Warwick


We're living in momentous times. Now, I don't know whether you know but this is a world first -- the TED conferences go all over the world, all different countries -- this is the very very first time -- normally you take a place name, normally you take a university name -- this is the very first time a TED has ever been named after a person and -- (Laughter) (Applause) I just wanted to say, it's a fantastic honour. We mentioned before Sheldon, and I just want to say there's never yet been a TEDxCooper so, Sheldon Cooper, eat your heart out. What we're gonna be looking at today -- yeah, plugging your brains into a network, what's the possibility both from a healthcare point of view and in terms of -- maybe some of you feel quite bored being a human, quite limited in what you can do and particularly your brain doesn't perform how it should, so, what are the possibilities of an upgrade. We should start tho, on the back of healthcare but as we gonna see it's a lot more than that -- implants and things like that. Class II sounds quite technical. In fact, what the Class II implants is for those of you that don't know -- This is a younger version of me, way back, the last millenium and my G. P. so this is was all done in the National Health. And what I'm having implanted is this little device -- not the thing on the left hand side. (Laughter) This is this quaint currency we still have. The thing on the right hand side -- a radiofrequency identification device. I had this implanted, because various people, Peter Cochrane, who's a head of B. T. research labs was saying, "In the future we are not gonna need passports, we are not gonna need credit cards -- What we will have is a little implant under the skin." But nobody had actually tried it until this particular experiment. Now what it did for me was, in my doorways -- I'm from Reading University. Is there anybody else here from Reading? Audience: Yeah! Kevin Warwick: Oh, come on! (Laughter) Anybody else here from Reading? (Clamor) Yay, there we go! It needed a bit of warming up there, I think. In my building, Cybernetic building at Reading, we've got coils of wire in the door frames. and if you have an implant of this type and you walk through the door frames then current is induced in the [implant], transmits a singal back to the coils, which are linked to the computer. And what it did for me was, as I walked down the corridor, the lights came on, just for me, walking to my laboratory, the door opened -- I mean, it's really cool stuff. Coming in the doors, says, "Hello, Professor Warwick." All fantastic stuff. And various people said, "Uh, who's ever gonna want to have anything like that?" No! Is anybody here got a cat or a dog with a chip implanted? It's all right, you can speak! Is anybody out there? You can rest assured, that this was fully tested on humans before your animal -- (Laughter) So no need to worry at all. There's actually a night club -- I know in the academic world we can't afford those things -- but, there's a night club in Barcelona, there's another one in Rotterdam, called the Baja Beach club, and if you go there they actually send you around the corner and you can get one of these things -- a smaller version, don't worry it's not that big -- implant it, and then when you go in the night club you don't have to pay for your drinks directly. It's automatically charged to your implant. I'm serious! Try it, try it. Good advert for the Baja Beach club. That's implant number 1. I'm going to flick on to "Regulation" because some of you may think this isn't going anywhere. Well, in the United States, they have, for people with diabetes and with epilepsy, they can have this thing implanted. And now, under Barack Obama, the healthcare rules that you have to have it regulated. Even with the possibility that you may have to have one implanted. We'll see where that goes. But I'm going to take you, right up to date, to what some of my students are doing. This is the sort of implant you could try yourself. This is Jawish, he's one of my students. I've got three students now, that have had magnets implanted in their fingertips for part of their degree courses that they are doing, my students. (Laughter) We have to get ethical approval from the university to do this sort of thing. And you may notice -- I'm supposed to stay on this red carpet but I'm going to zip up for a moment, 'cos you may notice here the guy who's doing the implant has tatoos on his arm. That's because he is a tatoo artist, that's what he does. And he goes by the name -- this is serious he goes by the name of "Dr. Evil". (Laughter) Now, we have to fill in a form for the university (Laughter) that says who is carrying out the medical procedure. Yeah. I mean, they can be really awkward over it, I have to say. This is an X-ray of Jawish's fingertips. You can see the magnets implanted. Now what we are doing -- now, on the baseball cap he's got ultrasonic sensors and the output from those sensors is fed down to a little coil of wire around the magnet. And what happens, as an object comes closer, the current in the coil is changed, so the magnet vibrates more the closer an object is, and less as the object is further away. So essentially Jawish can feel how far objects are away. So it's sensory substitution. Now, Ian Harrison, one of my PhD students with me now, he's linked up to an infrared sensor. So he has magnets implanted. Now, infrarred is like a heat signal. So what he can do is remotely feel how hot objects are. So if you can get the audience, you can point, "Ah, you are hotter than you, you are hotter --" (Laughter) I mean, in a temperature sense. Don't sort of stalk me or something like that, because I'm -- particularly the guys here, I really didn't mean it. (Laughter) But, you see, the military aplication for this is immediate. If you are a soldier and you are about to go into a room, and you don't know whether there's anybody there or not, you can simply push your finger around the corner and scan, "Ah! There's somebody over there!" You know exactly where they are, but also how hot they are, for what use that is. (Laughter) This is Ashley and he's doing some work -- a guy, Paul Bach-y-Rita, originally did this -- and it's actually sending little stimulating pulses into his tongue, to communicate in a new way. This is interesting, because people have never tried this before. If you actually tried it, very quickly you'd be able to pick up and pick up letters and signs -- So it's a new way of communicating. But the interesting thing is, if he sends a particular -- let's say, a triangle -- a particular shape, then the person even if they haven't tried it before, will say, "Yes, that's a triangle." But if we ask them to draw the triangle, then some people will draw it the right way up, some people draw it upside down and sideways, all sorts of different dimensions to it. We are not sure why. It is the routing from the tongue up to the brain is very very rapid and people can learn to use it to communicate very quickly. But there seems to be a particular way that it's wired that we have a lot to learn about. So it's one of those things with the research, you end with more questions than you started with. Now, some of you -- this is where if you want to go ahead with this, it could be dangerous for you now, but it might be something you want to do when you are technically dead. So, it's the sort of thing to put, not before, but as I die, could I try this, please. And that is, when you think of a robot, you think of either a computer-controlled device, or perhaps something that's remote-controlled. Well, what we are developing are robots with their own brains. And, what we do -- you see, on the right hand side of the picture here, is the physical robot. I mean, typically, because it is a laboratory and there we use a little robot on wheels. It has ultrasonic sensors. just like we saw on the baseball cap. But the brain of the robot is not a computer. The thing that says MEA is Multi-Electrode Array that's all right, you don't have to learn this. I'm not gonna test you on it later on. What does it say? (Laughter) About two people. Yes. All right. What is Multi-Electrode Array? What it actually is, is a little dish on the bottom of which are electrodes. What we do is take brain cells from rat embryos, separate them, and then squeeze them into this little dish, and grow them. We have to feed them using minerals and nutrients -- a little pink liquid that is amazingly expensive in comparison with Lucozade -- oh, advertising again I shouldn't say it. But it does roughly the same stuff. And they are kept in an incubator, at 37ºC That's where they grow. And then we link them up to a robot body. So the physical body of the robot is a technological body, but the brain is a biological brain that's growing. And what we are looking at, is trying to figure out particularly how memories appear in the brain. How it learns and adapts and so on and so forth. We can see -- witness it learning simple tasks at the present time. Importantly, at the moment, the rat brain robot, as it were, has about 100,000 brain cells. Where us humans have -- how many brain cells do we have? Audience: Six. Kevin Warwick: Six! This is a Manchester United supporter, obviously. (Laughter) (Applause) Don't clap on this stuff, isn't scientific! So, any advance on six? Audience: A billion. KW: A billion. I mean, it depends. Most of us have a hundred billion. I thought, "No, who counted this?" Americans say it's two hundred billion, but that's -- you know -- that's them, obviously. (Laughter) For the rest of us is a hundred billion. So we are talking here of 100,000. We're now growing these things -- this is the little dish on the left hand side. That's where they grow. We have to keep it moist and so on, it can't let it dehydrate. The right hand side are the electrodes, there you see. And the neurons grow in there, link up with each other. It's quite amazing, these brain cells! You put them down, they've got no connections. Within a few minutes you can see them putting out what look like tentacles. And these tentacles then start linking up -- You have to try this! Take a few of your brain cells out tonight, try and see -- They start linking up with each other very quickly to form the dendrites and the axons, the inputs and the outputs. And with just over a week gone, we've got this brain-like activity that we can use for the robot. And what we are using now, not just rat neurons but we are growing in three dimensions, which takes the number up to 30 million, and we are also using human neurons, because it links more closely to memories and things like that. So it's exciting research, and something you could do in the future, if you want. Deep Brain Stimulation is a medical process that's used to help people with Parkinson's Disease. You can see, it actually involves electrodes positioned in the central area of the brain. And what we are doing -- This is typically the sort of information that we have. The top line is the electrical activity in the brain as a patient -- this is from an actual patient -- experiences the sort of tremors that occur with Parkinson's Disease. So the bottom line is the muscular activity. And what we are trying to do is use artificial intelligence to learn to recognize the electrical activity so that, with the stimulators -- At the moment the battery only lasts about two years and it has to be replaced. We are trying to make the battery to last lot longer by making the stimulator intelligent, so it only stimulates when it needs to stimulate. So what the artificial intelligence system does is actually predict from the electrical activity when tremors are going to start, and then it stimulates just when it needs to. if you see what I mean. So it's to save the battery. Now the final area -- you may be all been waiting for this. Those of you that are already enhanced, probably would say, "Oh dear, we know all that." But there's other possibilities, if you thought, "Why should I bother with enhancement." I've just gone through them quickly. Memory, obviously, we forget all sorts of things. Communication is the big one, because, I'm sure anybody, all of us here, anybody [who] uses a computer is really embarrassed in how they have to communicate. Because, compared to technology, how we communicate is absolutely pathetic, isn't it, we have to admit. Highly complex electrochemical signals -- thoughts, images, concepts, emotions -- and when we want to communicate those to somebody else, what do we do we convert them into mechanical pressure waves. Oh dear -- And then (Laughter) those signals travel very slowly and somebody's ears will pick them up, convert these mechanical signals back into electrochemical signals -- What century are we living in here? (Laughter) The possibility of communicating directly from brain to brain -- we have to be working on that sort of thing so we can communicate not in terms of this simple coded messages but in terms of images and thoughts and emotions and feelings. Anybody that's been married now twenty, thirty years, you have no idea what it is your spouse is trying to tell you. If your brain was linked up you'd know exactly. If she's saying to you, "Yeah that's great, that's great." Now you'd actually know whether it's great, it's great. (Laughter) What I've done about this -- well this is the Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. That's me on the operating table. This was two hours of neurosurgery to have this little thing implanted into my nervous system. It's called the Utah Array, because that's where it comes from --that's Utah, not Array. There's no place called Array. And it's got one hundred spikes on it. The electrodes [are] two micrometers -- they are very very small, but that's same sort of size as nerve fibers and brain cells, that sort of thing. And this was fired into the median nerves of my left arm and it was there for just over three months for the purpose of the experiment. Now, what could we do with it, in terms of the different experiments, 'cos partly was partly looking at, could we use this technology to help people who are paralyzed or have difficulties in that way. But also where could we go with enhancement. And we saw earlier, Jawish feeling ultrasonic signals, feeling distance. One of the things that I was able to do, was to feel distance, but this time more directly. It took me six weeks to learn to recognize pulses that we were inputting into my nervous system and when we did this experiment, as an object came closer, my brain was receiving pulses of current that increased in frequency the closer an object came and then decreased as the object moved further away. So with a blindfold on, I was able to detect objects and could detect pretty accurately if they moved closer or further away. This is my wife, Irina, who is with me today. She helped in a number of ways with the experiment the jewellry was put together by a student of the Royal College of Art. So you see, students can do useful things. (Laughter) Just, you know, take it as an inspiration. The jewellry changes color from red to blue. It was linked to my nervous system which I could, open and it's blue, close my hand and it's red. But if you can imagine now the best way -- If I'm calm and relaxed the jewellry is blue and if I get excited, the jewellry starts flashing red. Now she didn't work in the university and if you could imagine there, she's in her office and she's working around, and the jewellry is blue, "Fine, he's not doing anything he shouldn't,"and then (Laughter) it starts flashing red, "What is he doing?! And more importantly, who is he doing it with?" (Laughter) How she could be so suspicious, I don't know. This was taken at Columbia University, New York. And, if any of you have been there -- A film box here -- What film was filmed at Columbia University? Ah! Brilliant! Got it. Yes. Be louder. Audience: Ghostbusters. Kevin Warwick: Thank you very much, excellent. You win a Jamboree bag, ready for you are the back. Ghostbusters was filmed -- they also do research there. (Laughter) Sometimes. Sorry, Columbia. What we did was plug my nervous system live into the Internet, and linked up to a robohand which was back at Reading University in England. So when I moved my hand in New York, my brain signals went across the Internet to move the robohand. When it gripped an object signals were sent back across the Internet, so that I could feel how much force the robohand was applying on another continent. So one thing with this technology, you extend your body. Your brain and your body do not have to be in the same place. So, go for it. The final clip, which for me was the biggest thing This is my wife again, now what she had -- you can try this tonight, just push some electrodes into your nervous system. (Laughter) It goes by the name of "microneurography", so it sounds great. What it is, though -- is you will find it's extremely painful. (Laughter) We thought that she was going to have some anesthetic but the doctor said, "No no no, I need to make sure I made a good contact." So he pushed the electrode in, she screamed, and the doctor said, "Ah, I think we made a good contact there." (Laughter) We actually pushed two electrodes in, went back to the lab, and linked our nervous systems together electrically. So when she moved her hand, my brain received the pulse. So what we did was a telegraphic communication. She went, tick, tick, tick, and my brain received, tick, tick, tick. So it was a telegraphic communication directly nervous system to nervous system. That's what we actually achieved. Now where we go from here, clearly is brain to brain communication. Implants in one person's brain, another brain, and let's communicate in a much more effective way directly brain to brain. I have to say my wife Irina, for some reason feels that's a little bit dangerous, I'm not sure why. So presently I'm looking for a volunteer, so if there's anybody (Laughter) anybody there that doesn't mind having a brain implant and would like to communicate in a whole new way -- I know it's only my thoughts that you are gonna be receiving, but that's just the start. So I will leave you, thank you very much, and if any of you want to volunteer, please let me know. (Applause)



Kevin Warwick was born during 1954 in Keresley, Coventry in the United Kingdom and attended Lawrence Sheriff School in Rugby, Warwickshire where he was a contemporary with Arthur Bostrom. He quit school during 1970 for an apprenticeship with British Telecom, at the age of 16. During 1976 he was granted his first degree at Aston University, followed by a PhD degree and a research job at Imperial College London.

He had positions at Somerville College, Oxford, Newcastle University, University of Warwick and University of Reading before relocating to Coventry University during 2014.

Warwick is a Chartered Engineer (CEng), a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET) and a Fellow of the City and Guilds of London Institute (FCGI). He is Visiting Professor at the Czech Technical University in Prague, the University of Strathclyde, Bournemouth University and the University of Reading and during 2004 was Senior Beckman Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, USA. He is also on the Advisory Boards of the Instinctive Computing Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University[11] and the Centre for Intermedia, University of Exeter.[12]

By the age of 40 he had been awarded a DSc degree, a higher doctorate, by both Imperial College and by the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague for his research output in completely separate areas. He has received the IET Achievement Medal, the IET Mountbatten Medal and during 2011 the Ellison-Cliffe Medal from the Royal Society of Medicine.[13] Warwick presented the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, entitled The Rise of Robots in the year 2000.[14]


Warwick performs research in artificial intelligence, biomedical engineering, control systems and robotics. Much of Warwick's early research was in the area of discrete time adaptive control. He introduced the first state space based self-tuning controller[15] and unified discrete time state space representations of ARMA models.[16] However he has also contributed to mathematics,[17] power engineering[18] and manufacturing production machinery.[19]

Artificial intelligence

Warwick directed an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council funded research project which investigated the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to suitably stimulate and translate patterns of electrical activity from living cultured neural networks to use the networks for the control of mobile robots.[20] Hence a biological brain actually provided the behaviour process for each robot.

Previously Warwick helped develop genetic algorithm named Gershwyn, which was able to exhibit creativity in producing popular songs, learning what makes a successful record by listening to examples of previous successful songs.[21] Gershwyn appeared on BBC's Tomorrow's World having been successfully used to mix music for Manus, a group consisting of the four younger brothers of Elvis Costello.

Another Warwick project involving artificial intelligence was the robot head, Morgui. The head contained 5 senses (vision, sound, infrared, ultrasound and radar) and was used to investigate sensor data fusion. The head was X-rated by the University of Reading Research and Ethics Committee due to its image storage capabilities – anyone under the age of 18 who wished to interact with the robot had to obtain parental approval.[22]

Warwick has very outspoken opinions about the future, particularly with respect to artificial intelligence and its effect on the human species, and argues that humanity will need to use technology to enhance itself to avoid being overtaken by machines.[23] He states that many human limitations, such as sensorimotor abilities, can be outperformed by machines, and is on record as saying that he wants to gain these abilities: "There is no way I want to stay a mere human."[24]


Warwick directed the University of Reading team in a number of European Community projects such as FIDIS researching the future of identity, ETHICBOTS and RoboLaw which considered the ethical aspects of robots and cyborgs.[25]

Warwick's topics of interest have many ethical implications, some due to his Human enhancement experiments.[26] The ethical dilemmas of his research are used as a case study for schoolchildren and science teachers by the Institute of Physics[27] as a part of their formal Advanced level and GCSE studies. His work has also been discussed by The President's Council on Bioethics and the President's Panel on Forward Engagements.[28] He is a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Party on Novel Neurotechnologies.[29]

Deep brain stimulation

Along with Tipu Aziz and his team at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, and John Stein of the University of Oxford, Warwick is helping to design the next generation of deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease.[30] Instead of stimulating the brain all the time, the goal is for the device to predict when stimulation is needed and to apply the signals prior to any tremors occurring to stop them before they even start.[31] Recent results have also shown that it is possible to identify different types of Parkinson's Disease.[32]

Public awareness

Warwick has directed a number of projects intended to excite schoolchildren about the technology with which he is involved. During 2000 he received the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Millennium Award for his Schools Robot League. During 2007, 16 school teams were involved in designing a humanoid robot to dance and then complete an assault course—- a final competition being performed at the Science Museum, London. The project, entitled 'Androids Advance' was funded by EPSRC and was presented as a news item by Chinese television.[33]

Warwick contributes significantly to the public understanding of science by giving regular public lectures, participating with radio programmes and by popular writing. He has appeared in numerous television documentary programmes on artificial intelligence, robotics and the role of science fiction in science, such as How William Shatner Changed the World, Future Fantastic and Explorations.[34] [35] He also appeared in the Ray Kurzweil inspired movie Transcendent Man along with William Shatner, Colin Powell, and Stevie Wonder. He has also guested on a number of television talk shows, including Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Først & sist, Sunday Brunch and Richard & Judy.[35] Warwick has appeared on the cover of a number of magazines, for example the February 2000 edition of Wired.[36]

During 2005 Warwick was congratulated for his work in attracting students to science by members of Parliament in the United Kingdom in an Early day motion for making the subject interesting and relevant so that more students will want to develop a career in science.[37]

In 2013 Warwick appeared as a guest on BBC Radio 4's The Museum of Curiosity with Robert Llewellyn and Cleo Rocos.[38] In 2014 he appeared on BBC Radio 4's Midweek with Libby Purves, Roger Bannister and Rachael Stirling.[39]


Warwick's claims that robots that can program themselves to avoid each other while operating in a group raise the issue of self-organisation. In particular, the works of Francisco Varela and Humberto Maturana, once purely speculative now have become immediately relevant with respect to synthetic intelligence.

Cyborg-type systems need to be not only homeostatic (meaning that they are able to preserve stable internal conditions in various environments) but adaptive, if they are to survive. Testing the claims of Varela and Maturana via synthetic devices is the more serious concern in the discussion about Warwick and those involved in similar research. "Pulling the plug" on independent devices cannot be as simple as it appears, for if the device displays sufficient intelligence and assumes a diagnostic and prognostic stature, we may ultimately one day be forced to decide between what it could be telling us as counterintuitive (but correct) and our impulse to disconnect because of our limited and "intuitive" perceptions.

Warwick's robots seemed to have exhibited behaviour not anticipated by the research, one such robot "committing suicide" because it could not cope with its environment.[40] In a more complex setting, it may be asked whether a "natural selection" may be possible, neural networks being the major operative.

The 1999 edition of the Guinness Book of Records recorded that Warwick performed the first robot learning experiment by Internet. One robot, with an artificial neural network brain in Reading, UK, learnt how to move around. It then taught, via the Internet, another robot in SUNY Buffalo New York State, USA, to behave the same way. The robot in the US was therefore not taught or programmed by a human, but rather by another robot based on what it itself had learnt.[41]

Hissing Sid was a robot cat which Warwick took on a British Council lecture tour of Russia, it being presented in lectures at such places as Moscow State University. Sid, which was put together as a student project, got its name from the noise made by the pneumatic actuators used to drive its legs when walking. The robot also appeared on BBC TV's Blue Peter but became better known when it was refused a ticket by British Airways on the grounds that they did not allow animals in the cabin.[42]

Warwick was also responsible for a robotic "magic chair" (based on the SCARA-form UMI RTX[43] arm) which Sir Jimmy Savile used on BBC TV's Jim'll Fix It. The chair provided Jim with tea and stored Jim'll Fix It badges for him to hand out to guests.[44] Warwick appeared on the programme himself for a Fix it involving robots.[35]

Warwick was also involved in the development of the "seven dwarves" robots, a version of which was sold in kit form as "Cybot" on the cover of Real Robots magazine.

Project Cyborg

Probably the most famous research undertaken by Warwick (and the origin of the nickname, "Captain Cyborg",[2][3][4] given to him by The Register) is the set of experiments known as Project Cyborg, in which he had an array implanted into his arm, with the goal of "becoming a cyborg".[45]

The first stage of this research, which began on 24 August 1998, involved a simple RFID transmitter being implanted beneath Warwick's skin, which was used to control doors, lights, heaters, and other computer-controlled devices based on his proximity.[46] The main purpose of this experiment was said to be to test the limits of what the body would accept, and how easy it would be to receive a meaningful signal from the microprocessor.[47]

The second stage involved a more complex neural interface which was designed and built especially for the experiment by Dr. Mark Gasson and his team at the University of Reading. This device consisted of a BrainGate electrode array, connected to an external "gauntlet" that housed supporting electronics. It was implanted on 14 March 2002, in the Radcliffe Infirmary and was interfaced directly into Warwick's nervous system. The electrode array inserted contained 100 electrodes, of which 25 could be accessed at any one time, whereas the median nerve which it monitored carries many times that number of signals. The experiment proved successful, and the signal produced was detailed enough that a robot arm developed by Warwick's colleague, Dr Peter Kyberd, was able to mimic the actions of Warwick's own arm.[45]

By means of the implant, Warwick's nervous system was connected onto the Internet in Columbia University, New York. From there he was able to control the robot arm in the University of Reading and to obtain feedback from sensors in the finger tips. He also successfully connected ultrasonic sensors on a baseball cap and experienced a form of extra sensory input.[48]

A highly publicised extension to the experiment, in which a simpler array was implanted into the arm of Warwick's wife with the ultimate aim of one day creating a form of telepathy or empathy using the Internet to communicate the signal from afar—was also successful insofar as it resulted in the first direct and purely electronic communication between the nervous systems of two humans.[49] Finally, the effect of the implant on Warwick's hand function was measured using the University of Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure (SHAP).[50] It was feared that directly interfacing with the nervous system might cause some form of damage or interference, but no measurable effect nor rejection was found. Indeed, nerve tissue grew around the electrode array, enclosing the sensor.[51]

Implications of Project Cyborg

Warwick and his colleagues claim that the Project Cyborg research could result in new medical tools for treating patients with damage to the nervous system, as well as assisting the more ambitious enhancements Warwick advocates. Some transhumanists even speculate that similar technologies could be used for technology-facilitated telepathy.[52]

Tracking Device

A controversy began during August 2002, shortly after the Soham murders, when Warwick reportedly offered to implant a tracking device into an 11-year-old girl as an anti-abduction measure. The plan produced a mixed reaction, with endorsement from many worried parents but ethical concerns from children's societies.[53] As a result, the idea did not go ahead.

Anti-theft RFID chips are common in jewellery or clothing in some Latin American countries due to a high abduction rate,[54] and the company VeriChip announced plans during 2001 to expand its line of available medical information implants,[55] to be GPS trackable when combined with a separate GPS device.[56][57]

Turing Test

Kevin Warwick in February 2008
Kevin Warwick in February 2008
Kevin Warwick in June 2011
Kevin Warwick in June 2011

Warwick participated as a Turing Interrogator, on two occasions, judging machines in the 2001 and 2006 Loebner Prize competitions, platforms for an 'imitation game' as devised by Alan Turing. The 2001 Prize, held at the Science Museum in London, featured Turing's 'jury service' or one-to-one Turing tests and was won by A.L.I.C.E. The 2006 contest staged parallel-paired Turing tests at University College London and was won by Rollo Carpenter. He co-organised the 2008 Loebner Prize at the University of Reading; a report on the contest's 'theatre of two Turing tests' can be found here.[58]

During 2012 he co-organized, with Huma Shah, a series of Turing tests held at Bletchley Park. The tests strictly adhered to the statements made by Alan Turing in his papers, according to Warwick. Warwick himself participated with the tests as a hidden human.[59] Results of the tests were discussed in a number of academic papers.[60][61] One paper, entitled “Human Misidentification in Turing Tests”, became one of the top 3 most downloaded papers in the Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence.

During June 2014 Warwick helped Shah stage a series of Turing tests to mark the 60th anniversary of Alan Turing's death. The event was performed at the Royal Society, London. Warwick regarded the winning chatbot, "Eugene Goostman", as having "passed the Turing test for the first time" by fooling a third of the event's judges into not making the right identification, and termed this a "milestone".[62] A paper including all of the transcripts involving Eugene Goostman entitled "Can Machines Think? A Report on Turing Test Experiments at the Royal Society", has also become one of the top 3 most downloaded papers in the Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence.[63]

Warwick was criticized in association with the Turing tests performed during 2014 at the Royal Society, where he claimed that software program Eugene Goostman had passed the Turing test on the basis of its performance. The software successfully convinced over 30% of judges who could not identify it as being a machine, on the basis of a five-minute text chat. Critics stated that the software's claim to be a young non-native speaker weakened the spirit of the test, as any grammatical and semantic inconsistencies could be excused as a consequence of limited English proficiency.[64][65][66][67] Some critics also claimed that the software's performance had been exceeded by other programs in the past.[64][65] However the 2014 tests were completely unrestricted in terms of topics of discussion whereas the previous tests referred to by the critics had very restricted/specific subject areas. Additionally, Warwick was criticized by editor and entrepreneur Mike Masnick for exaggerating its significance to the press.[65]

Other work

Warwick was a member of the 2001 Higher Education Funding Council for England (unit 29) Research Assessment Exercise panel on Electrical and Electronic Engineering and was Deputy chairman for the same panel (unit 24) during 2008.[68] During March 2009, he was cited as being the inspiration of National Young Scientist of the Year, Peter Hatfield.[69]

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

When Warwick presented the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures entitled The Rise of Robots in the year 2000, the lectures were well received by some.[70] However, in a letter Simon Colton complained about the choice of Warwick, prior to his appearance. He claimed that Warwick is not a spokesman for our subject (Artificial Intelligence) and allowing him influence through the Christmas lectures is a danger to the public perception of science.[71] Due to Warwick's claims that computers could be creative, Colton, who is a Reader in Computational Creativity, also said the AI community has done real science to reclaim words such as creativity and emotion which they claim computers will never have.[72] Subsequent letters were generally positive; Ralph Rayner wrote With my youngest son, I attended all of the lectures and found them balanced and thought-provoking. They were not sensationalist. I applaud Warwick for his lectures.[73]

Awards and recognition

Warwick was presented with The Future of Health Technology Award and during 2004 received The Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) Achievement Medal.[74] During 2008 he was awarded the Mountbatten Medal.[75] In 2009 he received the Marcellin Champagnat award from Universidad Marista Guadalajara and the Golden Eurydice Award.[76] In 2011 he received the Ellison-Cliffe Medal from the Royal Society of Medicine.[77] During 2014 he was elected to the membership of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.[78] In 2018 Warwick was inducted into the International Academy for Systems and Cybernetic Sciences.[79]

He has received Honorary Doctorates from Aston University,[80] Coventry University,[81][82] Robert Gordon University,[83][84][85] Bradford University,[86][87] University of Bedfordshire,[81] Portsmouth University,[88] Kingston University,[89] Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje[90] and Edinburgh Napier University.[91][92][93]


Warwick has both his critics and endorsers, some of whom describe him as a "maverick", whereas others see his work as "not very scientific" and more like "entertainment". Conversely some regard him as "an extraordinarily creative experimenter", his presentations as "awesome" and his work as "profound".[94][95][96]


Warwick has written several books, articles and papers. A selection of his books:

  • Kevin Warwick (2001). QI: The Quest for Intelligence. Piatkus Books. ISBN 978-0-7499-2230-6.
  • Kevin Warwick (2004). I, Cyborg. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-07215-4.
  • Kevin Warwick (2004). March of the Machines: The Breakthrough in Artificial Intelligence. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-07223-9.
  • Kevin Warwick (30 August 2011). Artificial Intelligence: The Basics. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-56483-0. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  • Kevin Warwick and Huma Shah (2016). Turing's Imitation Game. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-05638-1.

Lectures (inaugural and keynote lectures):

Warwick is a regular presenter at the annual Careers Scotland Space School, University of Strathclyde.

He appeared at the 2009 World Science Festival[107] with Mary McDonnell, Nick Bostrom, Faith Salie and Hod Lipson.

See also


  1. ^ a b "WARWICK, Prof. Kevin". Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Captain Cyborg accepts another degree from puny humans, The Register, 26 July 2012
  3. ^ a b Captain Cyborg Is Back! Kevin Warwick Predicts the Future Slashdot
  4. ^ a b The Return of Captain Cyborg, The Guardian, 29 April 2004
  5. ^ List of articles mentioning "Captain Cyborg" at The Register
  6. ^ Kevin Warwick publications indexed by Google Scholar
  7. ^ a b Kevin Warwick at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  8. ^ New Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research at Coventr. Retrieved on 14 May 2016.
  9. ^ Delgado, A.; Kambhampati, C.; Warwick, K. (1995). "Dynamic recurrent neural network for system identification and control". IEE Proceedings – Control Theory and Applications. 142 (4): 307. doi:10.1049/ip-cta:19951873.
  10. ^ Zhu, Q. M.; Warwick, K.; Douce, J. L. (1991). "Adaptive general predictive controller for nonlinear systems". IEE Proceedings D Control Theory and Applications. 138: 33. doi:10.1049/ip-d.1991.0005.
  11. ^ "Ambient Intelligence Lab (AIL) – Ambient Intelligence". Retrieved 26 September 2009.
  12. ^ Advisory Board – English – University of Exeter. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  13. ^ "The Pinkerton Lecture 2012". The Institution of Engineering and Technology. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  14. ^ Complete list of  CHRISTMAS LECTURES. The Royal Institution
  15. ^ Warwick, K. (1981). "Self-tuning regulators—a state space approach". International Journal of Control. 33 (5): 839. doi:10.1080/00207178108922958.
  16. ^ Warwick, K. (1990). "Relationship between åström control and the kalman linear regulator—caines revisited". Optimal Control Applications and Methods. 11 (3): 223. doi:10.1002/oca.4660110304.
  17. ^ Warwick, K. (1983). "Using the Cayley-Hamilton theorem with N-partitioned matrices". IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control. 28 (12): 1127. doi:10.1109/TAC.1983.1103193.
  18. ^ Warwick, K, Ekwue, A and Aggarwal, R (eds). "Artificial intelligence techniques in power systems", Institution of Electrical Engineers Press, 1997
  19. ^ Sutanto, E and Warwick, K: "Multivariable cluster analysis for high speed industrial machinery", IEE Proceedings – Science, Measurement and Technology, 142, pp. 417–423, 1995
  20. ^ "Rise of the rat-brained robots – tech – 13 August 2008". New Scientist. Retrieved 26 September 2009.
  21. ^ BBC News|Entertainment|To the beat of the byte, 1 July 1998
  22. ^ Radford, Tim (13 July 2003). "University robot ruled too scary". The Guardian. London.
  23. ^ "Kevin Warwick, Professor of Cybernetics". BBC News.
  24. ^ Last question Archived 20 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine in Kevin Warwick, FAQ
  25. ^ Warwick, K. (2010). "Implications and consequences of robots with biological brains". Ethics and Information Technology. 12 (3): 223. doi:10.1007/s10676-010-9218-6.
  26. ^ Human Enhancement-The way ahead. (15 March 2012). Retrieved on 2016-05-14.
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  28. ^ Report on Forward Engagement and The Office of Technological and Strategic Assessment. THE PRESIDENT’S PANEL ON FORWARD ENGAGEMENT (2003)
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  30. ^ HuntGrubbe, Charlotte (22 July 2007). "The blade runner generation". The Times. London. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  31. ^ Wu, D; Warwick, K; Ma, Z; Gasson, M. N.; Burgess, J. G.; Pan, S; Aziz, T. Z. (2010). "Prediction of Parkinson's disease tremor onset using a radial basis function neural network based on particle swarm optimization". International Journal of Neural Systems. 20 (2): 109–16. doi:10.1142/S0129065710002292. PMID 20411594.
  32. ^ Cámara, C, Isasi, P, Warwick, K, Ruiz, V, Aziz, T, Stein, J and Bakštein, E: "Resting Tremor Classification and Detection in Parkinson's Disease Patients", Biomedical Signal Processing and Control, Vol.16, pp.88–97, February 2015.
  33. ^ 英国类人机器人大赛 寓教于乐两相宜(机器人,教育,科技,发展,英国 ) – 新视界-全球资讯视频总汇 Archived 23 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
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  42. ^ "-BA criticised over denying boarding to robotic cat". Airline Industry Information. 22 October 1999. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015.
  43. ^ UMI. "Inside the UMI RTX Robot Arm" (PDF). Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  44. ^ Delaney, Sam (31 March 2007). "Now then, now then". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  45. ^ a b Warwick, K.; Gasson, M.; Hutt, B.; Goodhew, I.; Kyberd, P.; Andrews, B.; Teddy, P.; Shad, A. (2003). "The Application of Implant Technology for Cybernetic Systems". Archives of Neurology. 60 (10): 1369–73. doi:10.1001/archneur.60.10.1369. PMID 14568806.
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  48. ^ Warwick, K, Hutt, B, Gasson, M and Goodhew, I. "An attempt to extend human sensory capabilities by means of implant technology", Proceedings IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Hawaii, pp.1663–1668, October 2005
  49. ^ Warwick, K.; Gasson, M.; Hutt, B.; Goodhew, I.; Kyberd, P.; Schulzrinne, H.; Wu, X. (2004). "Thought Communication and Control: A First Step using Radiotelegraphy". IEE Proceedings on Communications. 151 (3): 185. doi:10.1049/ip-com:20040409.
  50. ^ Kyberd, P. J.; Murgia, A.; Gasson, M.; Tjerks, T.; Metcalf, C.; Chappell, P. H.; Warwick, K.; Lawson, S. E. M.; Barnhill, T. (2009). "Case studies to demonstrate the range of applications of the Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure". British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 72 (5): 212. doi:10.1177/030802260907200506.
  51. ^ Gasson, M.; Hutt, B.; Goodhew, I.; Kyberd, P.; Warwick, K. (2005). "Invasive neural prosthesis for neural signal detection and nerve stimulation". International Journal of Adaptive Control and Signal Processing. 19 (5): 365–375. doi:10.1002/acs.854.
  52. ^ Dvorsky, George (26 April 2004). "Evolving Towards Telepathy". Betterhumans. Archived from the original on 6 July 2007.
  53. ^ Tracking device implant criticised | Community Care, 5 September 2002
  54. ^ Weissert, Will (15 July 2004). "Mexico implants microchips for ID". Arizona Daily Star. Archived from the original on 13 August 2004. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  55. ^ VeriChip. "Implantable Verification Solution for SE Asia". Inforlexus. Archived from the original on 31 December 2006.
  56. ^ Scheeres, Julia (25 January 2002). "Kidnapped? GPS to the Rescue". Wired News. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008.
  57. ^ Scheeres, Julia (15 February 2002). "Politician Wants to 'Get Chipped'". Wired News. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008.
  58. ^ "Can a machine think? – results from the 18th Loebner Prize contest – University of Reading". Retrieved 26 September 2009.
  59. ^ Warwick, K, Shah, H and Moor, J (2013). "Some Implications of a Sample of Practical Turing Tests". Minds and Machines. 23 (2): 163–177. doi:10.1007/s11023-013-9301-y.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  60. ^ Warwick, K; Shah, H (2014). "Good Machine Performance in Turing's Imitation Game". IEEE Trans. On Computational Intelligence and AI in Games. 6 (3): 289. doi:10.1109/TCIAIG.2013.2283538.
  61. ^ Warwick, K; Shah, H (2014). "Effects of Lying in Practical Turing Tests". AI & Society. 31: 5–15. doi:10.1007/s00146-013-0534-3.
  62. ^ "Turing Test success marks milestone in computing history". University of Reading. 8 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  63. ^ Warwick, K. and Shah, H., Can Machines Think? A Report on Turing Test Experiments at the Royal Society, Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence, DOI:10.1080/0952813X.2015.1055826, 2015
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  65. ^ a b c No, A 'Supercomputer' Did NOT Pass The Turing Test For The First Time And Everyone Should Know Better. Techdirt (9 June 2014). Retrieved on 2016-05-14.
  66. ^ Turing Test Success Marks Milestone in Computing History, University of Reading, 7 June 2014
  67. ^ Scientists dispute whether computer 'Eugene Goostman' passed Turing test, The Guardian 9 June 2014
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External links

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