Home
Mobile version
spiked plus
About spiked
What is spiked?
Support spiked
spiked shop
Contact us
Advertising
Summer school
Top issues
Abortion
Arab uprisings
British politics
Child abuse panic
Economy
Environment
For Europe, Against the EU
Free speech
Jimmy Savile scandal
Nudge
Obesity
Parents and kids
Population
USA
View all issues...
special feature
The Counter-Leveson Inquiry
other sections
 Letters
 Review of Books
 Monthly archive
selected authors
Duleep Allirajah
Daniel Ben-Ami
Tim Black
Jennie Bristow
Sean Collins
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick
Frank Furedi
Helene Guldberg
Patrick Hayes
Mick Hume
Rob Lyons
Brendan O’Neill
Nathalie Rothschild
James Woudhuysen
more authors...
RSS feed
survey

abc def ghi jkl mno pqrs tuv wxyz index
Survey home
First thoughts
Final thoughts
Survey responses
RSS feed
Michael Baum
Gustav Born
K Eric Drexler
Marcus du Sautoy
Harold Kroto
Paul Lauterbur
Leon Lederman
Bernard Lovell
Sophie Petit-Zeman
Ingo Potrykus
Jack Pridham
Simon Singh
Jack Steinberger
Kevin Warwick
professor of cybernetics at the the School of Systems Engineering at the University of Reading


My research involves robotics, artificial intelligence and above all cyborgs. I have myself been given two implants, the latter of which linked my nervous system with the internet for experimentation. In one experiment, my nervous system was linked directly with that of my wife, to enable us to communicate in a completely new way.

When I was a child, the first science fiction story I read was The War of the Worlds by HG Wells. I was fascinated from start to finish. I felt that the incredible thing was, it could happen! But in reality, would humans win out in the end?

I also read The Terminal Man by Michael Crichton, about a man who has electrodes inserted into his brain in order to electronically alter his emotions. I read it more as a future science report than as a novel. Over 30 years later, when I had electrodes inserted into my own nervous system, it was as though I had read about it before it happened.

I have been driven by the excitement brought about through scientific invention and endeavour – for example, the electrical experiments of Michael Faraday, the first telephone call of Graham Bell, and the design of the jet engine by Frank Whittle. When my wife and I were successful with the world’s first direct nervous system to nervous system communication, I felt that maybe we went some way in that direction. Of course, there are also fictional inspirations along the same lines, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson being a wonderful example.

Personal inspiration comes from pioneers such as the Wright Brothers, going somewhere for the first time, despite criticism; Robert Scott, pushing the boundaries, maybe too far; John F Kennedy, setting sights on the future; and even Horatio Nelson, putting personal safety at risk. But I know that my work could help a lot of people who have a spinal injury, or are blind, or have Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, and this is what really drives me forward.

If my research could help just one or two people, and make their life a little better, then that research is worthwhile. This makes any criticism from others seem insignificant, and pushes me to go that little bit further in my attempts to get the results.

Kevin Warwick is author of books including I, Cyborg (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)), and March Of The Machines: The Breakthrough In Artificial Intelligence (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)). See his website.