- Kevin Warwick
name = Kevin Warwick
caption = Kevin Warwick, February 2008
birth_date = birth date and age|1954|2|9
nationality = GBR
University of Oxford Newcastle University University of Warwick Reading University
Aston University Imperial College London
known_for = Project Cyborg
Kevin Warwick (born
9 February 1954 Coventry, UK) is a British scientist and professor of cyberneticsat the University of Reading, UK. He is probably best known for his studies on direct interfaces between computersystems and the human nervous system, although he has done much research in the field of robotics.
Kevin Warwick was born in 1954 in
Coventryin the United Kingdom. He attended Lawrence Sheriff Schoolin Rugby, Warwickshire. He left school in 1970 to join British Telecom, at the age of 16. In 1976 he took his first degree at Aston University, followed by a Ph.Dand a research post at Imperial College London.
Warwick is a
Chartered Engineer (UK), a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technologyand a Fellow of the City and Guilds of London Institute. He is Visiting Professor at the Czech Technical University in Pragueand in 2004 was Senior Beckman Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. He is also Director of the Reading University Knowledge Transfer PartnershipsCentre, which links the University with Companies.
Warwick has been awarded higher doctorates (
D.Sc.) by Imperial Collegeand by the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague. He was presented with The Future of Health Technology Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was made an Honorary Member of the Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, was awarded the University of Maltamedal from the Edward de Bono Institute and in 2004 received The IEE Senior Achievement Medal. In 2008 Warwick was awarded Honorary Doctor of Sciencedegrees by Aston University[ [http://www.aston.ac.uk/about/news/080715.jsp High profile graduates celebrated by Aston University ] ] and Coventry University[http://www.coventry.ac.uk/latestnewsandevents/a/4879] .
Warwick carries out research in
artificial intelligence, biomedical engineering, control systemsand robotics. Much of Warwick's early research was in the area of Discrete time Adaptive control. He introduced the first state space based Self-tuningcontroller [Warwick, K: "Self-tuning regulators: A state-space approach", International Journal of Control, 33(5), pp.839-858, 1981] and unified Discrete timestate space representations of ARMA models. [Warwick, K: "Relationship between Åström control and the Kalman linear regulator - Caines revisited", Journal of Optimal Control:Applications and Methods, 11(3), pp.223-232, 1990] However he also contributed in Mathematics, [Warwick,K:"Using the Cayley–Hamilton theoremwith N partitioned matrices",IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, AC.28(12),pp.1127-1128, 1983] Power Engineering[Warwick, K, Ekwue, A and Aggarwal, R (eds)." Artificial intelligencetechniques in power systems", Institution of Electrical EngineersPress, 1997] and Manufacturingproduction machinery. [Sutanto, E and Warwick, K: "Multivariable cluster analysis for high speed industrial machinery", IEE Proceedings - Science, Measurement and Technology, 142, pp. 417-423, 1995]
Warwick presently heads an
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Councilsupported research project which investigates the use of machine learning and artificial intelligencetechniques in order to suitably stimulate and translate patterns of electrical activity from living cultured neural networksin order to utilise the networks for the control of mobile robots. [http://technology.newscientist.com/channel/tech/mg19926696.100-rise-of-the-ratbrained-robots.html] Hence a biological brain actually provides the behaviour process for each robot. It is expected that the method will be extended to the control of a robot head.
Previously Warwick was behind a
Genetic algorithmcalled Gershwyn, which was able to exhibit creativity in producing pop songs, learning what makes a hit record by listening to examples of previous hit songs. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/123983.stm BBC News | Entertainment | To the beat of the byte] ] Gershwyn appeared on BBC's Tomorrow's Worldhaving been successfully used to mix music for Manus, a group consisting of the four younger brothers of Elvis Costello.
Another Warwick project involving
artificial intelligenceis the robot head, Morgui. The head contains 5 senses (vision, sound, infrared, ultrasoundand radar) and is being used to investigate sensor data fusion. The head was X-rated by the University of ReadingResearch and Ethics Committee due to its image storage capabilities - anyone under the age of 18 who wishes to interact with the robot must apriori obtain parental approval [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2003/jul/17/highereducation.science University robot ruled too scary | UK news | The Guardian ] ] .
Warwick has very outspoken views on the future, particularly with respect to
artificial intelligenceand its impact on the human species, and argues that we will need to use technology to enhance ourselves in order to avoid being overtaken. He also points out that there are many limits, such as our sensorimotorabilities, that we can overcome with 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." [Kevin Warwick, "FAQ", http://www.kevinwarwick.com/faq.htm (last question)]
Warwick heads the
Reading Universityteam in a number of European Community projects such as FIDISlooking at issues concerned with the future of identity and ETHICBOTS which is considering the ethical aspects of robots and cyborgs. Warwick is also working with Daniela Cerqui, a social and cultural anthropologist from the University of Lausanne, to address the main social, ethical, philosophical and anthropological issues related to his research. [www.kevinwarwick.com]
Warwick’s areas of interest have many ethical implications, some due to his
Human enhancementexperiments. The ethical dilemmas in his research are highlighted as a case study for schoolchildren and science teachers by the Institute of Physics[ [http://www.peep.ac.uk/content/614.0.html PEEP Physics Ethics Education Project: People ] ] as a part of their formal Advanced level and GCSE studies. His work has also been directly discussed by The President's Council on Bioethicsand the President’s Panel on Forward Engagements [ [http://home.gwu.edu/~esialsf/Final%20Report%20-%20Spring%202003.pdf Introduction ] ]
Deep brain stimulation
Tipu Azizand his team at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, and John Stein of University of Oxford, Warwick is helping to design the next generation of Deep brain stimulationfor Parkinson's disease. [ [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article2079637.ece The blade runner generation - Times Online ] ] Instead of stimulating the brain all the time, the aim 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.
Warwick has headed a number of projects aimed at exciting schoolchildren about the technology with which he is involved. In 2000 he received the
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research CouncilMillennium Award for his Schools Robot League. Meanwhile in 2007, 16 school teams were involved in designing a humanoid robot to dance and then complete an assault course—a final competition being held at the Science Museum (London). The project, entitled 'Androids Advance' was supported by EPSRCand was presented as an evening news item on Chinese television. [ [http://video.dvod.com.cn/news/950835.shtml 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 ] ]
Warwick 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 Fantasticand Explorations (TV)[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0990120/ Kevin Warwick ] ] . He has also guested on a number of TV chat shows, including Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Først & sistand Richard & Judy. Warwick has appeared on the cover of a number of magazines, for example the February 2000 edition of Wired (magazine). [ [http://www.wired.com/wired/coverbrowser/2000 Cover Browser - Wired Magazine ] ]
Warwick's claims that robots that can program themselves to avoid each other while operating in a group raise the issue of self-organisation, and as such might be the major impetus in following developments in this area. In particular, the works of
Francisco Varelaand Humberto Maturana, once in the province of pure speculation now have become immediately relevant with respect to synthetic intelligence.
Cyborg-type systems not only are
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 larger and 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.Fact|date=February 2007 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 Recordsrecorded that Warwick carried out the first robot learning experiment across the internet. One robot, with an Artificial Neural Networkbrain in Reading, UK, learnt how to move around. It then taught, via the internet, another robot in SUNY BuffaloNew York State, USA, to behave in the same way. The robot in the USA was therefore not taught or programmed by a human, but rather by another robot based on what it itself had learnt. [Warwick, K: “I, Cyborg”, University of Illinois Press, 2004]
Hissing Sid was a robot cat which Warwick took on a
British Councillecture 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 Peterbut became better known when it was refused a ticket by British Airwayson the grounds that they did not allow animals in the cabin [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0CWU/is_/ai_56752397 BA criticised over denying boarding to robotic cat | Airline Industry Information | Find Articles at BNET ] ] .
Warwick was also responsible for a robotic "magic chair" which Sir
Jimmy Savileused 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 [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguide/tvradio/story/0,,2045929,00.html Sam Delaney meets Sir Jimmy Savile | Culture | The Guardian ] ] . Warwick even appeared on the programme himself for a Fix it involving robots.
Robotics: Project Cyborg
Probably the most famous piece of research undertaken by Warwick (and the origin of the nickname, "Captain Cyborg", given to him by
The Register) is the set of experiments known as "Project Cyborg", in which he had a chip implanted into his arm, with the aim of "becoming a cyborg".
The first stage of this research, which began on
1998-08-24, involved a simple RFIDtransmitter being implanted beneath Warwick's skin, and used to control doors, lights, heaters, and other computer-controlled devices based on his proximity. 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 chip. [Wired Magazine 8.02 (Feb 2000), 'Cyborg 1.0: Interview with Kevin Warwick', http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.02/warwick.html (accessed 25-12-2006)]
The second stage involved a more complex neural interface which was designed and built especially for the experiment by Dr.
Mark Gassonand his team at the University of Reading. This device was implanted on 2002-03-14, and interfaced directly into Warwick's nervous system. The electrode arrayinserted contained 100 electrodes, of which 25 could be accessed at any one time, whereas the median nervewhich it monitored carries many times that number of signals. The experiment proved successful, and the signal produced was detailed enough that a robot armdeveloped by Warwick's colleague, Dr Peter Kyberd, was able to mimic the actions of Warwick's own arm [Warwick, K, Gasson, M, Hutt, B, Goodhew, I, Kyberd, P, Andrews, B, Teddy, P and Shad, A:“The Application of Implant Technology for Cybernetic Systems”, "Archives of Neurology", 60(10), pp1369-1373, 2003]
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 armin the University of Readingand 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. [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] A highly publicised extension to the experiment, in which a simpler array was implanted into Warwick's wife—with the aim of creating a form of telepathyor empathyusing the Internet to communicate the signal from afar—was also successful, resulting in the first purely electronic communication experiment between the nervous systems of two humans [ Warwick, K, Gasson, M, Hutt, B, Goodhew, I, Kyberd, P, Schulzrinne, H and Wu, X: “Thought Communication and Control: A First Step using Radiotelegraphy”, "IEE Proceedings on Communications", 151(3), pp.185-189, 2004] Finally, the effect of the implant on Warwick's hand function was measured using the University of SouthamptonHand Assessment Procedure (SHAP). It was feared that directly interfacing with the nervous systemmight cause some form of damage or interference, but no measurable effect was found.
As well as the "Project Cyborg" work, Warwick has been involved in several of the major robotics developments within the Cybernetics Department at Reading. These include the "seven dwarves", a version of which was given away in kit form as
Cyboton the cover of Real RobotsMagazine.
Robotics: Implications and criticisms on Project Cyborg
Warwick and his colleagues claim that the "Project Cyborg" research could lead to new medical tools for treating patients with damage to the
nervous system, as well as opening the way for the more ambitious enhancements Warwick advocates. Some transhumanists even speculate that similar technologies could be used for technology-facilitated telepathy, or " techlepathy." [cite web|title=Evolving Towards Telepathy|date= 2004-04-26|author=George Dvorsky|url=http://web.archive.org/web/20070706064752/http://archives.betterhumans.com/Columns/Column/tabid/79/Column/267/Default.aspx|publisher=Betterhumans ] Warwick himself asserts that his controversial work is important because it directly tests the boundaries of what is known about the human ability to integrate with computerised systems.Fact|date=February 2007
A controversy arose in August 2002, shortly after the
Soham murders, when Warwick reportedly offered to implant a tracking deviceinto an 11-year-old girl as an anti-abduction measure. The plan produced a mixed reaction, with support from many worried parents but ethical concerns from a number of children's societies.Fact|date=February 2007 As a result, the idea did not go ahead.
Anti-theft RFID chips are common in jewelry or clothing in some Latin American countries due to a high abduction rate, [cite news|url=http://www.dailystar.com/dailystar/news/30069.php|work=Arizona Daily Star|title=missingtitle|date=missingdateline|author=missingbyline] and the company
VeriChipannounced plans in 2001 to expand its line of currently available medical information implants, [cite web|url=http://www.verichip.com.my/index-2.html|title=Implantable Verification Solution for SE Asia|author=VeriChip|publisher=Inforlexus] to be GPS trackable when combined with a separate GPS device. [cite news|title=Kidnapped? GPS to the Rescue|author=Julia Scheeres|date= 2002-01-25|url=http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,50004,00.html|work= Wired News] [cite news|url=http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,50435,00.html|work= Wired News|title=Politician Wants to 'Get Chipped'|author=Julia Scheeres|date= 2002-02-15]
Kevin has twice participated as a "Turing Interrogator", judging machines in the 2001 and 2006
Loebner Prizecompetitions, platforms for an 'imitation game' as devised by Alan Turing. The 2001 Prize, held at the Science Museum in London, was won by A.L.I.C.E. [ [http://www.alicebot.org/ The A. L. I. C. E. Artificial Intelligence Foundation - chatbot - chat bot - chatterbots - verbots - natural language - chatterbot - bot - chat robot - chat bots - AIML - take a Turing Test - Loebner Prize - Chatterbox Challenge - entertainment robots - robotics - marketing - games - digital pets - ALICEBot ] ] The 2006 contest was held at University College Londonand was won by Rollo Carpenter. Kevin's findings can be found in "Turing Test: Mindless Game? – A Reflection on the Loebner Prize" - a paper presented with co-author, Huma Shah, at the 2007 European conference on computing and philosophy (ECAP). [ [http://www.utwente.nl/ecap07/ European Computing and Philosophy Conference ] ]
Warwick was a member of the 2001
Higher Education Funding Council for England(unit 29) Research Assessment Exercisepanel on Electrical and Electronic Engineeringand is Deputy Chairman for the same panel (unit 24) in 2008 [http://www.rae.ac.uk/ Current official RAE website for 2008 exercise] . He also sits on the research committee of The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.
* “Shouldn’t I join the ranks of philosophers and merely make unsubstantiated claims about the wonders of human consciousness? Shouldn’t I stop trying to do some science and keep my head down? Indeed not”. Hendricks, V: “Feisty Fragments for Philosophy”, King’s College Publications, London,2004.]
* “I feel that we are all philosophers, and that those who describe themselves as a ‘philosopher’ simply do not have a day job to go to”.
* On Human Consciousness: “
John Searleput forward the view that a shoe is not conscious therefore a computer cannot be conscious. By the same sort of analogy though, a cabbage is not conscious therefore a human cannot be conscious”. Hendricks, V: “500 CC Computer Citations”, King’s College Publications, London, 2005]
* On Machine Intelligence: “Our robots have roughly the equivalent of 50 to 100 brain cells. That means they are about as intelligent as a slug or snail or a
* “An actual robot walking machine which takes one step and then falls over is worth far more than a computer simulation of 29,000 robots running the London Marathon in record time”.
* “When comparing human memory and computer memory it is clear that the human version has two distinct disadvantages. Firstly, as indeed I have experienced myself, due to ageing, human memory can exhibit very poor short term recall”.
* "There can be no absolute reality, there can be no absolute truth". [Warwick, K:"The Matrix - Our Future?", Chapter in "Philosophers Explore the Matrix", edited by C.Grau, Oxford University Press, 2005]
* "Ask not what the surgeon can do for you - ask what you can do for the surgeon", Panel Discussion on Challenges & Opportunities in
Biomedical Engineeringat BIOSTEC 2008 Conference, Madeira, Portugal, 28 January 2008.
Warwick has written several books, articles and papers. A selection of his books:
* 2001, cite book | author=Warwick, Kevin | title=QI: The Quest for Intelligence | publisher=Piatkus Books | Year=2001 | id=ISBN 0749922303
* 2004, cite book | author=Warwick, Kevin | title=I, Cyborg | publisher=University of Illinois Press | Year=2004 | id=ISBN 0252072154
* 2004, cite book | author=Warwick, Kevin | title=March of the Machines: The Breakthrough in Artificial Intelligence | publisher=University of Illinois Press | Year=2004 | id=ISBN 0252072235
Lectures (inaugural and keynote lectures):
Robert Boyle Lectureat Oxford University,
* 2000, “The Rise of The Robots”,
Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, entitled . These lectures were repeated in 2001 in a tour of Japan, China and Korea.
Gordon HigginsonLecture at Durham University, Hamilton instituteinaugural lecture.
Royal Academy of Engineering/ Royal Society of EdinburghJoint lecture in Edinburgh,
IEEE(UK) Annual Lecture in London,
* 2004, Woolmer Lecture at
University of York, Robert HookeLecture (Westminster)
EinsteinLecture in Potsdam, Germany
* 2006, Bernard Price Lecture tour in South Africa;
Institution of Mechanical EngineersPrestige Lecture in London.
Techfestplenary lecture in Mumbai; Kshitijkeynote in Kharagpur (India); Engineer Techfest keynote in NITKSurathkal (India); Annual Science Faculty lecture at University of Leicester, Graduate School in Physical Sciences and Engineering Annual Lecture, Cardiff University.
* 2008, Leslie Oliver Oration at
Queen's Hospital, Techkritikeynote in Kanpur.
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, guest lecture "Four weddings and a Funeral" for the Microsoft Research Chair
Ray Kurzweiland " The Age of Intelligent Machines"
* [http://www.kevinwarwick.com/ Kevin Warwick's official site]
* [http://www.rte.ie/science RTE Radio 1 debate with Kevin Warwick on Human Enhancement] [podcast link http://www.rte.ie/radio1/podcast/podcast_sciencedebate.xml]
* [http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_550084.html?menu=news.scienceanddiscovery Ananova story, with pictures of the chip and operation] (dead link, see [http://web.archive.org/web/20050313100152/http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_550084.html?menu=news.scienceanddiscovery archive] )
* [http://forms.theregister.co.uk/search/?q=captain+cyborg List of articles mentioning "Captain Cyborg"] at
* [http://futurefire.net/2005.01/nonfiction/cyborg.html Interview with Kevin Warwick] in
The Future Fire1 (2005)
* [http://rehash.whatthehack.org/wth/rawtapes/wth_cyborgs_practical_experimentation/wth_cyborgs_practical_experimentation_18.mp4 Video of Kevin Warwick speaking at WhatTheHack]
* [http://www.mbrpoints.com/blog/2008/02/04/kybernetikprofessor-alias-captain-cyborg-kevin-warwick-im-interview-by-roland-kobald/ Interview with Kevin Warwick] in mbr:points 1 (04.02.2008)
* [http://www.itbhuglobal.org/chronicle/archives/2008/01/#002112 Interview with Kevin Warwick] in IT-BHU Chronicle
* http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=self-experimenters on-line
NAME= Warwick, Kevin
SHORT DESCRIPTION=British robotics and cybernetics researcher
DATE OF BIRTH= 1954-2-9
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=
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