IEET > Vision > J. Hughes
Hughes, Joy, Ishiguro and Wilson on NPR Book Program
Nov 1, 2005  

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To The Best of Our Knowledge from Wisconsin Public Radio

FUTURE PERFECT Program 05-10-23-A

Consider this future world: a vaccine that makes you continually happy. A chip in your brain that lets you communicate telepathically with your spouse. Human lives that span hundreds of years. Sound far-fetched? Not according the James Hughes of the World Transhumanist Association. He says all this will happen. It’s not just a matter of when - not if. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge we’ll speculate on what some are calling the post-human future.


  Social critic Bill McKibben is the author of “Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age.” He says we’re rushing through a momentous doorway into a new age of human evolution and suggests we might want to slow down and think things over. Also, James Hughes is excited about the new Post-human world. He tells Anne Strainchamps why people can and should be stronger, healthier and smarter than they are. His book is “Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future.”


Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest novel, “Never Let Me Go,” was nominated for the Man Booker Prize. He reads an excerpt and talks with Steve Paulson about his boarding school full of cloned children bred to donate their organs. Also, we’re reminded of Isaac Asimov’s three laws of robotics, and hear a montage of the chaos the ensues when they’re ignored in the movies. Then Daniel Wilson, author of “How to Survive a Robot Uprising” tells Jim Fleming the secret is to go for their sensors! Wilson is a doctoral student at Carnegie Mellon University and fills Jim in on the many real life tasks robots are learning to do. He hasn’t heard about any plans to take over. Or he’s not talking.


Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood talks with Steve Paulson about her dystopian science fiction book, “Oryx and Crake.” She says she likes science and sees the world she’s created as a logical extension of things that already exist.

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