Joseph Henry Press | 2004 | ISBN:0309089875 | 238 pages
Perkowitz, professor of physics at Emory University, takes the reader on an absorbing journey through the history of human efforts to duplicate human functions. Robots and artificial body parts represent the current level of achievement; the ultimate achievement may be artificial beings. Although "no one has yet made a completely autonomous being, or one that seems consistently and convincingly alive, or a bionic implant that improves human strength or wit ... there is no doubt that existing technology will carry us further along these paths." And eventually we must face some profound questions. "What is our purpose in making artificial or hybrid beings? What are our ethical responsibilities toward them and theirs toward us? Do we have anything to fear from intelligent and powerful nonhuman beings?"