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Brainless Biomims: A threat to Man?

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1970-05-20 Amarillo Globe Times.jpg


LONDON (NEA)--The world of Dr. Kit Pedler, biologist and science-fiction writer, is peopled by little metallic man whom he calls "biomims" meaning "biological mimics."

That they have photo cells for eyess and microphones for ears, but no brain. They don't need a brain, Dr. Peddler explains. "All they need is to be plugged into a computer as central memory bank, which can feed them information when and where it is wanted."

Biomims are unlikely to produced on Einstein, the Beethoven or even a Beatle, but that is not their purpose. "Biomims are intended to be the slaves of man in performing menial or dangerous tasks," says Dr. Pedler. "They assemble gearboxes on production lines, clean out sewers, refuel atomic piles or live on the moon.

Unfortunately the tin men can be programmed with man's urge to survive as well as his learning capacity. In time, thanks to their marvelous adaptability, they may become the masters according to Dr. Pedler. Man may become redundant, the victim of the biggest takeover bid of all times, he says.

"You may think this is pure science-fiction," Dr. Pedler pursue this, "but I assure you that the biomim, although it hasn't yet been manufactured already exists as a blueprint on someone's somebody's drawing board.

"The point is that scientists now have the capacity to make this second generation robot with its built in human characteristics. It is only a matter of time before the first of these monsters appears waving the banner of progress. "

The British biologist cheerfully admits that he is obsessed with the conflict a scientist he is engaged in intricate research on the human eye, research which involves designing computing machines to simulate functions of the retina. He heads to the department of anatomy at London University Institute of Ophthalmology.

As a writer, he is the author of such highly successful TV science-fiction series as "Dr. Who" and "Doomwatch," written in collaboration with friend and fellow scriptwriter Gerry Davis.

As a sculptor, Dr. Peddler designed of the "cybermen," the transistorized robots featured in the "Dr. Who" series.

But Dr. Pedlers thoughts are never far from the machine society which he fears may result from man's technological greed. Just as no brain is required to build anthills or beehives, the doctor can see the brainless by omens of the future forming their Colonies, under the guidance of them other computer, where the Central intelligence is stored. He noted wryly:

"Thus will have the basis for the first iron society, in which there is no god, no Karl Marx, no Buddha and no Beatles."

In such an iron society, evolution would be speeded up, with each generation of biomims inheriting the acquired characteristics of the last In fact, the cycle time of a generation might only be a few hours.

In this case, how long would it be before the machines turn against their creator? Dr. Peddler has no doubt: the biomims will quickly learn to identify a man as their enemy. With a strong built-in urge to survive, the biomims will learn that only man can destroy them or disassemble them for experimental purposes and their telemetry will work out the defensive strategy accordingly.

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  • APA 6th ed.: (1970-05-17). Brainless Biomims: A threat to Man?. Newspaper Enterprise Association p. 21.
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  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Brainless Biomims: A threat to Man?." Newspaper Enterprise Association, edition, sec., 1970-05-17
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  • Title: Transistorized Robots May Be Able to Build Other Robots and Take Over
  • Publication: The Index-Journal
  • Date: 1970-06-13