83 Forever Life
The door of the auditorium opened. As the crowd entered the auditorium, Salma stopped me from following the crowd. I looked at her before remembering that she had warned me before about going into big crowds. Having a bodyguard might be as troublesome than I had imagined.
After the crowd had entered, Salma entered the venue with me sandwiched between her and Howard. Despite the crowd, there were still some empty seats in the auditorium. Salma pointed at some in a corner. They were in a terrible position, but I didn't pay my bodyguard good money just to ignore her. We moved to the empty seats and made ourselves comfortable.
One of the first thing I did after entering the auditorium was to look at the audience. I was happy to see many people holding pens, notepads, and even some cameras. Unfortunately, I didn't bring a camera and neither Salma nor I had any recording cybernetics, but we could take notes. As we were one of the last to entered, we only had to wait a short time before Professor Wang took the stage.
I had seen pictures of the man before but seeing the man in real life was something else. Most cyborgs tried to look human. We kept parts of ourselves normal, and some of us even covered our cybernetic parts with clothing or synthetic flesh. Most of us can't passed for human but it was an expected social norm for cyborgs to make the effort. Professor Wang was having none of that.
The man on the stage looked like a robot. His head was fully metallic. So was his body. So were his arms and legs. Professor Wang did not wear any clothes, proudly showing his metallic body to the world. In fact, the only visible part of him that was human were his eyes. Eyes that were now darting across the crowd. Professor Wang was a creepy looking cyborg and rumours were he enjoyed the reaction.
Professor Wang began to speak.
"It's been a while since I gave one of these, so before anything, let me apologize if I am not as smooth as some of you might like. Let me briefly introduce myself. My name is Wang Wei Dong. I am a professor at Guangzhou Cybertech University and I specialized in the field of robotics. I have been a cyborg for most of my life, and I have enjoyed every moment of it. To me, being a cyborg is an existence that is far superior to that of a baseline human."
There was a stir in the audience at that comment. Calling someone a baseline human was an insult in the cybernetic society. An insult often used by cyborgs to describe humans without any cybernetics as being based and backward. There were cyborgs who believed that humans without cybernetics were refusing progress, but I didn't know Professor Wang was one of them. This was not the start I was expecting. The professor ignored the audience and continued.
"Like most cyborgs, I had made improvements to my body. This is a constant cycle. As everyone could see, I had replaced most of my body with cybernetics and I am proud to say most of them are state-of-the-art. We are fortunate enough to be living in a time of constant innovation. Every other year, there is a significant discovery or breakthrough and the future of cybernetics is bright and blessed. However, there is one body part that has not seem any significant breakthrough. That is the brain."
"The brain is our most powerful weapon. Without it, humanity might still be living in caves. It is such a complex organ that some researchers even believed that the brain is too complex to be fully replaced by cybernetics. We could insert some parts into the brain to link it to some outside source, but there seemed to be no way cybernetics could replace the human brain. It seem like this was a bottleneck that cybernetics could not break. They are right."
Professor Wang's voice was commanding and as he continued talking, all other conversations stopped. Everyone was waiting for him to get to the meat of his representation. He did not disappoint.
"However, this was an answer I refused to accept. If you think about it, the human brain is nothing but a big computer. It consists of billions of nerve cells arranged in ways that coordinate our thought, emotion and behavior. Through a complex system of nerves, it processes information it receives from our senses and movement, and then sends messages back to the body. Much like a computer, the brain processes data. So, I had this idea. Why not just do away with the human brain altogether?"
"Humanity could build supercomputers and artificial intelligence that rival the human brain, even exceed it in some areas. So why not take the next step? I began to explore that idea, and after two decades of work, I had results. I am here to release them to you. It is a new form of robotics. I called it Forever Life."
Beside Professor Wang, a holographic image emerged. It was a video and showed an old man lying on a bed. The old man looked frail and dying. Then the image changed. The old man became a 3D image and the video showed imaginary wires connecting his brain to a robot. There was a running commentary. After ten minutes the video ended, and the audience flipped!
In the video, Professor Wang wanted to build a robot with a supercomputer, and then transferred a man's consciousness into it. That was what he meant by doing away with the human brain. In fact, that statement was slightly misleading. Professor Wang wanted to do away with the entire human body!
If the video was to be believed, the consciousness of a man could be transferred into a robot, and when that robot broke down, Professor Wang could download the consciousness into a new robot. As long as the supercomputer in the robot wasn't damaged, this could go on forever. In theory, it was a form of immortality.
The video was incredibly powerful. The audience burst into excitement. Not everyone was happy with it. I could hear more than a few people shouting at the professor. That was to be expected. There will always be some people against progress. The noisy audience quieted when a robot walked onto the stage. The robot stood beside Professor Wang and waved to the crowd. The professor pointed at the robot and addressed his audience.
"Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you Mr. Guo Hock Kee."
I was shocked. Along with everyone in the audience. Professor Wang had done it. His research wasn't in the theoretical stage, it wasn't even in the proof of concept stage; he had already done it! He had already transferred a man consciousness into a robot, and he was here to showcased him, or it, to the world! This was a moment that would go down in history. And I was here! I was here when history was changed. As the crowd slowly recover from the shock, one thing popped in mind.
"If he can transfer a mind into a robot, why not a battlesuit?"