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Artificial intelligence and biorobotics: is an artificial human being our destiny?


As it is well known the three basic types of the artificial intelligence (AI) have been developed: (i) technical AI, (ii) biotechnical AI and (iii) biological AI (Novakovic, 2005). The basic elements of the technical AI are: artificial neural networks, fuzzy logic systems, genetic or/and evolutionary algorithms and expert systems. A biotechnical AI is developed as the combination of the technical and biological components of AI. This is a transient phase from the technical to the biological AI. At the present time the biological AI is based on the genetic engineering. By using the genetic engineering technique one can improve some characteristics of the biological AI (for an example, enlarge the capacity of a brain memory, increasing the speed of the conclusion and decision-making processes and so on).

Parallel with the development of the artificial intelligence we have the related evolution of the robots, mainly in the three directions: (i) mechatronic robots, (ii) biotronic robots and (iii) biorobots. The mechatronic robots are combination of the mechanic and electronic elements. The biotronic robots are composed of the biological and electronic components. The biorobots involve the biological components and are realized mostly by employing the genetic engineering. The problem is to analyze the future development of the biorobots in the sense of creation of an artificial human being. The existing papers are mostly related to the science fiction approach (Keyes, 1963; Gray, 1995; Warwick, 2004). On the other hand, some practical experimentation have been done that are mostly oriented to the examination of the partially functions of the biocomponents connected to the mobile robots (Xydas et al., 2008), or to application of implant technology for cybernetic systems (Warwick et al., 2003). In this paper we state the main arguments pro and contra creation of an artificial human being that can be used for critical and scientific analyses. In that sense we offer a new definition of the term an artificial human being in order to distinguish this term from the other terms in robotics, especially in biorobotics. Further research should be the extended analysis of the stated main arguments pro and contra creation of an artificial human being.


The term biorobotics is often used to refer to a real subfield of robotics: studying how to make robots that emulate or simulate living biological organisms mechanically or even chemically. Meanwhile, the term is also used in a reverse definition: making biological organisms as manipulatable and functional as robots, or making biological organisms as components of robots (Wikipedia, 2009). In this paper we look at the biorobotics as a theoretical discipline of comprehensive genetic engineering. In that sense, the biological organisms are created and designed by artificial means. On the other hand, the creation of a life from non-living matter would be a total biorobotics. This field sometimes is called a synthetic biology or bionanotechnology. The variety forms of replicants that can be seen in some popular films belong also to the biorobotics. In the role-plying games sometimes the term bioroid has been used for a partially or fully biological robot. A biological brain, grown from cultured neurons which were originally separated, has been developed as the neurological entity subsequently embodied within a robot body (Warwick et al., 2003; Warwick, 2004). This brain receives inputs from sensors on the robot body and the brain outputs provide the robot's only motor signals. In that case, the biological brain was the only brain of the robot (Xydas et al., 2008).

The term bioengineering is also used in the biorobotics. This is the applications of the engineering principles to the full spectrum of living systems that is applicable to the fields of biology and medicine. Biomaterial is another term in biorobotics. This is any material, natural or man-made, that comprises whole part of a living structure or biomedical device which performs, augments, or replaces a natural function. The study of biomaterials exists for around fifty years. Biomechanics is the application of mechanical principles to living organisms. It includes bioengineering, mechanics of living organisms and application of engineering principles to and from biological systems. Bioship that can be seen in science fiction materials differs from the most spacecraft in the way that it is predominantly or totally composed of organic or biological components. Therefore bioship can be intelligent and may have life form (Keyes, 1953).

The next term that can be seen in biorobotics is cyborg. This is an organism that has both artificial and natural components. The term has been introduced by Manfred Clynes and Nathan Kline in 1960. Cyborgs are presented as a synthesis of organic and synthetic elements. They frequently pose the question of difference between human being and machines as one concerned with morality, free will, and empathy. Cyborgs are also often portrayed with physical or mental abilities far exceeding a human being counterpart. The term individual cyborg is used to refer to a man or women with bionic or robotic implants. For an example in current prosthetic applications, the so called C-Leg system developed by Otto Bock HealtheCare is used to replace a human leg that has been amputated because of injury or illness. On the other hand, the term social cyborg or cybernetic organism is used to describe some kind of larger networks of communication or/and control (networks of cities, roads, software, corporations, markets, governments and the collection of these systems together).

In medicine there are two important and different types of cyborgs. The first one is the restorative cyborg that restores lost function, organs and limbs (Gray, 1995). The second is enhanced cyborg that follows the principle of optimal performance. This means maximizing output (the information or modifications obtained) and minimizing input (the energy expended in the process). Thus, the enhanced cyborg intends to exceed normal processes or even gain new functions that were not originally present (Lyotard, 1984). In the military the term cyborg soldier often refers to a soldier whose weapon and survival systems are integrated into the self, creating a human- machine interface. In the sport the cyborgization has come to the forefront of the national consciousness in recent years. There is more to the subject like steroids, blood doping, prosthesis and body modification that should be included within cyborgs in sports. In the future a genetic modification may be the important approach to extend the sportsman potentials. There are also many types of art that work towards creating public awareness of cybernetic organisms. These can range from paintings to installations. For an example, the artist who creates such works is Neil Haribsson. He is the first person that has been recognized as a cyborg by government (the web site of The Sunday Times). The term organic model describes forms, methods and patterns found in living systems such as the organization of cells, some populations, communities and ecosystems. Finally, the term bionics (biomimicry) means the engineering of technology through the use of systems found in biology.


In order to distinguish the term an artificial human being from the other terms in robotics, especially in biorobotics, one should introduce the following definition. An artificial human being is a human like complex system created by human being from the biological materials, or non-biological materials, or combination of the biological and non-biological materials. There are, at least, three possible approaches to create an artificial human being. The first one is the application of the genetic engineering to the so called basic cells taken from the human being. It is well known that starting with the human basic cells it is possible to create any human organ by applying the appropriate genetic engineering. The second approach in the creation of the artificial human being could be the creation of a life from non-living matter. The third one is their combination.

The main arguments pro creation of an artificial human being are listed as follows.

--Increasing of the mental abilities: the brain memory capacity, the speed of learning, thinking, calculation, analysis, communication, decision making process, accretion of the quotient of the intelligence, elimination of the brain forgets processes and so on.

--Increasing of the medical abilities: replacement of the non-functional parts of the human being body, prosthetics, elimination of the all human being diseases and so on.

--Increasing of the physical power and applying it to both sportsmen and non-sportsmen.

--Increasing of the survive abilities in the environments where human being can not survive: a drastic climate change on the Earth, intergalactic expeditions, stay on the planets that have no the Earth atmosphere, under water living and so on.

--Extending of the human life time by decreasing the speed of the ageing process or/and replacing of the aged components.

The main arguments contra creation of an artificial human being are listed as follows.

--Bioethical issues pointed out the natural way of action to the all bioorganisms, created from the nature itself. No one should change the natural balance between living matter and non-living one.

--Social codex describes relations between groups of human beings. How to create a social codex between artificial human beings, robots and human beings? Should they have the same human rights in the mixed society?

--Philosophical issues are referred to discussion about the natural chain of events in the whole Universe. In that sense, one can ask the question: what in the nature is allowed to be changed from the human being action?

--Moral codex is a very important in the human being society. It describes through the history collected moral norms that should be protected in the future.

--Anthropological issues are referred to the human being genesis. In that sense one can ask the question: Do an artificial human being that will be created in the future by a natural human being, will destroy his father, sensing himself so overwhelmingly?

It should be pointed out that the above listed arguments pro and contra creation of an artificial human being are considered from the present point of view. In the future one can expect that a human being will adapt himself to the process of creation of an artificial human being, maybe by adapting his contra arguments. It seems that a positive interaction between an artificial human being and a natural human being will be an imperative for surveillance of both of them.


Classifications of an artificial intelligence and robots have been presented in this paper. An overview of the state of the art in the biorobotics shows a chaotic situation with the different terms in that field. Therefore, a new definition of an artificial human being is introduced. This definition helps in the distinguishing of the term an artificial human being from the terms in robotics and biorobotics. The main arguments pro and contra creation of an artificial human being are stated and critically discussed. It seems that an artificial human being could be our destiny. But, there is a hope that a natural human being will survive keeping the control function of the creation of an artificial human being. In any way, the appropriate interaction between a human being and an artificial human being could be an imperative for surveillance of both of them.


Biorobotics (2009). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, Available from:, Accessed: 2009-04-20

Bock, O. (2009). Otto Bock HealthCare: A Global Leader in HealthCare Products. Available from:, Accessed: 2009-04-21

Gray, C. H. ed. (1995). The Cyborg Handbook. Routledge, New York

Keyes, N. ed. (1963). Man faces Extraterrestrial Life. New York. Paperback Library, Inc. "Specialist" by Robert Sheckley (1953), pp 153-166

Lyotard, J. F. (1984). The Postmodern Condition: A Report on l.nowlidge.University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis

Novakovic, B. (2005). Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. Strojarstvo, Vol. 47, No. 1-2, (January-April, 2005), pp 3-4, 14, ISSN 0562-1887

Warwick, K. (2004). March of the Machines: The Breakthrough in Artificial Intelligence. University of Illinois Press, ISBN 0252072235, Illinois.

Warwick, K.; Gasson, M.; Hutt, B.; Goodhew, I.; Kyberd, P.; Andrews, B.; Teddy, P. & Shad, A. (2003). The Application of Implant Technology for Cybernetic systems. Archives of Neurology, Vol. 60, No.10, pp 1369-1373.

Xydas, D.; Norcott, D.; Warwick, K.; Whalley, B.; Nasuto, S.; Becerra, V.; Hammond, M.; Downes, J. & Marshall, S. (2008). Architecture for Neuronal Cell Control of a Mobile Robot. European Robotics Symposium 2008, Prague, March 2008, Springer
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Author:Novakovic, Branko; Majetic, Dubravko; Kasac, Josip; Brezak, Danko
Publication:Annals of DAAAM & Proceedings
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:4EUAU
Date:Jan 1, 2009
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