If you’re thinking of having a tar on a cruise, make sure the captain doesn’t catch you both at it.
Fortunately, for those filthy-minded sleaze-balls among you who get sea-sick at the slightest sight of waves, even those lapping round your favourite drink, the day is fast approaching when you’ll be able to experience the world (real, not virtual) through a robot avatar.
Then you can do all those things you’ve ever imagined in your wildest dreams, from a safe distance.
Just try to keep it all safe, lawful, and pleasant for both parties.
Getting inside the cruise experience
Meanwhile, picture this:
‘Would you like to book The Full Monty Cruise to the Galapagos Islands, sir?’ asks a member of the Virgin Holidays Cruises crew.
‘Or go for the Tele-Operated Remote Cruise Sensation for a special Be-Out-While-You’re-In discount?’
‘Well, actually, I was thinking of sending the wife on the sea cruise while I bugger off to Bognor with that little number I met in Southampton. Then I could sort of join the wife and see what she’s up to, and hope the lady I’m seeing on the side hasn’t been mind-controlled by my missus.’
Seriously though, scientists have actually made a robot avatar move on a human’s behalf by monitoring their thoughts, reports the latest issue of New Scientist.
This is especially good news for those who are paralysed or have locked-in-syndrome, for they will one day – hopefully sooner rather than later – get the chance to experience what the rest of us take for granted, i.e. seeing the world close-up while moving around freely.
From the outside looking on
This human-machine link has already joined a man in a brain scanner in Israel and a small two-legged robot wandering around a laboratory in France.
The person controlling the avatar will not only be able to see through the eyes of his (or her) electronic surrogate, it’s only a matter of time before he will be able to speak, feel and move – using just his brain (which has been scanned by fMRI – Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging).
OK. Your mind won’t actually be embodied in a distant robot, but you will think you are – and all of it in real time. The world you’ll be experiencing won’t be a virtual one created for people who seem to prefer fantasy to reality.
And one day that little two-legged avatar robot in France will metamorphose into one with the size, appearance and movements of a human.
All this may sound like wishful thinking, but it will happen.
Then you can be yourself inside another self beside the sea, or cruising on it.
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