Kevin Warwick
Kevin Warwick is a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 scientist and professor of cybernetics
Cybernetics is the interdisciplinary study of the structure of regulatory systems. Cybernetics is closely related to information theory, control theory and systems theory, at least in its first-order form...

 at the University of Reading
University of Reading
The University of Reading is a university in the English town of Reading, Berkshire. The University was established in 1892 as University College, Reading and received its Royal Charter in 1926. It is based on several campuses in, and around, the town of Reading.The University has a long tradition...

, Reading, Berkshire
Reading, Berkshire
Reading is a large town and unitary authority area in England. It is located in the Thames Valley at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, and on both the Great Western Main Line railway and the M4 motorway, some west of London....

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. He is known for his studies on direct interfaces between computer
A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...

 systems and the human nervous system
Nervous system
The nervous system is an organ system containing a network of specialized cells called neurons that coordinate the actions of an animal and transmit signals between different parts of its body. In most animals the nervous system consists of two parts, central and peripheral. The central nervous...

, and has also done research in the field of robotics
Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, structural disposition, manufacture and application of robots...



Kevin Warwick was born in 1954 in Coventry in the United Kingdom. He attended Lawrence Sheriff School
Lawrence Sheriff School
Lawrence Sheriff School is a selective boys' grammar school in Rugby in Warwickshire. The school is named after Lawrence Sheriff, the Elizabethan man who founded Rugby School. The school's name is often shortened to 'LSS', or often just 'Sheriff' by boys at the school. In a recent OFSTED ...

 in Rugby, Warwickshire
Rugby, Warwickshire
Rugby is a market town in Warwickshire, England, located on the River Avon. The town has a population of 61,988 making it the second largest town in the county...

. He left school in 1970 to join British Telecom, at the age of 16. In 1976 he took his first degree at Aston University
Aston University
Aston University is a "plate glass" campus university situated at Gosta Green, in the city centre of Birmingham, England.Established in 1895 as the Birmingham Municipal Technical School, Aston was granted its Royal Charter as Aston University on 22 April 1966...

, followed by a Ph.D and a research post at Imperial College London
Imperial College London
Imperial College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, specialising in science, engineering, business and medicine...


He subsequently held positions at Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

, Newcastle and Warwick
University of Warwick
The University of Warwick is a public research university located in Coventry, United Kingdom...

 universities before being offered the Chair in Cybernetics at the University of Reading in 1987.

Warwick is a Chartered Engineer
Chartered Engineer (UK)
In the United Kingdom, a Chartered Engineer is an engineer registered with Engineering Council UK . Contemporary Chartered Engineers are master's degree-qualified and have gained professional competencies through training and experience...

, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology
Institution of Engineering and Technology
The Institution of Engineering and Technology is a British professional body for those working in engineering and technology in the United Kingdom and worldwide. It was formed in 2006 from two separate institutions: the Institution of Electrical Engineers , dating back to 1871, and the...

 and a Fellow of the City and Guilds of London Institute
City and Guilds of London Institute
The City and Guilds of London Institute is a leading United Kingdom vocational education organisation. City & Guilds offers more than 500 qualifications over the whole range of industry sectors through 8500 colleges and training providers in 81 countries worldwide...

. He is Visiting Professor at the Czech Technical University in Prague
Czech Technical University in Prague
Czech Technical University in Prague is one of the largest universities in the Czech Republic, and the oldest institute of technology in Central Europe....

 and in 2004 was Senior Beckman Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is a large public research-intensive university in the state of Illinois, United States. It is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system...

, USA. He is also Director of the University of Reading Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is a part government-funded programme to encourage collaboration between businesses and universities in the United Kingdom.-History:...

 Centre, which links the University with Companies and is on the Advisory Boards of the Instinctive Computing Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States....

 and the Centre for Intermedia, University of Exeter
University of Exeter
The University of Exeter is a public university in South West England. It belongs to the 1994 Group, an association of 19 of the United Kingdom's smaller research-intensive universities....


By the age of 40 he had been awarded higher doctorates (D.Sc.) by both Imperial College and by the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
The Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic was established in 1992 by the Czech National Council as the Czech successor of the former Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. The Academy is the leading non-university public research institution in the Czech Republic...

, Prague for his research output in completely separate areas.


Warwick carries out research in artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it. AI textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents" where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its...

, biomedical engineering
Biomedical engineering
Biomedical Engineering is the application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology. This field seeks to close the gap between engineering and medicine: It combines the design and problem solving skills of engineering with medical and biological sciences to improve...

, control systems and robotics. Much of Warwick's early research was in the area of discrete time
Discrete time
Discrete time is the discontinuity of a function's time domain that results from sampling a variable at a finite interval. For example, consider a newspaper that reports the price of crude oil once every day at 6:00AM. The newspaper is described as sampling the cost at a frequency of once per 24...

 adaptive control
Adaptive control
Adaptive control is the control method used by a controller which must adapt to a controlled system with parameters which vary, or are initially uncertain. For example, as an aircraft flies, its mass will slowly decrease as a result of fuel consumption; a control law is needed that adapts itself...

. He introduced the first state space
State space (controls)
In control engineering, a state space representation is a mathematical model of a physical system as a set of input, output and state variables related by first-order differential equations...

 based self-tuning
In control theory a self-tuning system is capable of optimizing its own internal running parameters in order to maximize or minimize the fulfillment of an objective function; typically the maximization of efficiency or error minimization....

 controller and unified discrete time state space representations of ARMA
Autoregressive moving average model
In statistics and signal processing, autoregressive–moving-average models, sometimes called Box–Jenkins models after the iterative Box–Jenkins methodology usually used to estimate them, are typically applied to autocorrelated time series data.Given a time series of data Xt, the ARMA model is a...

However he has also contributed in mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, power engineering
Power engineering
Power engineering, also called power systems engineering, is a subfield of engineering that deals with the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power as well as the electrical devices connected to such systems including generators, motors and transformers...

 and manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

 production machinery.

Artificial intelligence

Warwick presently heads an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is a British Research Council that provides government funding for grants to undertake research and postgraduate degrees in engineering and the physical sciences , mainly to universities in the United Kingdom...

 supported research project which investigates the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques in order to suitably stimulate and translate patterns of electrical activity from living cultured neural networks in order to utilise the networks for the control of mobile robots. Hence a biological brain actually provides the behaviour process for each robot. It is expected that the method will be extended to the control of a robot head.

Previously Warwick was behind a Genetic algorithm
Genetic algorithm
A genetic algorithm is a search heuristic that mimics the process of natural evolution. This heuristic is routinely used to generate useful solutions to optimization and search problems...

 called Gershwyn, which was able to exhibit creativity in producing pop songs, learning what makes a hit record by listening to examples of previous hit songs. Gershwyn appeared on BBC's Tomorrow's World
Tomorrow's World
Tomorrow's World was a long-running BBC television series, showcasing new developments in the world of science and technology. First aired on 7 July 1965 on BBC1, it ran for 38 years until it was cancelled at the beginning of 2003.- Content :...

 having been successfully used to mix music for Manus, a group consisting of the four younger brothers of Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello , born Declan Patrick MacManus, is an English singer-songwriter. He came to prominence as an early participant in London's pub rock scene in the mid-1970s and later became associated with the punk/New Wave genre. Steeped in word play, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broader...


Another Warwick project involving artificial intelligence is the robot head, Morgui. The head contains 5 senses (vision
Computer vision
Computer vision is a field that includes methods for acquiring, processing, analysing, and understanding images and, in general, high-dimensional data from the real world in order to produce numerical or symbolic information, e.g., in the forms of decisions...

, sound
Audio frequency
An audio frequency or audible frequency is characterized as a periodic vibration whose frequency is audible to the average human...

, infrared
Infrared light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength longer than that of visible light, measured from the nominal edge of visible red light at 0.74 micrometres , and extending conventionally to 300 µm...

, ultrasound
Ultrasound is cyclic sound pressure with a frequency greater than the upper limit of human hearing. Ultrasound is thus not separated from "normal" sound based on differences in physical properties, only the fact that humans cannot hear it. Although this limit varies from person to person, it is...

 and radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

) and is being used to investigate sensor data fusion. The head was X-rated by the University of Reading Research and Ethics Committee due to its image storage capabilities – anyone under the age of 18 who wishes to interact with the robot must apriori obtain parental approval.

Warwick has very outspoken views on the future, particularly with respect to artificial intelligence and its impact on the human species, and argues that we will need to use technology to enhance ourselves in order to avoid being overtaken. He also points out that there are many limits, such as our sensorimotor abilities, that we can overcome with machines, and is on record as saying that he wants to gain these abilities: "There is no way I want to stay a mere human."


Warwick heads the University of Reading team in a number of European Community projects such as FIDIS looking at issues concerned with the future of identity and ETHICBOTS which is considering the ethical aspects of robots and cyborgs. Warwick is also working with Daniela Cerqui, a social and cultural anthropologist from the University of Lausanne
University of Lausanne
The University of Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland was founded in 1537 as a school of theology, before being made a university in 1890. Today about 12,000 students and 2200 researchers study and work at the university...

, to address the main social, ethical, philosophical and anthropological issues related to his research.

Warwick’s areas of interest have many ethical implications, some due to his Human enhancement
Human enhancement
Human enhancement refers to any attempt to temporarily or permanently overcome the current limitations of the human body through natural or artificial means...

 experiments. The ethical dilemmas in his research are highlighted as a case study for schoolchildren and science teachers by the Institute of Physics
Institute of Physics
The Institute of Physics is a scientific charity devoted to increasing the practice, understanding and application of physics. It has a worldwide membership of around 40,000....

 as a part of their formal Advanced level and GCSE studies. His work has also been directly discussed by The President's Council on Bioethics
The President's Council on Bioethics
The President's Council on Bioethics was a group of individuals appointed by United States President George W. Bush to advise his administration on bioethics. Established on November 28, 2001, by Executive Order 13237, the Council was directed to "advise the President on bioethical issues that may...

 and the President’s Panel on Forward Engagements.

His paper entitled Future issues with Robots and Cyborgs is ranked as the top paper, in terms of downloads per day, in the journal Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology
Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology
Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology is an online peer-reviewed academic journal that examines the ethical and legal issues that arise from emerging technologies. The journal addresses the broad scope of technologies and their impact on the environment, society, and humanity rather than focussing...


Deep brain stimulation

Along with Tipu Aziz
Tipu Aziz
Tipu Zahed Aziz is a professor of neurosurgery at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, and a lecturer at Magdalen College, Oxford and the Imperial College London medical school...

 and his team at John Radcliffe Hospital
John Radcliffe Hospital
The John Radcliffe Hospital is a large tertiary teaching hospital in Oxford, England.It is the main teaching hospital for Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University. As such, it is a well-developed centre of medical research. It also incorporates the Medical School of the University of Oxford....

, Oxford, and John Stein
John Stein (physiologist)
John Frederick Stein PhD CBiol FIBiol FRCPath is a Professor and Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, a constituent college of Oxford University. He holds a Professorship of Physiology, and has research interests in the neurological basis of dyslexia...

 of the University of Oxford, Warwick is helping to design the next generation of Deep brain stimulation
Deep brain stimulation
Deep brain stimulation is a surgical treatment involving the implantation of a medical device called a brain pacemaker, which sends electrical impulses to specific parts of the brain...

 for Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system...

. Instead of stimulating the brain all the time, the aim is for the device to predict when stimulation is needed and to apply the signals prior to any tremors occurring to stop them before they even start.

Public awareness

Warwick has headed a number of projects aimed at exciting schoolchildren about the technology with which he is involved. In 2000 he received the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is a British Research Council that provides government funding for grants to undertake research and postgraduate degrees in engineering and the physical sciences , mainly to universities in the United Kingdom...

 Millennium Award for his Schools Robot League. Meanwhile in 2007, 16 school teams were involved in designing a humanoid robot to dance and then complete an assault course—a final competition being held at the Science Museum (London)
Science Museum (London)
The Science Museum is one of the three major museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is part of the National Museum of Science and Industry. The museum is a major London tourist attraction....

. The project, entitled 'Androids Advance' was supported by EPSRC and was presented as an evening news item on Chinese television.

Warwick contributes significantly to the public understanding of science
Public awareness of science
Public awareness of science , also public understanding of science , is a term relating to the attitudes, behaviours, opinions and activities that comprise the relations between the general public or lay society as a whole to scientific knowledge and organisation.It is a comparatively new approach...

 by giving regular public lectures, taking part in radio programmes and through popular writing. He has appeared in numerous television documentary programmes on artificial intelligence, robotics and the role of science fiction in science, such as How William Shatner Changed the World
How William Shatner Changed the World
How William Shatner Changed the World is a two-hour television special, commissioned by Discovery Channel Canada and co-produced for History Channel in the United States and channel five in the United Kingdom...

, Future Fantastic
Future Fantastic
Future Fantastic was a British documentary television series which premiered in 1996. This show looked at the how science and science fiction complement each other, and how ideas and technologies from the past are helping to shape our future...

and Explorations
Explorations (TV)
Explorations, powered by Duracell is a documentary TV series that looks into the many aspects of the human life with science, technology and research.Three series have been broadcast.Series 1 - 6 x 1hr, Series 2 - 13 x 1/2hr, Series 3 - 13 x 1/2hr....

. He has also guested on a number of TV chat shows, including Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Late Night with Conan O'Brien is an American late-night talk show hosted by Conan O'Brien that aired 2,725 episodes on NBC between 1993 and 2009. The show featured varied comedic material, celebrity interviews, and musical and comedy performances. Late Night aired weeknights at 12:37 am...

, Først & sist
Først & sist
Først & sist was a Norwegian talk show and was the largest in the Nordic countries. It was hosted by Fredrik Skavlan and aired on NRK.The show first aired in 1998 and was broadcast every Friday until its finale in 2007...

, and Richard & Judy
Richard & Judy
Richard & Judy was a British magazine/chat show which was presented by married couple Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan. It originally aired on Channel 4 from 2001 to 2008 but later moved to digital channel Watch in October 2008. It featured the world's most famous stars, along with their Book Club...

. Warwick has appeared on the cover of a number of magazines, for example the February 2000 edition of Wired
Wired (magazine)
Wired is a full-color monthly American magazine and on-line periodical, published since January 1993, that reports on how new and developing technology affects culture, the economy, and politics...


In 2000 Warwick presented the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures
Royal Institution Christmas Lectures
The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures are a series of lectures on a single topic, which have been held at the Royal Institution in London each year since 1825. The lectures present scientific subjects to a general audience, including young people, in an informative and entertaining manner....

 entitled The Rise of the Robots. The lectures were well received by some and were even felt to be inspirational. Meanwhile in a letter Simon Colton
Simon Colton
Simon Colton is a British computer scientist, currently working in the Computational Creativity Group at Imperial College London, where he holds the position of Reader. He graduated from the University of Durham with a degree in Mathematics, gained a MSc...

 complained about the choice of Warwick, prior to his appearance. He claimed that Warwick is not a spokesman for our subject (Artificial Intelligence) and allowing him influence through the Christmas lectures is a danger to the public perception of science.. In light of Warwick's claims that computers could be creative, Colton, who is a Reader in Computational Creativity, also said the AI community has done real science to reclaim words such as creativity and emotion which they claim computers will never have. Subsequent letters were generally positive, Ralph Rayner wrote With my youngest son, I attended all of the lectures and found them balanced and thought-provoking. They were not sensationalist. I applaud Warwick for his lectures.

In 2005 Warwick was congratulated for his work in attracting students to the field by Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom in an Early day motion
Early day motion
An Early Day Motion , in the Westminster system, is a motion, expressed as a single sentence, tabled by Members of Parliament for debate "on an early day" . Controversial EDMs are not signed by Government Ministers, PPS or the Speaker of the House of Commons and very few are debated on the floor...

 for making the subject interesting and relevant so that more students will want to develop a career in science.


Warwick's claims that robots that can program themselves to avoid each other while operating in a group raise the issue of self-organisation
Self-organization is the process where a structure or pattern appears in a system without a central authority or external element imposing it through planning...

, and as such might be the major impetus in following developments in this area. In particular, the works of Francisco Varela
Francisco Varela
Francisco Javier Varela García , was a Chilean biologist, philosopher and neuroscientist who, together with his teacher Humberto Maturana, is best known for introducing the concept of autopoiesis to biology.-Biography:...

 and Humberto Maturana
Humberto Maturana
Humberto Maturana is a Chilean biologist and philosopher. He is considered a member of the second wave of cybernetics, known for developing a theory of autopoiesis about the nature of reflexive feedback control in living systems.- Biography :After completing secondary school at the Liceo Manuel de...

, once in the province of pure speculation now have become immediately relevant with respect to synthetic intelligence
Synthetic intelligence
Synthetic intelligence is an alternative term for artificial intelligence which emphasizes that the intelligence of machines need not be an imitation or any way artificial; it can be a genuine form of intelligence. John Haugeland proposes an analogy with artificial and synthetic diamonds—only the...


Cyborg-type systems not only are homeostatic (meaning that they are able to preserve stable internal conditions in various environments) but adaptive, if they are to survive. Testing the claims of Varela and Maturana via synthetic devices is the larger and more serious concern in the discussion about Warwick and those involved in similar research. "Pulling the plug" on independent devices cannot be as simple as it appears, for if the device displays sufficient intelligence and assumes a diagnostic and prognostic stature, we may ultimately one day be forced to decide between what it could be telling us as counterintuitive (but correct) and our impulse to disconnect because of our limited and "intuitive" perceptions.

Warwick's robots seemed to have exhibited behaviour not anticipated by the research, one such robot "committing suicide" because it could not cope with its environment. In a more complex setting, it may be asked whether a "natural selection" may be possible, neural networks being the major operative.

The 1999 edition of the Guinness Book of Records recorded that Warwick carried out the first robot learning experiment across the internet. One robot, with an Artificial Neural Network
Artificial neural network
An artificial neural network , usually called neural network , is a mathematical model or computational model that is inspired by the structure and/or functional aspects of biological neural networks. A neural network consists of an interconnected group of artificial neurons, and it processes...

 brain in Reading, UK, learnt how to move around. It then taught, via the internet, another robot in SUNY Buffalo New York State, USA, to behave in the same way. The robot in the USA was therefore not taught or programmed by a human, but rather by another robot based on what it itself had learnt.

Hissing Sid was a robot cat which Warwick took on a British Council
British Council
The British Council is a United Kingdom-based organisation specialising in international educational and cultural opportunities. It is registered as a charity both in England and Wales, and in Scotland...

 lecture tour of Russia, it being presented in lectures at such places as Moscow State University
Moscow State University
Lomonosov Moscow State University , previously known as Lomonosov University or MSU , is the largest university in Russia. Founded in 1755, it also claims to be one of the oldest university in Russia and to have the tallest educational building in the world. Its current rector is Viktor Sadovnichiy...

. Sid, which was put together as a student project, got its name from the noise made by the Pneumatic actuator
Pneumatic actuator
A pneumatic actuator converts energy into motion. The motion can be rotary or linear, depending on the type of actuator.Some types of pneumatic actuators include:*Tie rod cylinders*Rotary actuators*Grippers...

s used to drive its legs when walking. The robot also appeared on BBC TV's Blue Peter
Blue Peter
Blue Peter is the world's longest-running children's television show, having first aired in 1958. It is shown on CBBC, both in its BBC One programming block and on the CBBC channel. During its history there have been many presenters, often consisting of two women and two men at a time...

 but became better known when it was refused a ticket by British Airways
British Airways
British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. British Airways is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations...

 on the grounds that they did not allow animals in the cabin.

Warwick was also responsible for a robotic "magic chair" which Sir Jimmy Savile
Jimmy Savile
Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile, OBE, KCSG was an English disc jockey, television presenter and media personality, best known for his BBC television show Jim'll Fix It, and for being the first and last presenter of the long-running BBC music chart show Top of the Pops...

 used on BBC TV's Jim'll Fix It
Jim'll Fix It
Jim'll Fix It was a long-running British television show, broadcast by the BBC between 1975 and 1994. It was presented by Jimmy Savile. It was produced by Roger Ordish, who also worked on other BBC shows, including A Bit of Fry & Laurie...

. The chair provided Jim with tea and stored Jim'll Fix it badges for him to hand out to guests. Warwick even appeared on the programme himself for a Fix it involving robots.

Project Cyborg

Probably the most famous piece of research undertaken by Warwick (and the origin of the nickname, "Captain Cyborg", given to him by The Register
The Register
The Register is a British technology news and opinion website. It was founded by John Lettice, Mike Magee and Ross Alderson in 1994 as a newsletter called "Chip Connection", initially as an email service...

) is the set of experiments known as Project Cyborg, in which he had a chip implanted into his arm, with the aim of "becoming a cyborg
A cyborg is a being with both biological and artificial parts. The term was coined in 1960 when Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Kline used it in an article about the advantages of self-regulating human-machine systems in outer space. D. S...


The first stage of this research, which began on 24 May 1998, involved a simple RFID transmitter being implanted beneath Warwick's skin, and used to control doors, lights, heaters, and other computer-controlled devices based on his proximity. The main purpose of this experiment was said to be to test the limits of what the body would accept, and how easy it would be to receive a meaningful signal from the chip.

The second stage involved a more complex neural interface which was designed and built especially for the experiment by Dr. Mark Gasson
Mark Gasson
Mark Gasson is a British scientist and senior research fellow at the Cybernetic Intelligence Research Group, University of Reading, UK. He pioneered developments in direct interfaces between computer systems and the human nervous system, is active in the research fields of robotics and identity and...

 and his team at the University of Reading. This device consisted of an internal electrode array, connected to an external "gauntlet" that housed supporting electronics. It was implanted on 14 March 2002, and interfaced directly into Warwick's nervous system. The electrode array
Electrode array
An electrode array is a configuration of electrodes used for measuring either an electric current or voltage. Some electrode arrays can operate in a bidirectional fashion, in that they can also be used to provide a stimulating pattern of electric current or voltage.Common arrays...

 inserted contained 100 electrode
An electrode is an electrical conductor used to make contact with a nonmetallic part of a circuit...

s, of which 25 could be accessed at any one time, whereas the median nerve
Median nerve
The median nerve is a nerve in humans and other animals. It is in the upper limb. It is one of the five main nerves originating from the brachial plexus....

 which it monitored carries many times that number of signals. The experiment proved successful, and the signal produced was detailed enough that a robot arm developed by Warwick's colleague, Dr Peter Kyberd
Peter Kyberd
Peter Kyberd is a professor at the University of New Brunswick's Institute of Biomedical Engineering, and a leading authority on control of prosthetic limbs, a subject he has been working on since the late 1980s, including a highly publicised collaboration with Kevin Warwick and Mark Gasson at the...

, was able to mimic the actions of Warwick's own arm.

By means of the implant, Warwick's nervous system was connected onto the internet in Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

, New York. From there he was able to control the robot arm in the University of Reading and to obtain feedback from sensors in the finger tips. He also successfully connected ultrasonic sensors on a baseball cap and experienced a form of extra sensory input.

A highly publicised extension to the experiment, in which a simpler array was implanted into the arm of Warwick's wife—with the aim of creating a form of telepathy
Telepathy , is the induction of mental states from one mind to another. The term was coined in 1882 by the classical scholar Fredric W. H. Myers, a founder of the Society for Psychical Research, and has remained more popular than the more-correct expression thought-transference...

 or empathy
Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings that are being experienced by another sapient or semi-sapient being. Someone may need to have a certain amount of empathy before they are able to feel compassion. The English word was coined in 1909 by E.B...

 using the Internet to communicate the signal from afar—was also successful, resulting in the first purely electronic communication experiment between the nervous systems of two humans. Finally, the effect of the implant on Warwick's hand function was measured using the University of Southampton
University of Southampton
The University of Southampton is a British public university located in the city of Southampton, England, a member of the Russell Group. The origins of the university can be dated back to the founding of the Hartley Institution in 1862 by Henry Robertson Hartley. In 1902, the Institution developed...

 Hand Assessment Procedure (SHAP). It was feared that directly interfacing with the nervous system might cause some form of damage or interference, but no measurable effect nor rejection was found. Indeed, nerve tissue was seen to grow around the electrode array, enclosing the sensor

As well as the Project Cyborg work, Warwick has been involved in several of the major robotics developments within the Cybernetics Department at Reading. These include the "seven dwarves", a version of which was given away in kit form as "Cybot" on the cover of Real Robots
Real Robots
Real Robots was the name of a fortnightly partwork magazine by Eaglemoss Publications. Developed in partnership with Reading University, it allowed the reader to build a robot, "Cybot", and later a companion robot, "Tom"...


Implications of Project Cyborg

Warwick and his colleagues claim that the Project Cyborg research could lead to new medical tools for treating patients with damage to the nervous system, as well as opening the way for the more ambitious enhancements Warwick advocates. Some transhumanists
Transhumanism, often abbreviated as H+ or h+, is an international intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human...

 even speculate that similar technologies could be used for technology-facilitated telepathy." Warwick himself asserts that his controversial work is important because it directly tests the boundaries of what is known about the human ability to integrate with computerised systems.

A controversy arose in August 2002, shortly after the Soham murders
Soham murders
The Soham murders was an English murder case in 2002 of two 10-year-old girls in the village of Soham, Cambridgeshire.The victims were Holly Marie Wells and Jessica Aimee Chapman...

, when Warwick reportedly offered to implant a tracking device into an 11-year-old girl as an anti-abduction measure. The plan produced a mixed reaction, with support from many worried parents but ethical concerns from a number of children's societies. As a result, the idea did not go ahead.

Anti-theft RFID chips are common in jewelry or clothing in some Latin American countries due to a high abduction rate, and the company VeriChip
VeriChip was the only Food and Drug Administration -approved human-implantable radio-frequency identification microchip. It was marketed by PositiveID, a subsidiary of Applied Digital Solutions, and it received United States FDA approval in 2004. Its manufacture and marketing were discontinued in...

 announced plans in 2001 to expand its line of currently available medical information implants, to be GPS
Global Positioning System
The Global Positioning System is a space-based global navigation satellite system that provides location and time information in all weather, anywhere on or near the Earth, where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites...

 trackable when combined with a separate GPS device.

Turing Interrogator

Warwick has participated as a Turing Interrogator, on two occasions, judging machines in the 2001 and 2006 Loebner Prize
Loebner prize
The Loebner Prize is an annual competition in artificial intelligence that awards prizes to the chatterbot considered by the judges to be the most human-like. The format of the competition is that of a standard Turing test. In each round, a human judge simultaneously holds textual conversations...

 competitions, platforms for an 'imitation game' as devised by Alan Turing
Alan Turing
Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS , was an English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which played a...

. The 2001 Prize, held at the Science Museum in London, featured Turing's 'jury service' or one-to-one Turing tests and was won by A.L.I.C.E. The 2006 contest staged parallel-paired Turing tests at University College London
University College London
University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

 and was won by Rollo Carpenter
Rollo Carpenter
Rollo Carpenter is the British-born creator of Jabberwacky and Cleverbot, learning Artificial Intelligence software. Carpenter has worked as CTO of a business software startup in Silicon Valley, but returned to the UK to work at Icogno....

. Kevin's findings can be found in a number of articles with co-author Huma Shah including Turing Test: Mindless Game? – A Reflection on the Loebner Prize – a paper presented at the 2007 European conference on computing and philosophy (ECAP), and Emotion in the Turing Test – a chapter in a new Handbook on Synthetic Emotions and Sociable Robotics: New Applications in Affective Computing and Artificial Intelligence. He organised the 2008 Loebner Prize at the University of Reading; a report on the contest's 'theatre of two Turing tests' can be found here.


Warwick was a member of the 2001 Higher Education Funding Council for England
Higher Education Funding Council for England
The Higher Education Funding Council for England is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in the United Kingdom, which has been responsible for the distribution of funding to Universities and Colleges of Higher and Further Education in England since...

 (unit 29) Research Assessment Exercise
Research Assessment Exercise
The Research Assessment Exercise is an exercise undertaken approximately every 5 years on behalf of the four UK higher education funding councils to evaluate the quality of research undertaken by British higher education institutions...

 panel on Electrical and Electronic Engineering and was Deputy Chairman for the same panel (unit 24) in 2008. He also sits on the research committee of The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is a British charitable organisation founded in 1934.Guide Dogs provides independence and freedom to thousands of blind and partially-sighted people across the UK through the provision of guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services...

. In March 2009, he was cited as being the inspiration of
National Young Scientist of the Year, Peter Hatfield

Awards and recognition

Warwick was presented with The Future of Health Technology Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

, was made an Honorary Member of the Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, was awarded the University of Malta
University of Malta
The University of Malta is the highest educational institution in Malta Europe and is one of the most respected universities in Europe. The University offers undergraduate Bachelor's Degrees, postgraduate Master's Degrees and postgraduate Doctorates .-History:The University of Malta was founded in...

 medal from the Edward de Bono Institute and in 2004 received The Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE)
Institution of Electrical Engineers
The Institution of Electrical Engineers was a British professional organisation of electronics, electrical, manufacturing, and Information Technology professionals, especially electrical engineers. The I.E.E...

 Senior Achievement Medal.

In 2008 Warwick was awarded the Mountbatten Medal
Mountbatten Medal
The Mountbatten Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding contribution, or contributions over a period, to the promotion of electronics or information technology and their application....

. In 2009 he received the Marcellin Champagnat
Marcellin Champagnat
Saint Marcellin Joseph Benedict Champagnat was born in Rozet, village of Marlhes, near St. Etienne , France...

 award from Universidad Marista Guadalajara
Guadalajara may refer to:In Mexico:*Guadalajara, Jalisco, the capital of the state of Jalisco and second largest city in Mexico**Guadalajara Metropolitan Area*University of Guadalajara, a public university in Guadalajara, Jalisco...

 and the Golden Eurydice Award
Golden Eurydice Award
The Golden Eurydice Award is presented for an outstanding contribution, or contributions over a period, in the field of Biophilosophy. It is awarded by the International Forum for Biophilosophy which was established in Belgium by Royal Decree in 1988. Founding members included Herman Van Den...

. In 2011 he received the Ellison-Cliffe Medal from the Royal Society of Medicine
Royal Society of Medicine
The Royal Society of Medicine is a British charitable organisation whose main purpose is as a provider of medical education, running over 350 meetings and conferences each year.- History and overview :...


He has received Honorary
Honorary degree
An honorary degree or a degree honoris causa is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, study, and the passing of examinations...

 Doctor of Science
Doctor of Science
Doctor of Science , usually abbreviated Sc.D., D.Sc., S.D. or Dr.Sc., is an academic research degree awarded in a number of countries throughout the world. In some countries Doctor of Science is the name used for the standard doctorate in the sciences, elsewhere the Sc.D...

 degrees from Aston University, Coventry University
Coventry University
Coventry University is a post-1992 university in Coventry, West Midlands, England. Under the terms of the Further and Higher Education Act of 1992, the institution's name was changed from Coventry Polytechnic to Coventry University...

 and Bradford University
University of Bradford
The University of Bradford is a British university located in the city of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. The University received its Royal Charter in 1966, making it the 40th University to be created in Britain, but its origins date back to the early 1800s...

. He also received an Honorary Doctor of Technology
Doctor of Technology
The Doctor of Technology degree is conferred upon candidates after having completed a course of study in technology, and a project of lengthy duration in a technologically-related field...

 degree from Robert Gordon University
Robert Gordon University
Robert Gordon University is located in Aberdeen, Scotland. Building on over 250 years involvement in education, it was granted university status in 1992. Robert Gordon University currently has approximately 16,407 students at its two campuses at Garthdee and the City Centre, studying on over 145...



  • “Shouldn’t I join the ranks of philosophers and merely make unsubstantiated claims about the wonders of human consciousness? Shouldn’t I stop trying to do some science and keep my head down? Indeed not”.
  • “I feel that we are all philosophers, and that those who describe themselves as a ‘philosopher’ simply do not have a day job to go to”.
  • On Human Consciousness: “John Searle
    John Searle
    John Rogers Searle is an American philosopher and currently the Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley.-Biography:...

     put forward the view that a shoe is not conscious therefore a computer cannot be conscious. By the same sort of analogy though, a cabbage is not conscious therefore a human cannot be conscious”.
  • On Machine Intelligence: “Our robots have roughly the equivalent of 50 to 100 brain cells. That means they are about as intelligent as a slug or snail or a Manchester United supporter”.
  • “An actual robot walking machine which takes one step and then falls over is worth far more than a computer simulation of 29,000 robots running the London Marathon in record time”.
  • “When comparing human memory and computer memory it is clear that the human version has two distinct disadvantages. Firstly, as indeed I have experienced myself, due to aging, human memory can exhibit very poor short term recall”.
  • "There can be no absolute reality, there can be no absolute truth".
  • "Ask not what the surgeon can do for you – ask what you can do for the surgeon", Panel Discussion on Challenges & Opportunities in Biomedical Engineering
    Biomedical engineering
    Biomedical Engineering is the application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology. This field seeks to close the gap between engineering and medicine: It combines the design and problem solving skills of engineering with medical and biological sciences to improve...

     at BIOSTEC 2008 Conference, Madeira
    Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago that lies between and , just under 400 km north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean and an outermost region of the European Union...

    , Portugal, 28 January 2008.


Warwick's Erdős–Bacon number is 6: he co-authored a number of scholarly articles with Yakov Tsypkin, who has an Erdős number
Erdos number
The Erdős number describes the "collaborative distance" between a person and mathematician Paul Erdős, as measured by authorship of mathematical papers.The same principle has been proposed for other eminent persons in other fields.- Overview :...

 of 3 and has appeared in several documentaries alongside people who have a Bacon number of 1, examples being Laurence Fishburne
Laurence Fishburne
Laurence John Fishburne III is an American film and stage actor, playwright, director, and producer. He is perhaps best known for his roles as Morpheus in the Matrix science fiction film trilogy, as Cowboy Curtis on the 1980's television show Pee-wee's Playhouse, and as singer-musician Ike Turner...

, William Shatner
William Shatner
William Alan Shatner is a Canadian actor, musician, recording artist, and author. He gained worldwide fame and became a cultural icon for his portrayal of James T...

 and Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...


See also

  • Ray Kurzweil and The Age of Intelligent Machines
    The Age of Intelligent Machines
    The Age Of Intelligent Machines is the title of an artificial intelligence documentary and book by futurist Ray Kurzweil; this was his first book and it won the Most Outstanding Computer Science Book of 1990 award by the Association of American Publishers.Many guest "A.I. experts" were...

  • Stelarc
    Stelarc is a Cypriot-Australian performance artist whose works focuses heavily on extending the capabilities of the human body. As such, most of his pieces are centred around his concept that the human body is obsolete...

  • Steve Mann
    Steve Mann
    Steven Mann , is a tenured professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto.-Education:...

  • Transhumanism
    Transhumanism, often abbreviated as H+ or h+, is an international intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human...

  • Who's Who
    Who's Who (UK)
    Who's Who is an annual British publication of biographies which vary in length of about 30,000 living notable Britons.-History:...


Warwick has written several books, articles and papers. A selection of his books:

Lectures (inaugural and keynote lectures):
  • 1998, Robert Boyle Lecture
    Robert Boyle Lecture
    The Robert Boyle Lecture is a lecture series delivered to the Oxford University Scientific Club at the University of Oxford, England...

     at Oxford University,
  • 2000, Royal Institution Christmas Lectures
    Royal Institution Christmas Lectures
    The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures are a series of lectures on a single topic, which have been held at the Royal Institution in London each year since 1825. The lectures present scientific subjects to a general audience, including young people, in an informative and entertaining manner....

    . These lectures were repeated in 2001 in a tour of Japan, China and Korea.
  • 2001, Gordon Higginson
    Gordon Higginson
    Professor Sir Gordon Higginson DL, PhD, DSc, FREng, FICE, FIMechE was Vice-Chancellor of Southampton University for nine years, retiring in 1994...

     Lecture at Durham University
    Durham University
    The University of Durham, commonly known as Durham University, is a university in Durham, England. It was founded by Act of Parliament in 1832 and granted a Royal Charter in 1837...

    , Hamilton institute
    Hamilton institute
    The Hamilton Institute is a multi-disciplinary research centre at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.The Hamilton Institute was formally established in November 2001 under the first round of funding, by Science Foundation Ireland and officially opened by Bill Harris, SFI Director-General...

     inaugural lecture.
  • 2003, Royal Academy of Engineering
    Royal Academy of Engineering
    -Overview: is the UK’s national academy of engineering. The Academy brings together the most successful and talented engineers from across the engineering sectors for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering....

    /Royal Society of Edinburgh
    Royal Society of Edinburgh
    The Royal Society of Edinburgh is Scotland's national academy of science and letters. It is a registered charity, operating on a wholly independent and non-party-political basis and providing public benefit throughout Scotland...

     Joint lecture in Edinburgh,
  • 2003, IEEE (UK) Annual Lecture in London; Pittsburgh International Science and Technology Festival.
  • 2004, Woolmer Lecture at University of York
    University of York
    The University of York , is an academic institution located in the city of York, England. Established in 1963, the campus university has expanded to more than thirty departments and centres, covering a wide range of subjects...

    ; Robert Hooke
    Robert Hooke
    Robert Hooke FRS was an English natural philosopher, architect and polymath.His adult life comprised three distinct periods: as a scientific inquirer lacking money; achieving great wealth and standing through his reputation for hard work and scrupulous honesty following the great fire of 1666, but...

     Lecture (Westminster)
  • 2005, Einstein Lecture in Potsdam, Germany
  • 2006, Bernard Price Lecture tour in South Africa; Institution of Mechanical Engineers
    Institution of Mechanical Engineers
    The Institution of Mechanical Engineers is the British engineering society based in central London, representing mechanical engineering. It is licensed by the Engineering Council UK to assess candidates for inclusion on ECUK's Register of professional Engineers...

     Prestige Lecture in London.
  • 2007, Techfest
    Techfest is an independent body run by students of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai. It was started in 1998 with the aim of providing a platform for students to showcase their technical skills...

     plenary lecture in Mumbai; Kshitij
    Kshitij is the annual techno-management fest of the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, India. Kshitij started off in 2004 with the aim of promoting technology and entrepreneurship in India, and in 8 years, it has grown to become the Asia’s largest techno-management fest. The...

     keynote in Kharagpur (India); Engineer Techfest plenary lecture in NITK Surathkal (India); Annual Science Faculty lecture at University of Leicester
    University of Leicester
    The University of Leicester is a research-led university based in Leicester, England. The main campus is a mile south of the city centre, adjacent to Victoria Park and Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College....

    ; Graduate School in Physical Sciences and Engineering Annual Lecture, Cardiff University
    Cardiff University
    Cardiff University is a leading research university located in the Cathays Park area of Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. It received its Royal charter in 1883 and is a member of the Russell Group of Universities. The university is consistently recognised as providing high quality research-based...

  • 2008, Leslie Oliver Oration
    Leslie Oliver Oration
    The Leslie Oliver Oration is held annually at the Queen's Hospital, London. The lectures are named after Leslie Oliver who founded the Neurosurgical Unit at Oldchurch Hospital in Essex in 1945...

     at Queen's Hospital
    Queen's Hospital
    Queen's Hospital is a new hospital in Romford, in the London Borough of Havering in London, England. It was built on the former Oldchurch Park, a short distance south of the town centre...

    ; Techkriti
    Techkriti is the annual inter-collegiate Technical and Entrepreneurship festival of IIT Kanpur. It was started in 1995 with an aim to encourage interest and innovation in technology among students and to provide a platform for industry and academia to interact.Speakers at Techkirti have included...

     keynote in Kanpur.
  • 2008, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
    Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
    The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is a Dutch-speaking university in Flanders, Belgium.It is located at the centre of the historic town of Leuven, and is a prominent part of the city, home to the university since 1425...

    , guest lecture "Four weddings and a Funeral" for the Microsoft Research Chair.
  • 2009, Cardiff University
    Cardiff University
    Cardiff University is a leading research university located in the Cathays Park area of Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. It received its Royal charter in 1883 and is a member of the Russell Group of Universities. The university is consistently recognised as providing high quality research-based...

    , 125th Anniversary Lecture; Orwell Society, Eton College
    Eton College
    Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

  • 2010, Robert Gordon University
    Robert Gordon University
    Robert Gordon University is located in Aberdeen, Scotland. Building on over 250 years involvement in education, it was granted university status in 1992. Robert Gordon University currently has approximately 16,407 students at its two campuses at Garthdee and the City Centre, studying on over 145...

     launch of Research Institute for Innovation Design and Sustainability (IDEAS)
  • 2011, Ellison-Cliffe Lecture, Royal Society of Medicine
    Royal Society of Medicine
    The Royal Society of Medicine is a British charitable organisation whose main purpose is as a provider of medical education, running over 350 meetings and conferences each year.- History and overview :...

He is a regular presenter at the annual Careers Scotland Space School
Careers Scotland Space School
The Careers Scotland Space School, also known as the Scottish Space School, is an organisation set up by Careers Scotland and funded by the Scottish Government...

, University of Strathclyde
University of Strathclyde
The University of Strathclyde , Glasgow, Scotland, is Glasgow's second university by age, founded in 1796, and receiving its Royal Charter in 1964 as the UK's first technological university...


He appeared at the 2009 World Science Festival
World Science Festival
The World Science Festival is a science festival held in New York City that is held annually in the summer. The 2008 inaugural festival was held May 28 – June 1 and consisted mainly of panel discussions and on-stage conversations, accompanied by multimedia presentations.The festival was the...

 with Mary McDonnell
Mary McDonnell
Mary Eileen McDonnell is an American film, stage, and television actress. She received an Academy Award nomination for her role as Stands With A Fist in Dances with Wolves, and she is also very well known for her performance as President Laura Roslin in Battlestar Galactica, the President's wife...

, Nick Bostrom
Nick Bostrom
Nick Bostrom is a Swedish philosopher at the University of Oxford known for his work on existential risk and the anthropic principle. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics...

, Faith Salie
Faith Salie
Faith Coley Salie is an American actress, comedian, radio host and television personality. She first became known for her role as Sarina Douglas on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and went on to host the Public Radio International program Fair Game with Faith Salie.-Family:Born in Boston,...

 and Hod Lipson
Hod Lipson
Hod Lipson is an American robotics engineer. He is the director of Cornell University's Creative Machines Lab , formerly known as Computational Synthesis Lab , at the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering...


External links

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