Scientists at Tokyo Tech have tapped into the neurons of a male silk moth, connecting its tiny brain to a little wheeled robot. When the moth’s sense organs are exposed to female pheremones, the robot performs the silk moth’s mating dance. Sure, it’s cute when it’s made out of Tinkertoys—but what’ll you think when they hook sex-starved moths up to an army of Big Dog Robots and set them loose upon an unsuspecting world?
But these hacked-together cyborg moths pose a real-life instance of the brain-in-a-vat problem. The impulses of a desiring biology are being transmitted to a robot—and thus the robot expresses desire.[via New Scientist]