Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hand Transplant

From wimp

Mind officially blown.
I had figured this was still at least six years away. The hand came from an organ donor. I thought we still had a decade (at least) before we could do this, and another ten to grow a full hand from a persons own cells.

With 3d printing bones, muscle, cells, veins and skin all being done right now in various labs around the country, perhaps this decade will see the first replacement hand grown.

    I realized that what's been holding us back from being able to surgically replace limbs perfectly is the skill of the surgeon. a human just doesn't have the ability to accurately link individual nerves, tendons and capillaries from say, a wrist to a hand. But a computer hooked up to a Davinci surgical robot probably can. This led me to thinking about AI in general. I don't think I really want a computer that can emulate a human.  For instance,  I want a surgical robot with artificial intelligence that makes it a DAMNED good surgeon... able to accurately and skillfully make appropriate judgements in real time to correctly connect every tiny linkage necessary for a person to replace a crushed hand with a (say) 3d printed one from his own cells, with perfect functionality. I want AI to be specialized, narrow in its field, and devoted to specific tasks. I see no inherent need, now or in the future, for my hypothetical AI surgeon to also be able to appreciate shakespeare.