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Robot Heads: A Forcing Change Release Note

July 3, 2013

Image“Did you see the robot?” I asked the male hotel housekeeper as he passed me in the hallway of New York City’s Empire Hotel.

The gentleman stopped, giving me a curious glance; “What are you talking about?”

“You passed right by a robot,” I said matter-of-factly, motioning down the dimly lit hall behind us. “He’s the one sitting.”

The housekeeper turned to look at a small group of people standing and talking five doors down, where, close by, an Asian man was seated on a wheeled, cart-like carrier.

“That’s not a human,” I emphasized, “it’s a highly advanced robotic head on a mock body.”

The hotel staff member looked harder; “No… that’s a man. He must be handicapped, that’s why he’s sitting in the cart.”

“Do yourself a favor. Walk up and look closely. You’ll see it’s not a person at all.”

Pointing to an individual in the group who looked identical to the one sitting, I explained that the man standing was Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro, a Japanese robotics inventor, and that the “head” on the false body was his creation – and that because of advanced software, the “head” involuntarily moves and automatically reacts to its changing environment. The housekeeper stared harder at the group, and then turned to me with a look of exasperation; “That can’t be true!”

“Just walk by and take a look,” I assured him. “It’s not what you think.”

Retreating down the hallway, he sauntered past the group and guardedly examined the person on the cart. Soon he was stopped, peering closely at the “human,” shaking his own head in disbelief.

The above conversation took place during the Global Future 2045 International Congress, during the weekend of June 15-16, and I was fortunate to have been in the Empire Hotel when Dr. Ishiguro’s “Geminoid” was being wheeled in. Earlier during the GF2045, I had watched as the Japanese inventor rolled his creation onto the stage at the Lincoln Center – presenting to the transhuman community an example, if you will, of what we are now capable of designing. The point? To demonstrate that Mankind is on the verge of transcending ourselves through technology.

But it wasn’t just about highly advanced gadgets. Rather, the entire GF2045 Congress had a spiritual flavor – from the opening speech by Russian multimillionaire, Dmitry Itskov, to the closing interfaith panel with representatives from Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Russian Orthodox Christianity. The purpose? To reinvent religion and spirituality for “future human evolution.” As one presenter said; “You are the life, you are the truth, you are the beginning, you are the end.”

What transpired at GF2045 has the potential to impact the world of global governance (an appeal was made directly to the United Nations), the interfaith agenda, our cultural fabric, and certainly the broader transhuman community – which in turn raises more worldview challenges throughout society, including Christendom.

If you’re a member of Forcing Change, go to and download the latest edition of Forcing Change magazine, a 21 page report on the Global Future 2045 International Congress…

…and watch out for robot heads!

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