I happen to like the idea of "uplifing" species, even if other people find reasons to be worried.
It should be noted that it is possible to talk to:
1. Dolphins using a computer translator (they can learn and use a pictographic language, they might also be more intelligent than the average human - more study is needed).
2. The Great Apes (they can learn and use sign language).
3. (I wish I still had the reference as this is unbelievable for most people) There was a song bird researcher who believed that he was close to figuring out the various languages that songbirds (Robins, Cardinals, etc) use. He believed that he had identified ~30,000 words per songbird species and that each songbird attempted to have/make-use-of a unique name (just like us). He claimed that a "tweet" is actually a full paragraph of information; that we are just too slow to recognize the individual words without using a computer to slow things down (and that birds are generally too fast to want to talk to us; try slowing down a video playback, it's painful).
4. There are companies which will try to sell you a pet collar which will translate the dog or cat's voice into (English). They claim that their translator is legit and not just a gimmick.
As for rough examples of some of the creatures I'd like to see after various creatures are uplifted:
www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=19402 (Anime: A Centaur's Life)
www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=5746 (Anime: Utawarerumono)
www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=12246 (Anime: Dog Days)
www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=16856 (Anime: Monster Musume)
www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=121 (Anime: Blue Submarine no. 6)
www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/manga.php?id=3509 (Video Games and Mangas: The Zora and Gorons from "The Legend of Zelda" series)
I always imagine "placing a human brain on-top-of the animal brain" as in, "reconstruct" the lower parts of the brain (and all of the bio-chemistry, via genetic changes) so that the new sentient thinks like the animal (instincts, world-view, etc.) that it is supposed to represent / be based on, etc.
I expect that the only way to develop the requisite Genetic Engineering technology is to Try to Do It and then (after investigating numerous failures) actually Do It.
While I might change my hair color genes, or re-engineer molecular parts of my mitochondria, I certainly can't risk changing the way (my or your) brain works without having a deep understanding of exactly how the changes work (and thus a whole series of successful test subjects and a sizeable graveyard of failures, etc.) (I wouldn't want to change my mental processes unless I had well verified proof that the changes are advantageous; I must have at least a few successful human-level test subjects to evaluate).
- Also, it is impossible to build a meaningful computer model without at least some experimental data and even then, the model is only as good as the inputed data (without prior successes in X, there can be no trustworthy model concerning X).
What are your thoughts?
Also, would it be appropriate to discuss the engineering of (humans/humanoids) on these forums? I'd like to talk about specific genes and the adding of new gene loci, etc.