In keeping with the theme of last week’s blog on new and innovative high tech platforms, I came across an article entitled Darth Vader eat your heart out: Researcher Controls a Colleague’s Hand by Channelling His Brain Signals Through the INTERNET written by Ellie Zolfagharifard (2013), which certainly highlights the sci-fi techno-fantasy of potentially finding cures to some of the most debilitating psychological and motor-functioning diseases. The premise of the article is the breakthrough of the “first human-to-human brain interface” (Zolfagharifard, 2013). Two researchers from the University of Washington, Rajesh Rao and Andrea Stocco demonstrated their experiment by situating themselves in separate geographic sites of the campus. Each wore a magnetic stimulation coil cap over the left motor cortex region of the left side of the brain. Rao sat in front of his computer playing a computer game with his mind while simultaneously Stocco’s right index finger moved involuntarily to hit the fire button. While the technology is in its infancy stage, it has the possibility of revolutionizing the way humans interact with one another; it also opens the pathway to finding cures for psychological and neurological diseases. In essence this premise opens a plethora of possibilities of the transformation of super-human beings. Imagine, curing neurological disorders from the womb such as autism, cerebral palsy (CP) to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While the experiment did not prove to read thoughts, the possibility of rehabilitating the Ted Bundy’s of this world to that of the evangelical Mother Theresa, will certainly ease of slumber of many.
With Star Wars/Star Trek techno-scientific fantasy becoming reality, it would certainly be possible to imagine the “Spock’s” of this world deterring the most sinister and diabolical mindset in the universe…
However, as with most “Jedi” / “Vulcan” cultures, there is always a villainous “Dark Side” / “Klingon Empire” to contend with, which would violate ethical and privacy issues world-wide. And of course, the question that needs to be addressed is, does technology have the right to intervene or infiltrate the minds of others (knowing or unknowingly)? What protective guarantees would be placed if such technological advances were to come to fruition? And, more importantly, what measures would be implemented to keep the “bad guys” from getting their hands on this? Even as I write my words, hacking sites are popping up all over the internet teaching, by design, the art of infiltrating, spamming, and phishing to any user who makes the effort to learn. I shudder at the thought of losing my free will to make choices to any entity. So, as wonderful as it may seem to have cures for neurological diseases, what guarantees will be initiated to protect the innocent from the infiltration of negative and violating thoughts and/or behaviors?
What are your thoughts?
- 3D Bioprinting – Is It Avante Guard Star Wars Technology, or Another Way to Transform Into Super-Beings? (demmyproject2013.com)
- Video: first ever human brain-to-brain interface successfully tested (independent.co.uk)