• • • 11 – 15 years
Researchers at Brown University and Cyberkinetics in Foxborough, Massachusetts, are devising brain implants that will enable us to communicate with machines. A microchip implanted in the motor cortex just beneath your skull will intercept nerve signals and reroute them to a computer, which will then wirelessly send the command to any of various electronic devices, including computers, stereos and electric wheelchairs.”
An interesting article on the next generation of human-integrated technology, and how far off each piece is. More fantastical was Ray Kurzweil’s article in this month’s New Scientist, which pointed to the information singularity as key to Man 2.0. This is due in the next fifty years, when our (exponentially-increasing) ability to acquire, process and retain information reaches a critical point so that the collective ‘we’ understands pretty much everything about our world; his only fear is that government regulation will slow down our progress.
I’m reminded of those daft science books from the 1970s, which pointed to enormous egalitarian machines conducing to all our happiness and saving the planet. Our modern-day scientists are more realistic, yet still there is the oft-ignored question; “where’s the profit?” Moreover, is the projected profit more than the profit from existing alternative investments? Because if it isn’t, banks aren’t going to put their money in and the project will remain a full-colour illustration in a kid’s textbook.