I for one welcome our new cyborg masters

There’s an interesting excerpt in SEED Magazine (which, for some reason, I had thought had long since been deceased) which touches on a topic I’m always thinking about: alternate ways of interacting with a computer and the Internet. Voice dictation is one, and I think I’ve mentioned experiments where EEG helmets which read electrical activity bubbling up from the brain to the surface of the head are interpreted by computers as basic commands. But it would seem the most obvious and efficient interface would be a direct brain to computer connection. The author asks…

What if we eliminated the interface problem—the slow keyboards, the sore fingers, the tiny screens, the clumsiness of point-and-click—by directly linking the Internet to the human brain?

He then prophesies the bold new world this might engender.

If human minds could work directly with the Internet, two grand unifications would happen at once. First, humans would beco is me more closely connected with each other. As I will explain later in the book, we would have entirely new ways to sense each other’s presence, moods, and needs. A person with a suitably wired brain could be aware of other people as if they were part of her own body, the same way she knows where her own fingers are. Second, humanity and its tool, the Internet, would become a single organism with entirely new powers. Not just a mere hybrid, but a new species in its own right.

A super race of computer/human hybrids, clearly superior to mere Homo sapiens. Doubtless their first task would be to develop time travel and go back in time to eliminate any record of their inferior predecessors. You’ve been warned: the brain hungry cyborgs are on their way!

But in all seriousness, what’s compelling about this idea is that it seems, theoretically at least, possible. The exact method by which “thoughts” — which we can really understand as the firings of specific groups of neurons in the brain — would be translated to something usable by computer is the great question. But it doesn’t seem impossible to answer, if not 100 years from now, than 1000.

1 Response to “I for one welcome our new cyborg masters”

  1. John Saleeby

    Why, that’s MADNESS! MADNESS, I say! MADNESS! Maybe just “madness”? Give me a hand with this . . .