Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How about a chip for that brain?


It appears that future of 2020 is when it all changes.
At least that's the year that New York Times readers selected in this article.  That's when we begin to see really rapid changes in the affects of technology on our lives.  Then in just 65 years from now, we will be able to directly interface our brains with the Internet.  Supporters of the Singularity hypothesis have been saying this for quite a while now but it seems that finally the mainstream is beginning to awaken to this notion.  What about the near future?  Sure, direct interface between my brain and the Internet would be about as great as a guy could hope for, but I probably won't make it another 65 years to have it happen.  What do readers, both experts and laymen, predict for our lives in the more immediate sense?

One reader predicted that by 2013, electronic ink, flatscreen display technology that mimics ink on paper, would be the new "it" item.  That writing has been on the wall, no pun intended, for the publishing industry for quite a while now.
Another prognostication, this time from an M.I.T. professor of computer science, was that science publications would finally become an online process by 2019.  By 2016, an exec at Orange Labs predicts that people will be surrounded by a "halo of data."  By pressing a button, someone could get an augmented reality display about you, detailing personal descriptions of you.
Scared?  I'm certain Kip Haggis is.  So is another NYT reader, who asserts that due to human neural interface with the Net and electronics integrated into our bodies, more people will die in 2170 from computer viruses than actual viruses.  That's ok.  If biology (or technology) would somehow permit me, I would stick around until 2058 when "Enhanced intelligence will be available to most people through a combination of nanotechnology and embedded processors."  Cybernetic intelligence?  Be still my fiery synapses.  Allow me to be at the front of the cortege when those handy implants get doled out.  Although right now, I'd settle for implants that would permit me to never have to eat or sleep again.

Although I'm sure that Kevin Warwick may be approaching this news with a weary, "been there, done that" demeanor.  He is the British university professor who had implants placed into his arm that directly interface with his nervous system.  Read outs of the electrical impulses in his body can be taken from the devices in his arm.  There those who have even called Warwick "the first cyborg."  Warwick is among those visionaries who see transhumanism leading towards astonishing abilities such as enhanced memory and intelligence and maybe even x-ray vision.  He led the way for these advances with his own vision, enthusiasm, and sacrifice.  

Maybe we should just call all future implant interfaces "Warwick chips."



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