People tend to worry about mind control. Body control is what they should be worried about. In a new study, researchers have managed to connect the brain of one monkey to the body of another, letting the first monkey's brain control the latter monkey's body. In another study, a human brain has been connected to a robot arm through the insertion of a microchip into the neural tissue, allowing the patient to control said robot arm. The implications are profound.
Avatar came out but a couple of years ago, and seemed to be sci-fi. Now, it looks like it might come true much sooner than we think. Microchips embedded in our brains will allow us to control technical gadgets. Malvolent implantation of these chips might allow us to control other people's bodies. What would that kind of future look like ?
Would we fine-tune our brains enough to be able to send signals either through our body or the microchips, or will we be unable to distinguish between the two, sending signals to both body and remote controlled apparatuses (both mechanical and biological) at the same time ? Will we integrate switches into these chips, allowing us to decide where the signals should be sent to, and how ? Will those mechanisms be recordable ? Will the chips be able to be used in reverse, giving feedback to our actions, alowing sensory input through those chips ?
Nerves are but electric signals, and, taken individually, can be easily understood and copied by modern science. It is the complexity of neural networks that makes the human brain such a mystery. But even these networks are being analysed and understood as we speak. We are able to grow petry-dish neurons, to observe the way they form connections.They have even been used to fly simulated aircrafts. Will computers be made up of neurons soon ? Or will our neurons be uplinked to computers ? Will man and machine become one ? Will we, as a species, survive until then, or be driven to extinction by planet-eating rabbits ?
One thing is for sure : with every passing day, the future gets weirder. And the present even more so.
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