I came across this article in Smithsonian Magazine today, about an electronic circuit that can be implanted via injection, offering a way for electronic devices to interface with your brain activity.
I'll briefly explain what this is all about before sharing some of my thoughts about this.
So far the technology has been tested only in the heads of live mice. Made from strands of metal and plastic, the circuit net can be rolled up so that it can easily pass through a syringe needle. Once inside the body, the net unfurls of its own accord and becomes embedded in the brain. The neurons’ activities could be monitored using microscopic sensors wired into the circuit. Their electrical signals were relayed along a wire running out of the head to a computer. They hope to ultimately wire it up to humans (allegedly for people who suffer from neurological diseases..).
Further down the line, the net may be studded with feedback devices that deliver electrical stimulation or release packets of drugs for medical treatment. Add in a few microscopic RFID antennae, and the circuit could go wireless.
It's interesting to know that the military (the U.S. Air Force’s Cyborgcell) has also taken an interest in this technology.
This would have been such exciting news, but unfortunately we don't live in a wonderful Trekkie-universe where technology like this would be used for positive purposes! I'm afraid that in our reality it would be more like something I've seen in the episode The Entire History of You, from the excellent series Black Mirror, where everyone has access to a memory implant that records everything they do, see and hear.
The already widespread RFID-chips in combination with human RFID-implants will give away a lot more information than your whereabouts. Privacy concerns are peanuts in light of this new circuit device! Something wired into your brain that can not only be monitored, but also can get hacked into. It can receive electrical stimulation from outside.. To calm you down when you are angry? To make you stop thinking? To make you focused on your task?
When I was little, I used to believe that one day robots would do our dirty work so that we would all be free to enjoy life. Today I know that we are going to be those robots.