The malcontent surrounding the possible biohacking of ‘brain computer interfaces’ once such a frontier technology has fully been developed for commercial use is unquestionable and seemingly authentic. The predominant question is how will our dependency on neural implants affect our rationality as free thinkers?
Just as cryptography is a powerful tool to protect our privacy, so too could neural implants be put to nefarious use, propelling us to a point of complete artificial intelligence and thus an AI-dominated society, in a sense ‘hacking’ our brains and losing our comprehension along the way.
Speculation is certainly rife about how such a scenario will play out.
It’s unlikely that we’ll ever be able to fully “control” our thoughts as a vast majority of our daily habits seem to be determined by reflex and ingrained habits. On the other hand, if we do become completely dependent on neural implants, we may well learn to be ‘mute robots’, devoid of free-thinking, perhaps just as disturbed by it as our ancient ancestors were with language comprehension.
Considering that I can’t think of a single thing I would wish for an implant to do for me, not even to increase my intelligence or fire up my ego, except perhaps its economic feasibility to most likely automate learning in humans, I can nonetheless see where such a scenario would ultimately lead.
For some who will chose to opt-in for more enhancement, perhaps the prospect of increased intelligence and power is more appealing than freedom, and perhaps the ‘pseudo-intelligence’ overlying our control once such a technology is mainstream will be just as oppressive.
Perhaps, ironically, like our genetic potential of cryogenic preservation, our cognitive potential will be so strong and effective that in the end, we will be none the wiser than the cavemen, as our freedom and humanity would unfortunately turn ‘beta’.
How we overcome this dilemma is therefore a deep philosophical question that I’m afraid remains unanswered. I hope it is clear to you by now how these factors all interact and ultimately could have profound repercussions on our free will.
Here’s a another compelling question - is such an upcoming new era the first step to the end of free-thinking human beings?
I believe the upcoming new era of the intelligent machines or ‘automated futures’ will be the ‘great mother lode’ of consciousness for humanity and the culmination of a journey that we have been on since our very beginning, a culmination capable of greater manifestation than all the infinite computing power and intelligent machines ever assembled in our lifetime.
This will subsequently culminate with the initial step to the upcoming new era where the building blocks of life are put into motion, and in their natural progression, a person’s genome could be programmed to transform itself into a new form of life that will be capable of directly experiencing all that is without restriction, bottom line — true artificial intelligence.
Most likely, the artificial wave of the future will be accompanied by the physical wave of the future in which there will be a merging of the organic and digital systems through bioengineering. Humanity has perhaps been on a quest for intelligence and intelligence alone throughout its history, yet for this to take place, some scientific historians believe that it needs to learn to merge with itself, to become a unified whole.
Scary right? Intriguing too I suppose.
At the same time, another wave of such a frontier technology could possibly be set in motion as well and have its production tremendously accelerated with the induction of super computers, inevitably destined to take the place of all previous disruptive technologies and results in super consciousness evolving from a neural digital transformation.
For reference, Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Neuralink, a biotech startup leading the charge in the research and development of brain computer chips, believes that we could actually all be living in a simulated world today, with everything having already been predetermined by some ‘virtual god’, per his philosophy.
So, are we in essence computers? Definitely not!
Because our minds and the impulses of our physical beings are made up of the digital code that makes up our DNA, yet this code is still controlled by an organic substance, at least as far as our consciousness is concerned and as far as I have come to understand.
Hence, to find our true expression in this upcoming new era, society will require to come to terms with our true essence and not allow external applications to simply merge with the DNA code we have been born into. As we are often told the oceans covers 98% of the earth’s surface, that in itself has the potential to change our perspective of the world and I suppose our place in it even further.
Additionally, emerging space exploration projects have clearly showed that humanity will no longer be earth bound for far too long. As such and from my understanding, scientific historians such as Yuval Noah Harari argue that we must evolve to expand our consciousness in this manner as well and that it is not just an evolutionary process, but it is a soul quest that requires ‘a new worldview, a vision beyond the limitation of the physical’.
It is possibly a paradox.
Perhaps it may seem paradoxical, but there is some truth to this that transcends mere philosophical discussion, in a sense where we, as a society and as human beings, seek to find simple answers to complex questions in this context, such as will we always be or remain mankind should we embrace ‘automated thinking’ and if so, does that mean human beings have an external soul within?
Frankly, the biggest question of them all, and the most dangerous one, is that as human beings will we actually want such a fate? A fate of progressively becoming dependent on neural implants embedded inside our brains to the point that we surrender our thought processes to AI chips and consequently become vulnerable to biohacking?