What if you could have a chip installed in your brain that would increase your intelligence? Would you be interested?
While this kind of brain-computer interface technology might sound like something out of a dystopian science fiction novel, scientists are working hard to develop it, and it will likely be available in the near future.
This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “smart person.”
Scientists are currently developing smart chips for the human brain.
In an interview with CBS Chicago, Northwestern University neuroscientist and business professor Dr. Moran Cerf said he is working on a smart chip for the brain.
“In as little as five years, super smart people could be walking down the street; men and women who’ve paid to increase their intelligence,” the report states.
Dr. Cerf, who said he is “collaborating with Silicon Valley big wigs he’d rather not name,” explained that the smart chip would “Make it so that it has an internet connection and goes to Wikipedia, and when I think this particular thought, it gives me the answer.”
“Everyone is spending a lot of time right now trying to find ways to get things into the brain without drilling a hole in your skull,” Cerf said. “Can you eat something that will actually get to your brain? Can you eat things in parts that will assemble inside your head?” (source)
I don’t know about you, but I find the idea this bit of information troubling: “Everyone is spending a lot of time trying to find new ways to get things into the brain.”
Who is “everyone” and what is their agenda? What kind of “things” do they want to get into our brains, exactly?
What are the ethical consequences of super-intelligent humans?
Super-intelligent humans are undoubtedly coming, but serious questions about the consequences are being raised.
Despite working on the project himself, Cerf acknowledges there are significant ethical concerns associated with this kind of technology:
Cerf worries about creating intelligence gaps in society; on top of existing gender, racial, and financial inequalities.
“They can make money by just thinking about the right investments, and we cannot; so they’re going to get richer, they’re going to get healthier, they’re going to live longer,” he said. (source)
While is nice that Cerf mentioned those concerns during the short CBS interview, it makes one wonder why he is still interested in pursuing the project.
The average human IQ is 100. People with Cerf’s smart chip implanted in their brains would have an IQ of about 200, which raises an important question: Would those “super intelligent” people even want to interact with “average” humans?
“Are they going to say, ‘Look at this cute human, Stephen Hawking. He can do differential equations in his mind, just like a little baby with 160 IQ points. Isn’t it amazing? So cute. Now let’s put it back in a cage and give it bananas,’” Cerf said. (source)
Of course, Cerf isn’t the only one working on this kind of technology.
How long until Brain-Computer Interfaces become a way of life?
As much as they sound like the stuff of science fiction, brain implants and other types of neural links, such as Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) between the brain and the internet, are rapidly becoming reality.
Last month, we reported that a team of neuro-engineers at Columbia University created a mind-reading system that uses artificial intelligence to translate people’s thoughts into intelligible, recognizable speech.
And, China is already deploying emotional surveillance technology that mines data from the minds of its citizens. “Essentially, they’re data mining by reading their brains,” Meadow Clark explained.
Technology giants are very interested in being able to read minds.
And, as you have likely heard by now, Facebook has been working on building similar products with project often referred to as “Building 8”. The tech giant recently moved its experimental hardware projects (including computer-brain interface, “soft” robotics, and a project to “hear” through a skin-worn device) from Building 8 to a division called Facebook Reality Labs.
In an article titled Questioning Facebook’s vision of brain-controlled devices, Bryan Clark presents some legitimate concerns regarding the social media behemoth’s project:
While most of us fear the impact of tracking cookies sending data to analytics firms and advertisers, the future could very well consist of our brains being connected to the devices responsible. Instead of measuring affinity for a brand, or displaying relative ads by monitoring your content consumption, the future of security could pull these thoughts directly from your brain itself.
Worse, once the connection is made, there’s little limiting the amount of data we’re sharing, aside from trust in corporate entities not to exploit us. I can almost hear the eye-rolling. And really, is there no one else questioning why Facebook — one of the world’s largest advertising platforms — added this to its 10-year roadmap?
I’ll leave you with another terrifying thought. After we’ve made the connection, we’ll be communicating with our oft-used devices using nothing but our mind. It’s worth being excited about, but cautiously so, and only with answers to significant questions, like: How do I disconnect from AR/VR headsets, fitness trackers, laptops, mobile devices, smart home technology, and my connected car when each is connected to my brain? (source)
While they’re warning us, they’re still working on brain-computer interface technology.
Elon Musk – who has previously warned humanity about the possible dangers of artificial intelligence – has been developing a brain-computer interface at Neuralink, a secretive company he founded in July 2016.
In a November 2018 interview, Musk told Axios that his plan is to develop an electrode-to-neuron-based brain-computer interface, or what he called “a chip and a bunch of tiny wires.”
Musk explained that “the long-term aspiration with neural networks would be to achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence, and to achieve a democratization of intelligence such that it is not monopolistically held in a purely digital form by governments and large corporations…how do we ensure that the future constitutes the sum of the will of humanity? If we have billions of people with the high-bandwidth link to the A.I. extension of themselves, it would actually make everyone hyper smart.” (source)
Will we be able to opt out and survive?
In a thought-provoking article called Brain implants are happening — are you ready for yours?, humanist and futurist Gerd Leonhard raises many concerns about the possible consequences of BCIs, but perhaps the most terrifying is this:
What I’m worried about the most — and what you need to consider as well — is whether we’ll even have an actual choice to “opt out” if BCIs are implemented. Assuming that the benefits of these technologies are so plentiful, will we be able to find a good job without a BCI? Will we be able to opt out without becoming useless, like someone who insists on banging away on a typewriter or sending telegrams instead of using a computer? (source)
Also troubling is the possibility that we will lose our uniquely human traits:
Similarly, implants may, over time, overcome most of the ethical issues and become the norm in mainstream society — and even lead to legislation that facilitates and legitimizes their use. AI will then work its way into every part of our life and someday we won’t be able to function without it, losing our independence and a lot of what makes us human. (source)
What do you think about BCI technology?
How long do you think it will be until these products will be widely available? Do you think the powers-that-be will ultimately try to force all of humanity to be smart-chipped?
About the Author
Dagny Taggart is the pseudonym of an experienced journalist who needs to maintain anonymity to keep her job in the public eye. Dagny is non-partisan and aims to expose the half-truths, misrepresentations, and blatant lies of the MSM.
Less concerned about what an individual could “pull” than what government and others could “push” to people’s brains. Indoctrination anyone?
I can envision psychotic behaviors erupting from manipulating the brain by hacking. Duh!
What sort of moron would come up with this drivel. There are so very many methods in current use, right now, that is culling our species, why even think up more atrocities for us to endure?
Oh yea, that’s the idea. We are slaves for scientific experimentation. Well, some are…
For a while now I’ve been asking people if it was possible to have a chip implanted that would give them an IQ of 300 would they do it. The vast majority have said no. Then i point out if they don’t they would be like our dogs to the people who did.
Maybe they would keep us around as pets.
Maybe they wouldn’t.
How wonderful! A nice, friendly Google Chip brain implant to make us “smarter.”
What could possibly go wrong?
Can you say mark of the beast?
Second Coming? Closer and closer.
There’s a popular myth that intelligence = wisdom. But it’s a myth. Some of the most foolish things I’ve heard people say were from people who have high IQs.
Wisdom is more important than smarts. And I say this as a person who has been blessed with higher than average smarts. Get an average person who’s wise, he’ll be better off than a smart person who’s foolish.
There’s no chip in the pipeline for wisdom.
If nothing else, anyone who would willingly submit to having a computer chip implanted, would prove they were not as smart as the chip.
Having an chip implant rather than accessing a smartphone or computer for the same exact data set does not equate to intelligence nor anything close to the sort, But save for the ability to access information and parrot it in lieu or liken to a child tracing a picture or parroting a data set … Accessing information in lieu of actually studying for a particular set of skills to be mastered and developed to be self standing/sustaining without aided skills is indeed reminiscent of our youth and adults today … Mindlessly glued to their phone screens , Being then educated in our present day common core idiocy and liberal communist ideology they have become quite illiterate in all things that are conducive to critical logical thinking and common sense along with independent action werewith true wisdom and intellect are then born and nurtured … Hence just as in real life , If one removes the source of information/stimuli not mastered by study and experience then said participant becomes helpless and ignorant and needy to the point of dysfunction. To be functional again the switch /flow of artificial aid needs to resume … To prove such simply remove devices from any one addicted ie; teenagers /college students and see how well they perform during cogent testing and real world applications … They do not do well at all … The tests/classes i took and mastered as an eighth grader are now doctorate level post college requirements/ requisites … There i fixed it for the chippers…
First reality check: after the successful experimental lab subjects, no one will be able to get these except those who can afford them or who are the chosen ones by those who actually own the technology. These are for the elites, not you and I.
Any chips or implants or other forms of AI “for us” will be strictly dumb and only for indoctrination, sedation, and obeying commands of our “betters.”
Best now to understand this. It’s not really about making you and me smarter; it’s not about equalizing intelligence across the board to a level playing field, or improving the lives of those less biologically intellectually endowed.
It’s for command and control — by them over the rest of us.
If there’s no ON-OFF switch, I don’t really see how they’ll be able to “sell” most people on this fantasy, except to cater to the most desirously envious among us — wish fulfillment without earning it. It does appeal to those who envy and resent others.
I could be wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time, won’t be the last. And Envy is just about the strongest motivator in the universe. It’s what the “Progressive Movement,” Marxism in all its forms, “democracy” — all “government” systems and concepts — and the maintenance of the power of our dear rulers over us is all about. “Free stuff” and all that.
It was the first sin, recorded in the Garden Incident, after all. And it’s what almost everything else boils down to.
Are you content to be you?
I wish there was a way to ‘thumbs up’ comments because there are some pretty insightful comments and I agtree with many of them. In particular, I agree with Richard’s comments regarding intelligence vs wisdom. Back in the day it was called ‘booksmart’ vs ‘streetsmart’. I once worked for a woman who owned a small business. She was highly intelligent but sorely lacking in ‘soft’ skills (ie ‘street smarts’) like people/social skills. And it definitely had a negative impact on the business. Some things just can’t be taught. A ‘smart chip’ might enable to regurgitate the latest propaganda, but it won’t give those ppl the ‘soft skills/streetsmarts/wisdom’ to deal with ‘real life’ or when confronted with a quandry like a sudden disconnect from ‘the net’. I do believe there are a slew of movies out there that show examples of the dystopian society paths like this could lead to. Makes me worry about the world my grandkids will have to survive in. Not so worried for myself. I personally will not conform.
“You will be assimilated … resistance is futile”.
One problem I keep noticing with scientists advocating to see their Utopian dreams realized, is they don’t seem to have the wisdom to understand that just because something is possible, does not mean it should be done.
If something is technically possible and offers some kind of advantage whether to the few or to the system as a whole (efficiency) it will be put into practice, that’s the nature of technology. For further I direct you to the writings of T. Kaczynski especially selected letters with Dr. Skrbina and a newer book entitled Anti-Tech Revolution.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2NNZdigSXg film clip from 1966 Movie “The Presidents Analyst” where James Coburn is kidnapped by the phone company executive (in the phone company’s box – a telephone booth) and the chip to be implanted in the brain is introduced.
A long time ago, my dad taught me that “appearances are half of everything”. In other words, people will be swayed by how something looks, or what it’s called. This article illustrates that pretty neatly. “Smart chips” for your brain are like “smart” thermostats for your house or “smart” televisions for your living room or “smart” refrigerators for your kitchen. You know what “smart” means? It means us common folks have been outSMARTed by those who want to run our lives and poke their damned noses into every corner of it. But hey, let’s rush off to get a “smart thermostat”, so some guy we’ve never met can control the temp at our house. And a “smart” TV, so they can spy on which programs you watch, and who is in the room at any given moment.
A fool with a smartphone is still a fool. A phone won’t make you “smart”.