Elon Musk by Maurizio Pesce via Wikimedia Commons
What might Elon Musk do to your brain? Hes successfully demonstrated that a deep brain implant can monitor a pigs health like the Fitbit on your wrist. After this success, Musk is coming after you. He plans to install slender electrodes into your brain and connect them to a wireless pod that sits behind your ear. Neuralink chips could measure temperature, pressure and movement, data that could warn you about a heart attack or stroke. This pod or terminal then communicates with your phone. If you want to know what your brain is doing, simply check your phone.
Now, this is puzzling. Mmmmm? Whos checking that phone? Your brain? Or, you? What if you and your brain are the same? Mmmmm? Will checking the phone for brain information provoke the brain to become self-aware? Then what? Will you have two selves: you plus your brain? Oh, this thinking makes my brain tired. Mmmmm? Will my cell phone show that my brain is tired?
What might be the advantages to deep brain implants? First, in the early stages of neuralink development for humans, we can realistically anticipate the medical value of deep brain implants. The potential is truly transformational for restoring brain & motor functions, Musk states. A deep brain implant could function therapeutically to combat dementia, Alzheimers, and even Christian fundamentalism!
The second advantage would be memory enhancement and knowledge expansion. Because the implant is wirelessly connected to an external pod-terminal, information could be sent to the brain and downloaded. A deep brain implant for an ELCA seminarian could electronically place in the students memory every word of the Book of Concord.
A third possibility is the hope of the Transhumanists among us, namely, Intelligence Amplification or IA. Dont confuse IA with AI, Artificial Intelligence. IA enhances your intelligence; it does not create a second or artificial intelligence. With IA, our ELCA seminarians could take all their courses online and graduate in only two years. Oh, wait?
A fourth possibility would be electronic psi. Each of two persons with brain implants could communicate their thoughts wirelessly to the terminal, which in turn would send those thoughts to the other. No need for speech or writing. Thought to thought. Mind to mind. Disagreements and arguments without yelling or screaming.
A fifth possibility adds on to the fourth. Why wait for a thought to be sent to you? Why not think your way to the terminal and then read the mind of the other? The electronic pod terminal could eliminate mental privacy.
Before this neuralink science came along, there was science fiction. I explored these plus additional implications of deep brain implants in my fictional espionage thriller, Cyrus Twelve. My heroine is Leona Foxx, a Lutheran pastor, riveting preacher, astrobiologist, crack shot, Chicago Cubs fan, and part-time CIA operative. This is fiction, remember.
In Cyrus Twelve Leona uncovers a globe-wide syndicate of Transhumanists who use the equivalent of neuralink to enhance spying capability. In this drama, the pod-terminal is a satellite and it connects hundreds of persons with deep brain implants. The satellite is capable of erasing an individuals memory and substituting an entirely fabricated memory. Because the implant is within you, you cannot muster any defense from informational input sent you by the satellite. You cannot shut off fake news, advertising, or orders to kill. Imagine what would happen if ELCA Churchwide would get control of that satellite? Every spy in the world would suddenly learn what justification-by-faith means.
The advancement of deep brain electronic implants prompts the theologian to ponder two matters, one theoretical and one practical. The theoretical matter is this: can the human soul or self be reduced to the brain? My answer is no. The human self or person is utterly dependent on the physical brain, to be sure; but the self or person is more than everything physical or bodily. What we experience as human freedom I define this way: freedom is a form of self-determination. In short, I do not expect discoveries in the neurosciences to reduce the person to the brain.
The practical matter is an ethical matter. How should such awesome technology be used? Should deep brain implants become the stock and trade of international espionage, as is the case in Cyrus Twelve? No, of course not. Our society should rather support ongoing medical research leading to therapies and even enhancements. Like all technological advances, neuralink should be pressed into the service of human flowering.
Ted Peters is a pastor in the ELCA and Emeritus Professor of Systematic Theology and Ethics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California. He co-edits the journal, Theology and Science for the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences at the Graduate Theological Union. He is author of God The Worlds Future (Fortress, 3rd ed., 2015) and editor of AI and IA: Utopia or Extinction? (ATF Press, 2019). More of Peters work can be found on his website, TedsTimelyTake.com.
Read more here:
- Watch This Superb Fan Adaptation of Peter Watts' Blindsight - tor.com - October 19th, 2020
- Pandemics and transhumanism - The Times of India Blog - September 18th, 2020
- CD Projekt Red have nabbed Cyberpunk, but here are 5 other punks that deserve games - PC Gamer - September 18th, 2020
- Transhuman - Wikipedia - August 10th, 2020
- The Transhuman Revolution: What it is and How to Prepare ... - August 10th, 2020
- What No One Will Tell You About Robots - OZY - July 25th, 2020
- Black LGBTQ+ playwrights and musical-theater artists you need to know - Time Out New York - July 25th, 2020
- ANTIBOY: The Family of Harry Hains Unveils Animated Video For Good Enough Single - Icon Vs. Icon - July 22nd, 2020
- No death and an enhanced life: Is the future transhuman ... - July 21st, 2020
- Immortality or Bust - Film Threat - July 20th, 2020
- In Dan Brown's AI Hype Novel, the Hero Stumbles Onto God - Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence - July 15th, 2020
- Quote of the Day on the Morality of Those Seeking Heaven - Patheos - July 13th, 2020
- A music and arts festival for Mumbaikars - Times of India - July 3rd, 2020
- Experience never seen before immersive music and art festival with transhuman collective 'UNRATED' - RadioandMusic.com - July 3rd, 2020
- This startup is ensuring babies get a good nights sleep with its smart mattress - YourStory - July 3rd, 2020
- Who exactly was Jeffrey Epstein? A history of the mogul and his crimes - Film Daily - July 3rd, 2020
- Livestream event on Steve Fuller's Nietzschean Meditations - Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies - June 22nd, 2020
- Transhuman - TV Tropes - June 13th, 2020
- Artificial eye with 3D retina developed for the first time - Advanced Science News - June 13th, 2020
- How to go on holiday in a pandemic - The Economist - June 13th, 2020
- The Best Way to Handle Your Decline Is to Confront It Head On - The Atlantic - June 13th, 2020
- Humans will be able to replace their bodies within 50 years claims transhumanist writer - Express.co.uk - May 27th, 2020
- How Britain's oldest universities are trying to protect humanity from risky A.I. - CNBC - May 27th, 2020
- Heres Everything Coming to HBO Max in June - TheWrap - May 27th, 2020
- Durham's Kriya Therapuetics lands $80M to advance gene therapies for diabetes, severe obesity - WRAL Tech Wire - May 15th, 2020
- Introducing When the Sparrow Falls, the Debut Novel From Neil Sharpson - tor.com - May 15th, 2020
- New Releases And Eshop Discounts Week 20 - N-Europe - May 15th, 2020
- Things To Do: Antonio Eyez Will Perform At R&R Studios April 30 - Houston Press - April 27th, 2020
- Five Essay Collections to Read in Quarantine - Willamette Week - April 27th, 2020
- OISTE.ORG Foundation endorses preserving the human right to privacy statement during the Covid-19 pandemic signed by a group of more than 300... - April 27th, 2020
- The Demo For Soldat 2 Is Now Free On The Steam Platform - Happy Gamer - April 2nd, 2020
- Friending the World Sociality and the Transhuman Vision - Patheos - March 28th, 2020
- Technology and Human Creativity in Theological Perspective - Patheos - March 28th, 2020
- What is an artificial womb and can it work for humans? - Screen Shot - March 28th, 2020
- How the Fast & Furious Movies Should End (and Live on Forever) - Observer - March 28th, 2020
- Oxford academic claims future humans could live for thousands of years - Express.co.uk - March 26th, 2020
- Electioneering on the Eve of the Virus Nathan Thornburgh and photographer Shane Carpenter were in New - Roads and Kingdoms - March 26th, 2020
- MultiBrief: Surviving coronavirus: Bravery, health, and strength - MultiBriefs Exclusive - March 26th, 2020
- Coronavirus and the Rise and Fall of Humanism - CounterPunch - March 26th, 2020
- The Fight against Socialism Isnt Over - National Review - March 16th, 2020
- Harry Hains, actor in American Horror Story and The OA, dies at 27 - SYFY WIRE - January 11th, 2020
- WISeKey to Hold its 13th Annual Cybersecurity IoT Blockchain Roundtable in Davos on January 22, 2020 - GlobeNewswire - December 25th, 2019
- Misinformation, hacking, and imploding startups: 18 books to read in 2020 that puncture Silicon Valley utopianism - Business Insider - December 25th, 2019
- Best books of 2019 - Patheos - December 21st, 2019
- The 50 best TV shows of 2019: No 4 Years and Years - The Guardian - December 21st, 2019
- The Big Read Poppy: Human After All, the NME interview - NME.com - November 13th, 2019
- Jonathan Kay: What to make of racism, sexism and homophobia from the same people lecturing us about bigotry - National Post - November 13th, 2019
- How Australian viewers are reacting to 'Years and Years' - SBS - November 13th, 2019
- Are LED lights and other techno-implants slowly turning us into the Borg? - SYFY WIRE - October 16th, 2019
- The finale issue of House of X/Powers of X: We dig into every detail - Polygon - October 16th, 2019
- Yudkowsky - The AI-Box Experiment - June 3rd, 2019
- Corporate Growth Summit and International M&A Awards - June 3rd, 2019
- We Asked an AI to Finish Real Elon Musk Tweets - May 28th, 2019
- Watch a Super-Strong Robot Dog Pull a Three-Ton Airplane - May 28th, 2019
- United Nations: Siri and Alexa Are Encouraging Misogyny - May 28th, 2019
- New Law Could End Robocalling Once and For All - May 28th, 2019
- Scientists Set New Temperature Record for Superconductivity - May 28th, 2019
- Can You Tell Which of These Models Is CGI? - May 28th, 2019
- Watch a Tesla in an Underground Tunnel Race One on the Street - May 28th, 2019
- SpaceX Just Unleashed 60 Starlink Satellites Into Orbit - May 28th, 2019
- Asteroid Flying by Earth Is so Big It Has Its Own Moon - May 28th, 2019
- Elevate Your Leadership and Grow Your Business at Your Clouds Can 2019 - May 28th, 2019
- NASA’s Moon Mission Leader Just Quit After Only Six Weeks - May 28th, 2019
- NASA Just Hired the First Contractor to Build Lunar Space Station - May 28th, 2019
- Elon Musk Ridicules Jeff Bezos’ Plan For Space Colonies - May 28th, 2019
- See China’s Newly Unveiled Maglev Train - May 28th, 2019
- Here’s How NASA Prepares Its Spacecraft for Mars - May 28th, 2019
- This Robot Scans Preschoolers’ Faces Daily for Signs of Sickness - May 28th, 2019
- New Research: The Oceans Are Slowly Leaking Into the Earth - May 28th, 2019
- Studying the Sun’s Atmosphere Could Make Fusion Power a Reality - May 28th, 2019
- Anonymous Group of 3D-Printed Gun Makers Is Spreading Online - May 28th, 2019
- Ripple Price Forecast: XRP vs SWIFT, SEC Updates, and More - May 25th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Looking Past the Bithumb Crypto Hack - May 25th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: This Week on Bitfinex, Tether, Coinbase, & More - May 25th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETFs, Andreessen Horowitz, and Contradictions in Crypto - May 25th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: What You Need to Know This Week - May 25th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: XRP Validators, Malta, and Practical Tokens - May 25th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: New Exchanges Could Boost Crypto Liquidity - May 25th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETF Rejection, AMD Microchip Sales, and Hedge Funds - May 25th, 2019
- Bitcoin Rise: Is the Recent Bitcoin Price Surge a Sign of Things to Come or Another Misdirection? - May 25th, 2019