A new CNN article predicts that within 75 years people will have embedded microchips within their brain that will allow their behavior to be controlled by a third party.
The story, entitled Smartphone of the future will be in your brain, offers a semi-satirical look at transhumanism and the idea of humans becoming part cyborg by having communications devices implanted in their body.
Predicting first the widespread popularity of wearable smartphones, already in production by Google, the article goes on to forecast how humans will communicate by the end of the century.
“Technology takes a huge leap in 75 years. Microchip can be installed directly in the user’s brain. Apple, along with a handful of companies, makes these chips. Thoughts connect instantly when people dial to “call” each other. But there’s one downside: “Advertisements” can occasionally control the user’s behavior because of an impossible-to-resolve glitch. If a user encounters this glitch — a 1 in a billion probability — every piece of data that his brain delivers is uploaded to companies’ servers so that they may “serve customers better.”
The tone of the CNN piece is somewhat sophomoric, but the notion that humans will eventually merge with machines as the realization of the technological singularity arrives is one shared by virtually all top futurists.
Indeed, people like inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil don’t think we’ll have to wait 75 years to see
In his 1999 book The Age of Spiritual Machines, Kurzweil successfully predicted the arriv smartphones implanted in the brain. He sees this coming to pass within just 20 years.
al of the iPad, Kindle, iTunes, You Tube and on demand services like Netflix.
By 2019, Kurzweil forecasts that wearable smartphones will be all the rage and that by 2029, computers andcellphones will now be implanted in people’s eyes and ears, creating a “human underclass” that is viewed as backwards and unproductive because it refuses to acquiesce to the singularity.
Although the CNN piece doesn’t even foresee implantable brain chips until the end of the century, Kurzweil’s predictions are far beyond this. According to him, by 2099, the entire planet is run by artificially intelligent computer systems which are smarter than the entire human race combined – similar to the Skynet system fictionalized in the Terminator franchise.
Humans who have resisted altering themselves by becoming part-cyborg will be ostracized from society.
“Even among those human intelligences still using carbon-based neurons, there is ubiquitous use of neural implant technology, which provides enormous augmentation of human perceptual and cognitive abilities. Humans who do not utilize such implants are unable to meaningfully participate in dialogues with those who do,” writes Kurzweil.
Kurzweil’s forecasts are echoed by Sun Microsystems’ Bill Joy, who in a 2000 Wired Magazine article entitled Why The Future Doesn’t Need Us, predicted that technological advancements in robotics would render most humans obsolete.
As a result the elite, “may simply decide to exterminate the mass of humanity,” wrote Joy.