A new class of people are coming, whose microchip-enhanced mental abilities may raise questions about what it means to be human: Over the next decade, new implantable technologies will fundamentally change the way people think, feel and behave. Will this be the first step in changing humans into hybrids that are part machine? (NOTE: Subscribers have a coupon to purchase this book at LESS THAN $2, but only while supplies last).
In the June 2nd edition of the Wall Street Journal, Daniel H. Wilson writes: "These tools aren’t sinister. They’re being created to solve real problems. Prosthetic limbs help people move, and neural implants help people think. (These) solutions may not only erase physical or mental deficits but leave patients better off than ‘able-bodied’ folks. The person who has a disability today may have a superability tomorrow."
For instance, the goal for many of the amputees who returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with missing limbs is no longer just to reach a "natural" level of ability but to exceed it, using whatever cutting-edge technology is available.
But prosthetic limbs aren’t the only new technology–brain implants are also being developed that can provide mental, rather than physical, improvement. These can be as small as an aspirin, and are designed to be placed under the skull, on the surface of the brain. Will dyslexic kids–or even Down Syndrome people–receive such implants in the future?
These are scary thoughts, but Wilson says, "Humanity has been co-evolving with technology for more than 100,000 years. Together with our tools, we are on a grand, generation-spanning trajectory. Whether we like it or not, the next step of this evolution is on the near horizon."