M Thomas Apple Author Page

Science fiction, actual science, history, and personal ranting about life, the universe, and everything

Neuroscience and the ethics of mind control

December 5, 2022
MThomas

“Embedding a similar type of computer in a soldier’s brain could suppress their fear and anxiety, allowing them to carry out combat missions more efficiently.”

https://theconversation.com/amp/brain-computer-interfaces-could-allow-soldiers-to-control-weapons-with-their-thoughts-and-turn-off-their-fear-but-the-ethics-of-neurotechnology-lags-behind-the-science-194017

Sounds like science fiction, but it’s pretty close to reality. BCI (brain computer interface) is being tested in patients who lack muscle control but imagine if this tech gets weaponized (and what hasn’t been, eventually).

But what if BCI were used to suppress emotions in a healthy brain? Or used to implant thoughts? Or worse?

“…if a BCI tampers with how the world seems to a user, they might not be able to distinguish their own thoughts or emotions from altered versions of themselves…”

(same website as above…note that the PC version of WordPress does not do “quotations” correctly any more…)

PKD fans will instantly recognize this.

Androids don’t just dream of electric sheep. 🐑

(Fans of Ghost in the Shell and more importantly its movie sequel Innocence should also recognize the potential hacking danger…imagine if the government could control our emotions, thoughts, and memories…)

Who wants an extra thumb?

May 20, 2021
MThomas

As the training progressed, the participants changed the way they used the device, which resulted in new finger coordination patterns. This was recorded in their hand movements as well as in their brains.

https://gizmodo.com/like-a-part-of-their-body-people-adapt-to-an-extra-thu-1846926329

The only problem with the design is that you have to control it with your foot. Not ideal if you’re walking!

Not to worry. That’s the next step. Er, stage.

Similarities between the human brain and galaxies

November 19, 2020
MThomas

…the team’s results suggest that, while the physical processes that drive the structure of the Universe and the structure of the human brain are extremely different, they can result in similar levels of complexity and self-organisation…

https://www.sciencealert.com/wildly-fun-new-paper-compares-the-human-brain-to-the-structure-of-the-universe?fbclid=IwAR1YjxGSpnNrJbgqRMs6_XNrRjiuloJ792UjzfT3L5NmVEEYxljyVcS4TQ8

As above, so below…

PK Dick wrote fiction…or did he?

September 26, 2020
MThomas

“But decoding and storing memories raise a new set of ethical, moral and legal questions. For instance, who would own these memories after a person has died? Could the police obtain warrants to search through memories? Given that memory itself isn’t completely reliable, could memories be used in lawsuits? How could we ensure that unscrupulous professionals don’t sell or share them?”

Hm, I think I can see another direction this might eventually take…

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/computer-chips-can-read-our-brains-have-moved-sci-fi-ncna1239575

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