According to one pioneering scientist in the field of neurotechnology, in a future where mind control devices can be implanted in the brain, controlling a car with your thoughts would be “fairly trivial.”
via The Guardian:
“Mind control” is suddenly not just plausible, but actually rather easy. You can buy a “DIY human-human interface” online for just over £165, part of a project aiming to make neuroscience more accessible to young people. In one video by neuroscientist Greg Gage, two on-stage volunteers are connected to the device – little more than a few wires, some flashing circuitry and a laptop. When one subject curls their arm, the other is powerless to stop their arm curling too.
“When you lose your free will and someone else becomes your agent, it does feel a bit strange,” Gage says to his young volunteers.
At the cutting edge of this technology, things get a little weirder. In 2013 researchers from Harvard Medical School announced they had made a device that allowed a human volunteer to move a rat’s tail via thought alone. That same year, neuroscientists from the University of Washington sent brain signals via the internet from one individual wearing an electroencephalography (EEG) headset to another with a TMS device, remotely controlling the recipient’s hand movements. One person, watching a computer game, imagined moving their hand to shoot down an enemy missile. His thoughts stimulated another person’s finger to hit the trigger at the appropriate time.
Then there’s the paralysed teenager who kicked the first ball of last year’s Fifa World Cup opening ceremony, wearing an exoskeleton controlled by his mind. And scientists at the Starlab facility in Barcelona, who claim to have demonstrated “conscious transmission of information” – sending the word “hola” from one mind to another, without either person using their senses.
Such experiments understandably make many people feel uneasy. Rumours that the US military is funding research in this area only add to concerns about frightening potential uses. Could people be forced to move or act against their will, or have their innermost thoughts and feelings extracted from their head?