As the year nears its end, my feed is full with last year’s news. For balance, I want to give some space to next year’s news. What do you think will be in the news next year?
In the very short run, technological developments aren’t so difficult to foresee, mostly because our brains all tick similarly. But by the time I have an idea, it’s highly likely somebody is already working on it. I’m not much of an inventor.
After the babies were born for example I remarked to Stefan that it’s about time somebody comes up with a high-tech diaper that sends me an email if full. Done.
Or this: For some years now, I keep reading about transcranial magnetic stimulation that allegedly boosts learning ability or intelligence in general. However, intelligence is a highly complex trait and I don’t buy a word of this. But wouldn’t the world be a much better place if we’d just sleep better? And don’t we know so much more about the brain in sleep-mode than in learning-mode? So why not use transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat insomnia? Somebody somewhere is working on that.
Here are three of my speculations that I haven’t yet heard much about:
- Robotic brain extension
Insects’ brains can hooked up to chips and be remote controlled. But rather than using a computer to control a biological neural network, it would be much cooler if one could integrate the bio-brain to improve the tasks that robots are typically bad at. Balance for example is such a case that is extremely difficult for robots, yet the smallest bird-brain can easily balance a body on one leg, thanks to million of years of evolution. Can one engineer the both to work together, provided some ethics committee nods approval?
Forget about invisibility shields, nobody wants to be invisible, just look at youtube. What we really need in the days of iPhones and people talking to their glasses is an inaudibility shield. I neither want to hear your phone calls, nor do you want to hear mine. Somebody please work on this.
The conscious subconsciousness
I read all the time about computers that are brain-controlled or most recently brain to brain communication. However, the former is still far too cumbersome and will remain so for a long time, and the latter creeps out most people. So let’s stick with one head and just route signals from the unconscious parts of our brain activity to the conscious parts and vice versa. Imagine for a moment how dramatically the world might change if we had the ability to readjust hormonal balance or heart rate.