Discover more from Dear Future
Don't brain on my parade
A.I. reads minds. Magnets cure depression. Implants bypass broken spine.
Can reading and manipulating human brains benefit people and society? Can the same technology be used to oppress? As with most technology, the answer to both questions is: YES.
Let’s take a look at some of the most recent discoveries.
WTF? - A.I. can read minds
It turns out that well-trained A.I. models can predict what you’re going to say before you say it. Don’t freak yet (just get your tinfoil hat ready :D ). The A.I. needs a real-time MRI scan of your brain, and at the moment that’s not super portable.
This could be awesome for people who lose the ability to speak or never had it. On the flip side, however, it doesn’t take much imagination to see how surveillance capitalism or authoritarian regimes would use this. Thoughtcrime1 anyone?
Yay! - Magnets cure depression
Stanford researchers have discovered that certain brain signals actually flow the wrong way in people with treatment-resistant depression — and that magnets can correct the misdirection and help patients feel better.
Cool! - Implants bypass spinal injury
New implants help a spinal injury victim to walk again. The implants send brain signals to receptors below the spinal injury, enabling the patient to use his legs just by thinking.
Ironically, it doesn’t work that well without machine learning (aka A.I.) helping to read the patient’s thoughts (see above). Over time and with training, the A.I. can predict and interpret the patient’s intent — and make the whole thing work.
From 1984 by George Orwell. Read it!