Transhumanist Candidate Wants “Brain Implants to
Manage Violent Actions of Prisoners”… And Society
Maybe the solution to all crime is more surveillance and direct control over the minds of all prisoners, anyone marked with violent tendencies and ultimately everyone in society.
That’s what one futurist is proposing, as he runs on a political platform based around psycho-physical state control over mind and body.
Zoltan Istvan, presidential candidate for the Transhumanist Party, thinks that prisoners would be better motivated to obey the law if the death penalty were abolished, and it be replaced by implanting a surveillance brain chip that notify the law and can even deploy a “tranquiliser triggered to block violent behavior.”
Of course, once it becomes legal to control the brains of one sector of society (convicted criminals), the rest of society may follow, each with their own rationales and justifications that make using spy chips inside the brain somehow acceptable.
It is a scenario ripped straight from the plot of A Clockwork Orange, where the ethics and finer points of behaviorism are put into practice as prison-reform-via-mind-control, in turn packaged neatly for political debates and electioneering. According to theInternational Business Times:
Brain implants able to manage out-of-control tempers and violent actions of prisons were suggested to minimise crime rates in the United States and as alternative for death penalty, according to Zoltan Istvan. The futurist and presidential candidate for the Transhumanist Party, Istvan suggested that the technology could be a near-term alternative for criminals on death row and might be considered sufficient punishment.
“Violent crime is a version of mental disease,” Istvan stated in an article published in Motherboard, suggesting conducting brain alterations to prisoners could change behaviour and attitudes of criminals into decent members of society. The brain implants would work as a surveillance device that could monitor or possibly control each action of the prisoner with a tranquiliser triggered if violent behaviour is reported or attempted by the inmate.
But, of course, the story isn’t limited to just murderers and the worst violent offenders with career prison sentences.
You knew that.
The full solution proposed here would come only at the hand of further deep-seated government control over the entire population.
Of course. Why not?
No one can ever be safe without giving up total control, right?
Implants should also be put in the brains of law abiding citizens, according to Istvan who is advocating a transhumanist platform for society.
This would serve as an emergency alert to authorities that they are experiencing a trauma (where a crime may be taking place), theoretically cutting back on the number of criminals who would be willing to follow through with the crimes if they knew they’d get caught.
Trauma alert implant should also be in the brain of citizens, a device that sends signal to alert authorities directly from the brain if someone is experiencing trouble or trauma, he proposed. The surveillance enhancement would reduce criminal rates rapidly in the future, Istvan said.
“If people knew they were going to be caught, crime would drop noticeably … violent criminals will be caught far more frequently than now, especially if we have some type of trauma alert implant in people,” he said.
Already, consumers are buying mood altering devices that change brain waves, while the Obama Administration has funded deep research into brain tinkering and engineering.
“So the technology to change behaviour and alter the brain isn’t science fiction,” he stated. The article indicated that U.S. President Barack Obama’s brain initiative focused to treat the involuntary movements associated with Parkinson’s disease and improving deep brain stimulation or by developing new technology.
Simply formula, really: Keep the status quo, instituted by the power monopoly of the state. Do nothing to change unfair systematic economic and socio-political problems; let known cheats and liars continue to operate a rigged game.
Then, keep tabs on everyone, and push a few buttons to make everyone afraid – not only to commit crimes and hurt other people – but afraid to speak out or stand out at all. Right to bear arms? Not a good idea, especially if it means arms in the hands of people who are quick to anger, or capable of violent tendencies at all.
Use a few consumer incentives to keep everyone in line, and keep pushing the pleasure button, the artificial happiness button, and keep the information about what is really going on swept under the carpet so that everyone learns to love their servitude.
Yeah, what else could go wrong?
INHUMAN—PART 4: HEAVEN & HELL SCENARIOS
June 28, 2015 by SkyWatch Editor
While positive advances either already have been or will come from some of the science and technology fields we examine in the upcoming documentary INHUMAN, learned men like Prof. Francis Fukuyama, in his book, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution, warn that unintended consequences resulting from what mankind has now set in motion represents the most dangerous time in earth’s history, a period when exotic technology in the hands of transhumanist ambitions could forever alter what it means to be human. To those who would engineer a transhuman future, Fukuyama warns of a dehumanized “hell scenario” in which we “no longer struggle, aspire, love, feel pain, make difficult moral choices, have families, or do any of the things that we traditionally associate with being human.” In this ultimate identity crisis, we would “no longer have the characteristics that give us human dignity” because, for one thing, “people dehumanized à la Brave New World¼don’t know that they are dehumanized, and, what is worse, would not care if they knew. They are, indeed, happy slaves with a slavish happiness.”[i] The “hell scenario” envisioned by Fukuyama is but a beginning to what other intelligent thinkers believe could go wrong.
On the other end of the spectrum and diametrically opposed to Fukuyama’s conclusions is an equally energetic crowd that subscribes to a form of technological utopianism we will call the “heaven scenario.” Among this group, a “who’s who” of transhumansist evangelists such as Ray Kurzweil, James Hughes, Natasha Vita More (both Hughes and More are in the upcoming documentary INHUMAN), Nick Bostrom, and Gregory Stock see the dawn of a new Age of Enlightenment arriving as a result of the accelerating pace of GRINS (Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Nanotechnology, Synthetic Biology), technologies. As with the eighteenth-century Enlightenment in which intellectual and scientific reason elevated the authority of scientists over priests, techno-utopians believe they will triumph over prophets of doom by “stealing fire from the gods, breathing life into inert matter, and gaining immortality. Our efforts to become something more than human have a long and distinguished genealogy. Tracing the history of those efforts illuminates human nature. In every civilization, in every era, we have given the gods no peace.”[ii] Such men and women are joined in their quest for godlike constitutions by a growing list of official U.S. departments that dole out hundreds of millions of dollars each year for science and technology research. The National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Commerce anticipated this development over a decade ago, publishing the government report Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance—complete with diagrams and bullet points—to lay out the blueprint for the radical evolution of man and machine. Their vision imagined that, following the year 2012, the “heaven scenario” would begin to be manifested and quickly result in (among other things):
The transhuman body being “more durable, healthy, energetic, easier to repair, and resistant to many kinds of stress, biological threats, and aging processes.”
Brain-machine interfacing that will “transform work in factories, control automobiles, ensure military superiority, and enable new sports, art forms and modes of interaction between people.
“Engineers, artists, architects, and designers will experience tremendously expanded creative abilities,” in part through “improved understanding of the wellspring of human creativity.”
“Average persons, as well as policymakers, will have a vastly improved awareness of the cognitive, social, and biological forces operating their lives, enabling far better adjustment, creativity, and daily decision making.
“Factories of tomorrow will be organized” around “increased human-machine capabilities.”[iii]
Beyond how human augmentation and biological reinvention would spread into the wider culture following 2012 (the same date former counter-terrorism czar, Richard Clark, in his book, Breakpoint, predicted serious GRINS rollout), the government report detailed the especially important global and economic aspects of genetically superior humans acting in superior ways, offering how, as a result of GRINS leading to techno-sapien dna upgrading, brain-to-brain interaction, human-machine interfaces, personal sensory device interfaces, and biological war fighting systems, “The twenty-first century could end in world peace, universal prosperity, and evolution to a higher level [as] humanity become[s] like a single, transcendent nervous system, an interconnected ‘brain’ based in new core pathways of society.” The first version of the government’s report asserted that the only real roadblock to this “heaven scenario” would be the “catastrophe” that would be unleashed if society fails to employ the technological opportunities available to us now. “We may not have the luxury of delay, because the remarkable economic, political and even violent turmoil of recent years implies that the world system is unstable. If we fail to chart the direction of change boldly, we may become the victims of unpredictable catastrophe.”[iv] This argument parallels what is currently echoed in military corridors, where sentiments hold that failure to commit resources to develop GRINS as the next step in human and technological evolution will only lead to others doing so ahead of us and using it for global domination.
Not everybody likes the “heaven scenario” imperative, and from the dreamy fantasies of Star Trek to the dismal vision of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, some have come to believe there are demons hiding inside transhumanism’s mystical (or mythical?) “Shangri-la.”
“Many of the writers [of the government report cited above] share a faith in technology which borders on religiosity, boasting of miracles once thought to be the province of the Almighty,” write the editors of The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology and Society. “[But] without any serious reflection about the hazards of technically manipulating our brains and our consciousness a different sort of catastrophe is nearer at hand. Without honestly and seriously assessing the consequences associated with these powerful new [GRINS] technologies, we are certain, in our enthusiasm and fantasy and pride, to rush headlong into disaster.”[v]
Few people would be more qualified than computer scientist Bill Joy to annunciate these dangers, or to outline the “hell scenario” that could unfold as a result of GRINS. Yet it must have come as a real surprise to some of those who remembered him as the level-headed Silicon Valley scientist and co-founder of Sun Microsystems (sm) when, as chief scientist for the corporation, he released a vast and now-famous essay, “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us,” arguing how GRINS would threaten in the very near future to obliterate mankind. What was extraordinary about Joy’s prophecy was how he saw himself—and people like him—as responsible for building the very machines that “will enable the construction of the technology that may replace our species.”
“From the very moment I became involved in the creation of new technologies, their ethical dimensions have concerned me,” he begins. But it was not until the autumn of 1998 that he became “anxiously aware of how great are the dangers facing us in the twenty-first century.” Joy dates his “awakening” to a chance meeting with Ray Kurzweil, whom he talked with in a hotel bar during a conference at which they both spoke. Kurzweil was finishing his manuscript for The Age of Spiritual Machines and the powerful descriptions of sentient robots and near-term enhanced humans left Joy taken aback, “especially given Ray’s proven ability to imagine and create the future,” Joy wrote. “I already knew that new technologies like genetic engineering and nanotechnology were giving us the power to remake the world, but a realistic and imminent scenario for intelligent robots surprised me.”
Over the weeks and months following the hotel conversation, Joy puzzled over Kurzweil’s vision of the future until finally it dawned on him that genetic engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology posed “a different threat than the technologies that have come before. Specifically, robots, engineered organisms, and nanobots share a dangerous amplifying factor: They can self-replicate. A bomb is blown up only once—but one bot can become many, and quickly get out of control.” The unprecedented threat of self-replication particularly burdened Joy because, as a computer scientist, he thoroughly understood the concept of out-of-control replication or viruses leading to machine systems or computer networks being disabled. Uncontrolled self-replication of nanobots or engineered organisms would run “a much greater risk of substantial damage in the physical world,” Joy concluded before adding his deeper fear:
What was different in the twentieth century? Certainly, the technologies underlying the weapons of mass destruction (wmd)—nuclear, biological, and chemical (nbc)—were powerful, and the weapons an enormous threat. But building nuclear weapons required highly protected information; biological and chemical weapons programs also tended to require large-scale activities.
The twenty-first-century technologies—genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics are so powerful that they can spawn whole new classes of accidents and abuses. Most dangerously, for the first time, these accidents and abuses are widely within the reach of individuals or small groups. They will not require large facilities or rare raw materials. Knowledge alone will enable the use of them.
Thus we have the possibility not just of weapons of mass destruction but of knowledge-enabled mass destruction (kmd), this destructiveness hugely amplified by the power of self-replication.
I think it is no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of the further perfection of extreme evil, an evil whose possibility spreads well beyond that which weapons of mass destruction bequeathed to the nation states, on to a surprising and terrible empowerment.[vi]
Joy’s prophecy about self-replicating “extreme evil” as an imminent and enormous transformative power that threatens to rewrite the laws of nature and permanently alter the course of life as we know it was frighteningly revived not long ago with the creation of J. Craig Venter’s “self-replicating” Synthia species (Venter’s description). Parasites such as the mycoplasma mycoides that Venter modified to create Synthia can be resistant to antibiotics and acquire and smuggle dna from one species to another, causing a variety of diseases. The dangers represented by Synthia’s self-replicating parasitism has thus refueled Joy’s opus and given experts in the field of counter-terrorism sleepless nights over how extremists could use open-source information to create a Frankenstein version of Synthia in fulfillment of Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot, which Joy quoted as, “the first moment in the history of our planet when any species, by its own voluntary actions, has become a danger to itself.” As a dire example of the possibilities this represents, a genetically modified version of mouse pox was created not long ago that immediately reached 100 percent lethality. If such pathogens were unleashed into population centers, the results would be catastrophic. This is why Joy and others were hoping a few years ago that a universal moratorium or voluntary relinquishment of GRINS developments would be initiated by national laboratories and governments. But the genie is so far out of the bottle today that even college students are attending annual synthetic biology contests (such as the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition, or igem) where nature-altering witches’ brews are being concocted by the scores, splicing and dicing dna into task-fulfilling living entities. A growing list of such dna sequences are readily available over the Internet, exasperating security experts who see the absence of universal rules for controlling what is increasingly available through information networks as threatening to unleash a “runaway sorcerer’s apprentice” with unavoidable biological fallout. Venter and his collaborators say they recognize this danger—that self-replicating biological systems like the ones they are building—hold peril as well as hope, and they have joined in calling on Congress to enact laws to attempt to control the flow of information and synthetic “recipes” that could provide lethal new pathogens for terrorists. The problem, as always, is getting all of the governments in the world to voluntarily follow a firm set of ethics or rules. This is wishful thinking at best. It is far more likely the world is racing toward what Joel Garreau was first to call the “hell scenario”—a moment in which human-driven GRINS technologies place earth and all its inhabitants on course to self-eradication.
Ironically, some advocates of posthumanity are now using the same threat scenario to advocate for transhumanism as the best way to deal with the inevitable extinction of mankind via GRINS. At the global interdisciplinary institute Metanexus, Mark Walker, assistant professor at New Mexico State University (who holds the Richard L. Hedden of Advanced Philosophical Studies Chair) concludes like Bill Joy that “technological advances mean that there is a high probability that a human-only future will end in extinction.” From this he makes a paradoxical argument:
In a nutshell, the argument is that even though creating posthumans may be a very dangerous social experiment, it is even more dangerous not to attempt it.
I suspect that those who think the transhumanist future is risky often have something like the following reasoning in mind: (1) If we alter human nature then we will be conducting an experiment whose outcome we cannot be sure of. (2) We should not conduct experiments of great magnitude if we do not know the outcome. (3) We do not know the outcome of the transhumanist experiment. (4) So, we ought not to alter human nature.
The problem with the argument is because genetic engineering is already with us, and it has the potential to destroy civilization and create posthumans, we are already entering uncharted waters, so we must experiment. The question is not whether to experiment, but only the residual question of which social experiment will we conduct. Will we try relinquishment? This would be an unparalleled social experiment to eradicate knowledge and technology. Will it be the steady-as-she-goes experiment where for the first time governments, organizations and private citizens will have access to knowledge and technology that (accidently or intentionally) could be turned to civilization ending purposes? Or finally, will it be the transhumanist social experiment where we attempt to make beings brighter and more virtuous to deal with these powerful technologies?
I have tried to make at least a prima facie case that transhumanism promises the safest passage through twenty-first–century technologies.[vii]
The producers of the upcoming documentary INHUMAN believe the “brighter and more virtuous beings” Professor Walker and others are arguing for possess supernatural elements and that the spirit behind the transhumanist nightmare will put the “hell” in the “hell scenario” sooner than most comprehend.
[i] Francis Fukuyama, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution (New York: Picador, 2002) 6.
[ii] Garreau, 106.
[iii] Garreau, Radical Evolution, 113–114.
[iv] “Carried Away with Convergence,” New Atlantis (Summer 2003) 102–105, http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/carried-away-with-convergence.
[v] (Summer 2003 issue of The New Atlantis, http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/carried-away-with-convergence)
[vi] Bill Joy, “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us,” Wired (April 2000) http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy.html), emphasis added.
[vii] Mark Walker, “Ship of Fools: Why Transhumanism is the Best Bet to Prevent the Extinction of Civilization,” Metanexus Institute (2/5/09) http://www.metanexus.net/magazine/tabid/68/id/10682/Default.aspx
Trans-Species Organ Farming Involves Removing Organs From Aborted Babies To Raise In Animal-Human Chimeras
SOURCE:- ( http://www.humanlifereview.com/trans-species-organ-farming-the-good-the-bad-and-the-creepy/) May 17, 2015
There is a shortage of organs available for transplantation. Estimates are that 123,000 people in the U.S. are in need of a transplant, and about 21 people die each day waiting for one. The art and science of transplantation is so advanced as to be routine. Science sees the shortage of organs as a problem to be solved. However, the obtaining of organs from human donors is fraught with difficulties—moral, practical, and legal. An emerging possible solution to the problem of organ shortage is organ farming. That is: growing human organs inside other animals until those organs are large enough to be transplanted into humans. One experiment with organ farming was recently reported in the American Journal of Transplantation. Another science journal says laconically that this experiment is “sure to be controversial.”
They got that right. In this case, the organs being experimented with were kidneys from aborted human fetuses. In other words, this experiment in growing kidneys for transplant into human beings depended on other human beings being killed.
Another science journal says laconically that this experiment is “sure to be controversial.”
Otherwise, the experiment was promising.
The same experiment has been done with transplanted human fetal hearts. Research leader Dr. Eugene Gu, CEO of biotech company Ganogen, Inc., thinks this technology would work with every kind of organ. He hopes eventually to transplant kidneys into larger animals, such as pigs, where the organs could grow big enough to be transplanted back into people.
This is all still experimental—but trans-species organ farming seems likely to be in our future.
The professional “biomedical ethicists” want to make sure that proper “consent” was given by the pregnant woman and that the abortionist had no connection to Dr. Gu and his team.
Er, how about the consent of the actual organ donor, the unborn baby? Who asked his consent?
Most “professional bioethicists” overlook that person.
And the research continues.
It goes without saying that if a human individual has to be killed, the whole experiment is unacceptable— no matter how many more “available” kidneys might result from it.
It is never right to kill one person in the hope of saving or benefitting another person. It is never right to do evil in the hope that some good can come of it.
On the other hand, the technique of intermediate organ transplant into an animal is morally neutral. If a bioengineered human kidney can be made from the patient’s own cells, as Harold Ott at Massachusetts General is currently working to do, I see no objection to growing it inside a mouse or a pig until it can be transplanted into a human at the appropriate age.
Persons concerned about the ethical rights of animals might object if the process involved lethal injury (which it might, if an animal’s own organs are removed to accommodate the transplant). But if butchering an animal to benefit (i.e., feed) a human being is morally acceptable, logically so should this be. (Which is not to say that the animal rights movement is always logical, of course.)
But even if organ-farming technology advances on a moral basis, there is still the “yuck” factor.
Does it seem, well, creepy to have a body part inside you that was once inside a pig?
Let us consider the “creepiness” factor. Is it rational? Or is it merely sentimental?
The distinction is important: Rational means based on reason and logic. Sentimental means based on emotions or subjective feelings.
You might feel “I’m no longer a pure human being if I’m a mix of people parts and pig parts.” But that feeling is not based on logic. It is, if you will, pre-scientific. It would not be a pig kidney inside you—it would be a human kidney that had had a temporary address inside a pig. Genetically, you’re still completely human.
Currently, transplants are human organs that had a temporary address inside the functional equivalent of an icebox. They’re still human. Some body parts nowadays are plastic or rubber or steel or some other synthetic material— but that doesn’t make the beneficiary any less human. And, yes, pig and cow valves are routinely implanted in people with heart disease.
So disregard the “creepiness” factor. It is sentimentality.
If animals can benefit mankind by hosting human organs, it’s a medical advance—and should be regarded as one so long as the human organs are not obtained by killing a human being.
* * * * *
Connie Marshner has been a pro-life, pro-family researcher, grassroots trainer, organizer, and lobbyist; manager; writer; homeschooler; editor; campaign adviser; coalition leader; fundraiser; and political strategist. She is absolutely thrilled now to be a blogger for Human Life Review.
Frighteningly Real AI Robot – Signs of Things to Come?
January 23, 2012 By Beginning and End
Bible prophecy unfolding before our eyes.
Revelations Chapter 13.11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. VERSE 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed…. 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. (Revelation 13)
While we are not given all the specifics as to how it shall happen, the Bible states that in the end times, the False Prophet, the religious figure who will lead the world in worshipping the Antichrist and Satan, will help construct an “image” of the Antichrist for worship. In the Old Testament, the word “image” is use repeatedly to describe statues of pagan gods. And through clearly supernatural means, this image will be given life. It is going to be actual artificial intelligence. Unfortunately for those alive at this time, all people will be required to worship the image of the Beast under penalty of death. It will be another part of the Antichrist’s plan to bring the entire world into full satanic worship.
If that does not seem possible, remember that the Bible stands on its prophecy as its evidence. There were over 100 Old Testament prophecies, written centuries before Jesus Christ, that were fulfilled by his birth, life, death and resurrection. And also know that science is racing towards giving life to an “image” already. As the following video can attest. With all of the talk of the “singularity” – the time when man and machine can become fully integrated and a computer can actually become a part of the human body and mind, it seems that what the Bible predicted 2,000 years ago is becoming more of a reality. The robot in this video can not only speak and respond to questions, it has a “personality” and understands concepts like sarcasm and humor.
DARPA DEVELOPING MATRIX-LIKE BRAIN IMPLANT POWERED FROM THE SPINE
Transhumanist wing of nutbag military agency cooking up dystopian projects
by STEVE WATSON | INFOWARS.COM | FEBRUARY 18, 2015
The secretive US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing a device that will plug directly into the brain and transmit images, bypassing the optical system altogether, according to reports.
Under the guise of developing a “cortical modem”, to enable blind people to see, DARPA researchers say that the device may also eventually replace all virtual and augmented reality technology.
Projects such as Google Glass and the Oculus Rift may be superceded by DARPA’s program which aims to create high-definition images directly within the human brain, according to researchers.
Much like in the action film, the Matrix, the device would be powered by a spinal implant.
Plans for the project were revealed at the Biology Is Technology conference in Silicon Valley last week, with boffins unveiling short term plans to create a small device that will deliver images to the brain without the need for wearing glasses or a helmet.
Reports noted that DARPA was described onstage at the gathering as a “friendly, but somewhat crazy, rich uncle”.
Further information was provided within the pages of transhumanist magazine Humanity Plus.
“The short term goal of the project is the development of a device about the size of two stacked nickels with a cost of goods on the order of $10 which would enable a simple visual display via a direct interface to the visual cortex with the visual fidelity of something like an early LED digital clock,” the publication reported.
The project is being overseen by DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office, which was founded a year ago with the brief of devising new technologies at the intersection of biology and physical science.
The office has been focusing on transhumanist projects geared towards improving the performance of soldiers on the battlefield’ performance, developing biological systems for national security purposes, and, it claims, the future well-being of humanity.
Other dystopian sounding projects being worked on include insect cyborgs, exoskeletons and life-sized robot elephants, according to the H+ report.
So far testing on the cortical modem has been limited to animals, primarily fish.
As Infowars has previously noted, DARPA has been working on variations of this project for years, decades in fact. And given that the Pentagon war machine is spear-heading it, with $70m of funding, one must seriously question why the DoD suddenly gives a damn about the well-being of humanity, including blind people and everyday Americans with brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s.
Last year, reports emerged of DARPA developing brain chips that will implant or remove specific memories from a subject, a prospect some may deem chilling given DARPA’s previous advocacy of “authentication microchips” and electronic tattoos that can read a person’s mind.
Biology is Technology — DARPA is Back in the Game With A Big Vision and It Is H+
DARPA, the Defense Research Projects Agency, is perhaps best known for its role as progenitors of the computer networking and the Internet. Formed in the wake of the Soviet Union’s surprise launch of Sputnik, DARPA’s objective was to ensure that the United States would avoid technological surprises in the future. This role was later expanded to causing technological surprises as well.
And although DARPA is and has been the leading source of funding for artificial intelligence and a number of other transhumanist projects, they’ve been missing in action for a while. Nothing DARPA has worked on since seems to have had the societal impact of the invention of the Internet. But that is about to change.
The current director of DARPA is Dr. Arati Prabhakar. She is the second female director of the organization, following the previous and controversial director Regina Dugan who left the government to work at Google. The return to big visions and big adventures was apparent and in stark contrast to Dugan’s leadership of the organization.
Quoted in WIRED, Dugan had, for example, stated that “There is a time and a place for daydreaming. But it is not at DARPA,” and she told a congressional panel in March 2011, “Darpa is not the place of dreamlike musings or fantasies, not a place for self-indulging in wishes and hopes. DARPA is a place of doing.”
Those days are gone. DARPA’s new vision is simply to revolutionize the human situation and it is fully transhumanist in its approach.
The Biological Technologies Office or BTO was announced with little fanfare in the spring of 2014. This announcement didn’t get that much attention, perhaps because the press release announcing the BTO was published on April Fool’s Day.
But DARPA is determined to turn that around, and to help make that happen, they held a two day event in the SIlicon Valley area to facilitate and communicate about radical changes ahead in the area of biotechnologies. Invitees included some of the top biotechnology scientists in the world. And the audience was a mixed group of scientists, engineers, inventors, investors, futurists, along with a handful of government contractors and military personnel.
Biology is Technology
I was lucky to be invited to this event because although I spend a large amount of time researching technology and science as related to the future, nothing prepared me for the scope of the DARPA vision. The ostensible purpose of the two day meeting was to introduce the DARPA Biotechnology Program Office and to connect program managers with innovators, investors, and scientists working in biotechnology and related disciplines. But really they were here to shake things up.
Opening the Biology Is Technology (BiT) event was DARPA Director Dr. Arati Prabhakar. Dr. Prabhakar’s presence at this meeting demonstrates how serious DARPA is about this effort, and one imagines that she was also in California to support President Obama’s Cybersecurity Summit with top leaders of the computer industry.
Dr. Prabhakar interviewed GE’s Sue Siegel about innovation and GE’s role in creating the future. This was a freewheeling conversation in which Ms. Siegel turned the tables and interviewed Dr. Prabhakar instead. What followed was an outstanding introduction to the proactionary approach to research and development, or in DARPA’s language, preventing surprises by creating your own.
Dr. Prabhakar clearly set up the DARPA’s latest incarnation as a return to the big vision, swing for the fences approach. She discussed DARPA’s approach to managing risks while creating high impact technologies. In this vision, DARPA’s role is to help scientists and innovators to “remove early risk” which might prevent them from obtaining investment and bringing novel ideas to market. DARPA was described by one presenter as a “always friendly, but somewhat crazy rich uncle” and they made it clear that they were going to put a fair bit of money behind these ideas.
This meeting was focused around the launch of the new program office, the Biotechnology Program Office, although other program managers were present. The BTO is headed Dr. Geoff Ling who is a practicing Army medical doctor. Dr. Ling is an energetic spokesman for the DARPA vision and the BTO. And it is notable that it is an M.D. that is in charge of this effort because many of the developments being undertaken by the BTO are simply going to revolutionize the practice of medicine as we know it today. With the energetic Dr. Ling in charge, you can imagine it getting done.
Dr. Ling portrayed DARPA’s ambitious goals and set out what was one of the clearest presentations of the proactionary principle which I have heard. But that was just the opening volley; DARPA is going full on H+.
Following the inspirational presentation by Dr. Ling, the individual program managers had a chance to present their projects.
The first Program Manager to present, Phillip Alvelda, opened the event with his mind blowing project to develop a working “cortical modem”. What is a cortical modem you ask? Quite simply it is a direct neural interface that will allow for the visual display of information without the use of glasses or goggles. I was largely at this event to learn about this project and I wasn’t disappointed.
Leveraging the work of Karl Deisseroth in the area of optogenetics, the cortical modem project aims to build a low cost neural interface based display device. The short term goal of the project is the development of a device about the size of two stacked nickels with a cost of goods on the order of $10 which would enable a simple visual display via a direct interface to the visual cortex with the visual fidelity of something like an early LED digital clock.
The implications of this project are astounding.
Consider a more advanced version of the device capable of high fidelity visual display. First, this technology could be used to restore sensory function to individuals who simply can’t be treated with current approaches. Second, the device could replace all virtual reality and augmented reality displays. Bypassing the visual sensory system entirely, a cortical modem can directly display into the visual cortex enabling a sort of virtual overlay on the real world. Moreover, the optogenetics approach allows both reading and writing of information. So we can imagine at least a device in which virtual objects appear well integrated into our perceived world. Beyond this, a working cortical modem would enable electronic telepathy and telekinesis. The cortical modem is a real world version of the science fiction neural interfaces envisioned by writers such as William Gibson and more recently Ramez Naam.
To the extent that it is real, the cortical modem is still a crude device. This isn’t going to give you a high fidelity augmented reality display soon. And since the current approach is based in optogenetics, it requires a genetic alteration of the DNA in your neurons. The health implications are unknown, and this research is currently limited to work with animal models. Specifically discussed was a real time imaging of the zebrafish brain with about 85,000 neurons.
Notably, while i was live blogging the event one h+ Magazine reader volunteered to undergo this possibly dangerous genetic procedure in exchange for early access to a cortical modem. A fact which I later got to mention directly to Dr. Prabhakar at the reception afterwards.
Following the astounding cortical modem presentation, Dr. Dan Wattendorf presented DARPA’s efforts to get in front of and prevent disease outbreaks such as the recent crisis with ebola in Africa. This was a repeated theme throughout the event. DARPA is clearly recognizing the need to avoid “technological surprises” from nature as well as from nations. It is widely recognized that the current technology for dealing with novel disease outbreaks, the so called “post antibiotic” era, and bioweapons requires entirely new strategies for detection and rapid response to communicable illnesses. As an example, the ebola vaccine currently being considered for use has been in development for decades. Moreover, only a small number of vaccines exists even for known diseases. A novel threat might provide only weeks or months to respond however. Clearly new approaches are needed in both detection of disease outbreaks and response to them. Perhaps most interesting to me here was the discussion of transient gene therapies where an intervention that alters an organism’s DNA but which “turn off” after some time period or event.
Dr. Jack Newman Chief Science Officer at Amyris and board member of the Biobricks Foundation followed. Jack has recently joined DARPA as a program manager himself and he talked about Amyris’ work with producing useful materials from bio-engineered yeast. This project funded under DARPA’s Living Foundries program is just one of a number of efforts seeking to create novel materials and production processes. Dr. Newman presented a view into the programming of living systems using Amyris software that was quite interesting.
This provided a natural segue to program manager Alicia Jackson’s presentation on the broader Living Foundries program which promises to leverage the synthetic and functional capabilities of biology to create biologically-based manufacturing platforms to provide access to new materials, capabilities and manufacturing paradigms based in biology and synthetic biology. Imagine materials that self assemble, heal, and adapt to their changing environment as biological systems do. The program currently focuses on compressing the biological design-build-test-learn cycle by at least 10 times in both time and cost, while simultaneously increasing the complexity of systems that are created. The second phase of the program builds on these advancements and tools to create a scalable, integrated, rapid design and prototyping infrastructure for the engineering of biology.
Following this, a more casual presentation, a “fireside” chat between famed geneticist Dr. George Church and technology historian George Dyson. This chat rambled a bit and started off slowly. But once it got going, Church laid out his vision of engineering ecosystems using “gene drives” and throughout a variety of remarks that were of interest. For example, he expressed skepticism about “longevity” research as compared with “age reversal” techniques. GDF 11 got a mention. He also discussed the observation of genetic changes in cells grown outside of the body for example in so called “printed” organs, and discussed his alternative approach of growing human donor organs in transgenic pigs. He suggested the real possibility of enhancing human intelligence through genetic techniques and pointed to the complete molecular description of living systems as a goal.
This led into another amazing presentation from new DARPA program manager Julian Sanchez who is leading DARPA’s Human-machine symbiosis group which is developing many of the groundbreaking prosthetics such as mind controlled limbs which have recently been in the news. DARPA’s investment in advanced limb prosthetics has already delivered an FDA-approved device but “cognitive prosthetics” are next. DARPA is developing hardware and software to overcome the memory deficits and neuropsychiatric illnesses afflicting returning veterans for example.
While there wasn’t much shown regarding applying these ideas to healthy individuals or combat systems, we can assume that this work is underway. One patient was shown employing a neural interface to fly a simulated aircraft for example. And DARPA is supposedly working towards a system that would allow one person to pilot multiple vehicles by thought alone. The approach is bigger than just thought controlled drones however, because it focuses on creating symbiosis which is to ensure a mutual benefit to both partners in a relationship. The potential of this idea is often overlooked and misunderstood in conversations about machine intelligence for example.
Together with the cortical modem, these devices promise to revolutionize human abilities to repair ourselves, extend ourselves, communicate and indeed they will eventually and inevitably alter what it means to be human. Where is the boundary between self and other if we can directly share thoughts, dreams, emotions, and ideas? When we can experience not only the thoughts but feelings of someone else? How will direct neural access to knowledge change education and work? These technologies raise many questions for which we do not yet have answers.
Dr. Sanchez closed by calling on members of the audience to “come to DARPA and change the world” a call which didn’t ring hollow by this point. And things were just getting started.
This statement was made repeatedly. DARPA is open for business and looking for collaborators to work with. They’re building teams that work across subjects, disciplines and communities. They seek to build a community of interest aimed at tackling some of mankind’s greatest challenges, including things like curing communicable diseases and reversing ecosystem collapse. DARPA has some unique instruments and capabilities to offer anyone developing radical technological ideas and they want you to know about them. They openly invited the audience to submit abstracts for research ideas and promised that every email they receive would be answered “at least once”.
Several different DARPA performers also gave presentations. These are the people that DARPA has hired under contract to actually do the work and the presentations were a pretty heady and eclectic mix ranging from deep science to the unusual and on to the profound. Dr.Michel M. Maharbiz of UC Berkeley who is developing “neural dust” and has done controversial work with insect cyborgs. Saul Griffith of Otherlab presented the farthest ranging talk including his work with computer controlled inflatables which includes development of exoskeleton concepts, pneumatic sun trackers for low cost solar power applications, and a life sized robotic inflatable elephant he made for his daughter. I was also intrigued by a toy they had designed that was a universal constructor. He also had some very interesting analysis of the world’s energy production and utilization, showing areas where DARPA (and anyone else interested) could make the biggest difference to slow climate change.
How about curing all known and even unknown communicable diseases? Exploring “post pathogen medicine” is an effort in which DARPA is working to identify “unlikely heros”, those individuals with surprising resilience or resistance to dangerous diseases. The idea is to apply big data analytics to analyze data from a large number of existing scientific analyses that might hide data indicating genetic markers for immunity or disease resistance in individuals.
Karl Deisseroth presented his work with optogenetics and his newer techniques for transforming neural tissue into a clear gel that can be imaged. He presented some impressive images from this work and his new unpublished imaging technique called “Swift 3D”. The resulting images are real-time maps of neural events. For example, Dr. Deisseroth presented visual representations of mouse thoughts from one controlled experiment.
Beyond reading mids, DARPA’s BiT programs are also looking to revolutionize the practice of biology and science in general. Dr. Stephen Friend presented Sage Networks a science oriented social sharing and collaboration platform which radically realigns the practices of scientific publication and data sharing. Apart from providing a standardized platform for publishing annotated bioscience datasets, the system requires users to make their data available to other researchers while still preserving their ability to get credit for original ideas and work. This project is important and could see application elsewhere outside of the biosciences. One member of the audience was so impressed with this idea she was compelled to comment.
More directly, DARPA seeks to revolutionize the day to day practice of biotechnology and drug development. A series of “organs on a chip” was presented. These devices allow cultures of cells from an individual’s organs to be grown and treated with medications to assess effectiveness and possible side effects without the need to use an animal model or test on a live human subject. While they haven’t replicated every human organ, they did have a “gut on a chip” shown here. These little chips are flexible and kind of artistic actually. The company Emulate had a representative explaining the technology at the reception after the first day of the event. This is just one of several projects in which DARPA is seeking to understand the effects of drugs including adverse side effects in novel ways. The eventual hope is to shorten time to market while also radically lowering the costs of new medications.
Another impressive series of developments was presented in the area of microfluidics. These developments consist of a set of technologies for creating very small droplets, and various mechanisms for manipulating, and experimenting on these tiny drops. Currently the practice of bioscience experimentation is largely performed by human postdocs who spend thousands of hours pipetting, mixing, and carefully measuring results. But using microfluidics and a series of intricate valves, nozzles, and so on, many of these procedures can be automated and radically sped up.
The audience got a chance to mix with the DARPA program managers after the event at a reception where some of DARPA’s projects were presented in a hands on environment. I had a brief conversation with Dr. Prabhakar who mentioned that she was aware of Humanity+ and transhumanism more generally. She was excited to have us involved, but also expressed some dismay at the political aspect of the transhumanist movement.
Well known Silicon Valley venture capitalist, rocketeer, transhumanist, and super guy Steve Jurvetson was spotted “high fiving” a DARPA funded telepresence robot developed at Johns Hopkins APL at the reception.
The robot operates via a head mounted display which places the wearer into the robot’s “head” and two instrumented gloves which give the wearer control over the robot’s dexterous human like hands. The hands get a bit hot due to the motors that move them however, so a fist bump is going to be prefered over a handshake with this guy.
DARPA’s Inner Buddha
AT the two day BiT event, it was revealed that DARPA hasn’t just gone full on transhumanist, they’re full Buddha.
The goal of his project as presented by one of the project investigators, Dr. Eddie Chang of the University of California at San Francisco, during day two’s “Lightning Round” , was nothing less than eliminating human suffering.
Curing communicable diseases and prosthetics were the top of the list day one.
But Dr. Chang was talking about curing a deeper inner injury, the sort of thing that causes mental illness, depression, and intractable PTSD; problems which military veterans notably suffer disproportionately.
The first stage of the project is underway and working with patients who are already undergoing brain surgery for intractable epilepsy. Four individuals so far have had their detailed neural patterns recorded 24 hours a day for ten days using an implanted device. The resulting neural map is at the millimeter and millisecond level and is correlated with other information about the patient’s mood and physiological state.
In another program, ElectRX, DARPA is investigating the use of similar neural stimulation techniques to promote healing of the body from injuries and disease. In both cases the emphasis isn’t on working around or bypassing damage, but using electrical stimulation to promote healing and repair. DARPA wants to heal you. Dr. Chang stated, for example, that the success of his project wouldn’t be marked by the date of the first implanted device, but rather the date of the first removal.
Creating novel industrial processes to reduce climate change? DARPA had that covered too. So while Dr. Ling made sure to remind the audience up front that this was all about supporting warfighters, it was impossible to not consider the deeper implications of what was being presented as the event proceeeded.
The reality is that the true DARPA mission isn’t just about war. A happier, more secure and sustainable world is the best possible security for the United States, a fact that DARPA’s leaders seemingly recognize at the moment. And so DARPA is developing technologies for rapid identification of communicable diseases, restoring lost biological functions, producing materials and developing novel industrial processes to prevent slow and reverse climate change, save ecosystems and more.
And DARPA’s next revolution, biology is technology, is something even bigger than the Internet. They’re out to revolutionize the practice and products of bio-science and along the way they are re-defining what it will mean to be human. Will we alter our biology to enable direct mind to mind communication? Can we extend our immune system into the world to cure all communicable diseases? Can we cure and repair the most damaging and persistent mental illnesses?
In this amazing two day event, DARPA opened the door to a wider public collaboration and conversation about these amazing ideas.
A second event is planned for New York City in June and video of the February presentations will be available online according to DARPA representatives at the event. I will update this story with videos when they are available.
DNA CONSUMER PRODUCTS
The Bizarre Future of Genetic Engineering for the Masses
Over the past five years we’ve seen technologies like 3D printing go from making plastic cubes, to making plastic firearms. It’s a huge game changer that allows the individual to make tools that once required a factory full of workers to build. It has essentially lowered the barrier to entry for the manufacturing industry, and as this technology progresses, it could fundamentally change the world we live in.
But does 3D printing stand alone in this regard? Are there other emerging technologies that might democratize fields beyond manufacturing, such as medicine or energy production? Surely, we could benefit from devices that allow the every man to diagnose their own ailments, or cheaply produce all their energy needs. But what about genetic engineering? What if everyone could access the tools required to modify DNA, and do so in the comfort of their own home?
Before any of us have had the chance to question the ethical implications of such a device, it has already been invented. The Singularity University, which was founded by Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis, and is funded by mega corporations like Google, has unveiled a device that can create millions of strands of DNA from scratch, and they think it will allow DNA to become a “consumer product”. Buckle-up, you’re about to see ego and hubris at its finest (skip to the 2-minute mark if you don’t want to listen to Kurzweil blather on about The Singularity).
It seems they have plenty of lofty ideas for their machine, like bringing back the dinosaurs, creating artificial life, or preventing birth defects. But not once do they stop to consider the obvious consequences of this genetic tinkering. We’re talking about the building blocks of life here; the stuff that is at the root of every living creature on earth. And yet they think they can hand off the keys to creation to any jackass who can afford their machine, without ever stopping to consider whether or not this is a good idea.
This machine means that anyone with a wad of cash and a major in genetics could make all kinds of genetic horrors, like splicing different plants and animals or creating new viruses. And that just accounts for what people might do deliberately. We also have to consider the potential for mistakes to be made on a wide scale. In short, this device could change the future of life on this planet, and they treat it with all the levity you would find in an Internet startup.
I don’t want to sound hypocritical, though. I’m a big supporter of technologies like 3D printing. I understand that it might fall into the wrong hands, and I accept that as the price we have to pay to live in a free society. So to be ethically consistent, I have to take the same stance with this technology. It has great potential. It could take the power away from those biotech companies that have the gall to place patents on the human genome. It could sidestep the medical cartel, and bring cheap genetic diagnosis and treatments to the masses. But it could also unleash unspeakable horrors onto our planet.
And, ultimately, it can’t be stopped. No human technology has ever been suppressed indefinitely. It always finds its way onto the marketplace, one way or another. I just wish the folks at the Singularity University wouldn’t blindly hurl this technology onto the world, without stopping to consider the devastating consequences.
DARPA & THE COMING MARK OF THE BEAST
Mind control: the Pentagon mission to program the brain
Via Activist Post, Jon Rappoport
“Since the dawn of time, the most powerful groups in every society have practiced forms of mind control on populations. They determined it was necessary. Eventually, they decided it was their most important job. Convincing the masses that a fabricated reality is Reality…that task requires formidable mind control.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
DARPA, the technical-research arm of the Pentagon, is leading the way in a mission to program the human brain.
What could go wrong?
In a word, everything.
Here is a DARPA release (5/27/14) on the upcoming “brain-mapping” plan, in accordance with Obama’s initiative aimed at “preventing violence through improved mental health”—otherwise known as Clockwork Orange:
“…developing closed-loop therapies that incorporate recording and analysis of brain activity with near-real-time neural stimulation.”
Translation: Reading myriad brain activities as they occur, and influencing that activity with various inputs/interferences. Drugs, electrical currents, nano-entities, etc.
Here’s another DARPA quote. This one lays out the foundation for the mission:
“…The program also aims to take advantage of neural plasticity, a feature of the brain by which the organ’s anatomy and physiology can alter over time to support normal brain function. Plasticity runs counter to previously held ideas that the adult brain is a ‘finished’ entity that can be statically mapped. Because of plasticity, researchers are optimistic that the brain can be trained or treated to restore normal functionality following injury or the onset of neuropsychological illness.”
Neural plasticity: the idea that brain activity is always changing and, therefore, can be externally molded by operators to fit a conception of “normalcy,” whatever that is, whatever “authorities” decide it is.
Chilling? Of course.
In the long run, this has nothing to do with “recovery from brain injuries.” That’s the cover story. The real goal is programming the brain to fit certain parameters of functioning.
Those parameters will certainly exclude: rebellion, independence.
Here is a quote from a journal article, “The Plastic Human Brain Cortex.” (Annual Review of Neuroscience, Vol. 28: 377-401, July 2005)
“Plasticity is an intrinsic property of the human brain…The challenge we face is to learn enough about the mechanisms of plasticity to modulate them to achieve the best behavioral outcome for a given subject.”
“Modulate them.” “Achieve the best behavioral outcome.” Who defines that? Obviously, not the individual.
Notice the point of view: intervention is a given.
The brain will not be allowed to function on its own.
Behind all brain research lies that premise.
It’s no surprise that, in this technological age, the preferred method of mind control would involve an invasion by “experts.”
There are many, many brain-research professionals, and millions of laypeople, who believe that “intervention” is justified because it “corrects a chemical imbalance” in the brain. This is a myth.
Dr. Ronald Pies, the editor-in-chief emeritus of the Psychiatric Times, laid the myth to rest in the July 11, 2011, issue of the Times with this staggering and stark admission:
“In truth, the ‘chemical imbalance’ notion [of mental disorders] was always a kind of urban legend — never a theory seriously propounded by well-informed psychiatrists.”
No, intervention is all about brain control, not brain health.
And “neural plasticity,” contrary to the official propaganda, is no great discovery. Any human can change his own brain readout patterns by the simple act of thinking.
Of course, researchers make no real distinction between random ideation and consciously chosen mental actions. If they did, they would immediately see that human beings can voluntarily make changes to their own brain activity. No laboratory experiments, no chemical or bio inputs, no externally applied electrical “insertions.”
There is a much bigger problem here. A problem that must remain a secret.
If a human being, through conscious and voluntary thought, can change his own brain activity…who is doing the changing?
Who is outside the brain influencing it?
Who is “human being?”
That is no part of what DARPA is doing. That is no part of what any mind-control organization group is doing. That is strictly off-limits.
“Oh no, no one is doing the thinking. The brain is doing all the thinking. The brain is operating on its own. Thought A, then thought B, then C, D,E,F. On and on. The brain is a bio-machine, spooling out pre-determined and pre-packaged thoughts. And we, the brain-controllers, just want to change the sequence. We’ll insert B,D,E,A,B,F in that order instead. And then we’ll delete C altogether because we find that counter-productive and disruptive. No problem.”
The fact is, the individual non-material being (you) changes brain activity all the time. The brain is eminently built to allow this to happen across a very wide range of possibility.
What DARPA’s program entails is altering that fundamental relationship between you and your brain. That’s the bottom line.
The alteration will throw up roadblocks. It will shrink the sum of what your brain can do.
The ongoing DARPA brain-programming mission isn’t merely a two-year program or a five-year program. It’s permanent.
It’s the gateway to a controlled society.
And it’s perfectly understandable that this project would come from DARPA, which is an arm of the Pentagon, which is the foremost proponent of “military thought” in the world.
The military is interested in, and devoted to, the issuing of commands and obedience to those commands. Stimulus, response.
The military vision of society is: define the functions of each citizen, coordinate those functions to produce overall “harmony through obedience.”
Since this is the true definition of insanity, and since it is impossible to secure, over the long-term, enough voluntary cooperation to build such a civilization, the target is the brain.
Train the brain, train the collective.
Consider this analogy for you, a non-material being, and your brain, and what the objective of programming is:
The rider and the horse. Previously, the rider took his horse far and wide. The rider went where he wanted to go. The horse was willing. But then something happened. The horse was altered, rebuilt. Now he could only move a mile in any direction from his starting point. At the boundary, he stopped. He turned around and returned home. That was the rule. The rider of course wanted to go farther. But the horse was no longer capable.
The “plasticity” of the horse was reduced.
The horse was now normal.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
Could the Mark of the Beast serve this purpose as well?
Fore-runners of the MARK of the BEAST
Nine real technologies that will soon be inside you
Given the frenzy of interest following the announcement of the Apple Watch, you might think wearables will be the next really important shift in technology.
Wearables will have their moment in the sun, but they’re simply a transition technology.
Technology will move from existing outside our bodies to residing inside us.
That’s the next big frontier.
Here are nine signs that implantable tech is here now, growing rapidly, and that it will be part of your life (and your body) in the near future.
1. Implantable smartphones
Sure, we’re virtually connected to our phones 24/7 now, but what if we were actually connected to our phones?
That’s already starting to happen.
Last year, for instance, artist Anthony Antonellis had an RFID chip embedded in his arm that could store and transfer art to his handheld smartphone.
Researchers are experimenting with embedded sensors that turn human bone into living speakers.
Other scientists are working on eye implants that let an image be captured with a blink and transmitted to any local storage (such as that arm-borne RFID chip).
But what takes the place of the screen if the phone is inside you? Techs at Autodesk are experimenting with a system that can display images through artificial skin.
Or the images may appear in your eye implants.
2. Healing chips
Right now, patients are using cyber-implants that tie directly to smartphone apps to monitor and treat diseases.
A new bionic pancreas being tested at America’s Boston University, for instance, has a tiny sensor on an implantable needle that talks directly to a smartphone app to monitor blood-sugar levels for diabetics.
Scientists in London are developing swallowable capsule-sized circuits that monitor fat levels in obese patients and generate genetic material that makes them feel “full”.
It has potential as an alternative to current surgery or other invasive ways to handle gross obesity.
Dozens of other medical issues from heart murmurs to anxiety have implant/phone initiatives under way.
3. Cyber pills that talk to your doctor
Implantables won’t just communicate with your phone; they’ll chat up your doctor, too.
In a project named Proteus, after the eensy body-navigating vessel in the film Fantastic Voyage, a British research team is developing cyber-pills with microprocessors in them that can text doctors directly from inside your body.
The pills can share (literally) inside info to help doctors know if you are taking your medication properly and if it is having the desired effect.
4. Bill Gates’ implantable birth control
The Gates Foundation is supporting an MIT project to create an implantable female compu-contraceptive controlled by an external remote control.
The tiny chip generates small amounts of contraceptive hormone from within the woman’s body for up to 16 years.
Implantation is no more invasive than a tattoo.
And, “The ability to turn the device on and off provides a certain convenience factor for those who are planning their family.”, said Dr Robert Farra of MIT.
Gives losing the remote a whole new meaning.
5. Smart tattoos
Tattoos are hip and seemingly ubiquitous, so why not smart, digital tattoos that not only look cool, but can also perform useful tasks, like unlocking your car or entering mobile phone codes with a finger-point?
Researchers at the University of Illinois have crafted an implantable skin mesh of computer fibers thinner than a human hair that can monitor your body’s inner workings from the surface.
A company called Dangerous Things has an NFC chip that can be embedded in a finger through a tattoo-like process, letting you unlock things or enter codes simply by pointing.
A Texas research group has developed microparticles that can be injected just under the skin, like tattoo ink, and can track body processes.
All of these are much wiser choices than the name of a soon-to-be-ex.
6. Brain-computer interface
Having the human brain linked directly to computers is the dream (or nightmare) of sci-fi.
But now, a team at Brown University called BrainGate is at the forefront of the real-world movement to link human brains directly to computers for a host of uses.
As the BrainGate website says, “using a baby aspirin-sized array of electrodes implanted into the brain, early research from the BrainGate team has shown that the neural signals can be ‘decoded’ by a computer in real-time and used to operate external devices.”
Chip maker Intel predicts practical computer-brain interfaces by 2020.
Intel scientist Dean Pomerleau said in a recent article, “Eventually people may be willing to be more committed to brain implants.”
“Imagine being able to surf the Web with the power of your thoughts.”
7. Meltable bio-batteries
One of the challenges for implantable tech has been how to get power to devices tethered inside or floating around in human bodies.
You can’t plug them in.
You can’t easily take them out to replace a battery.
A team at Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is working on biodegradable batteries.
They generate power inside the body, transfer it wirelessly where needed, and then simply melt away.
Another project is looking at how to use the body’s own glucose to generate power for implantables.
Think the potato battery of grammar school science, but smaller and much more advanced.
8. Smart dust
Perhaps the most startling of current implantable innovations is smart dust, arrays of full computers with antennas, each much smaller than a grain of sand, that can organize themselves inside the body into as-needed networks to power a whole range of complex internal processes.
Imagine swarms of these nano-devices, called motes, attacking early cancer or bringing pain relief to a wound or even storing critical personal information in a manner that is deeply encrypted and hard to hack.
With smart dust, doctors will be able to act inside your body without opening you up, and information could be stored inside you, deeply encrypted, until you unlocked it from your very personal nano network.
9. The verified self
Implantables hammer against social norms.
They raise privacy issues and even point to a larger potential dystopia.
This technology could be used to ID every single human being, for example.
Already, the US military has serious programs afoot to equip soldiers with implanted RFID chips, so keeping track of troops becomes automatic and worldwide.
Many social critics believe the expansion of this kind of ID is inevitable.
Some see it as a positive: improved crime fighting, universal secure elections, a positive revolution in medical information and response, and never a lost child again.
Others see the perfect Orwellian society: a Big Brother who, knowing all and seeing all, can control all.
And some see the first big, fatal step toward the Singularity, that moment when humanity turns its future over to software.
End Time Info: Could the technology representing the fulfillment of the prophecy found the Book of Revelation be among these inventions?
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” Revelation 13:16-18