People often associate the idea of brain implants / microchips with some dystopia where some evil overlord controls the masses by implanting chips in their brain to take over the world with an army of people who are controlled by this mastermind. They fear any hardware that might control, to any degree, the thoughts and feelings of a person. They may even use the term “free will” here,suggesting that such an implant would take away someone’s “free will”.
At first this fear seems reasonable (with the exception of the use of the term “free will” here). No-one wants to be controlled by some psychopath to do hideous things “against their will”. And indeed, if it comes to pass that brain implants can take over a person’s “control” entirely, we need to have some real safeguards in place.
The problem, however, is when we take a technology that can be extremely helpful, and slippery slope it down to some worst case scenarios, and based on those scenarios we reject the idea altogether. This, I think, is a mistake that could be most unfortunate. Continue reading »