Brain Implants

In: Social Issues

Submitted By InsultingIrony
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Kevin Wang Dr. Pearce Rhetoric 102 19 March 2010 The Brain Implant Dilemma In 2002, author M.T. Anderson wrote a novel called “Feed”, with a story envisioning a future where all human beings have implanted computer chips in their brains (Anderson 2002). It would be easy to dismiss such a bold concept as a product of fiction. However, many films and books with plots set in the future have successfully predicted the invention of many current technologies that simply did not exist at the time, including flat-screen TVs (Back to the Future II), unmanned aircraft (The Terminator), and video chatting (2001: A Space Odyssey). Suffice it to say, brain implants, as these embedded computer chips are called, are projected to become a reality. The past few years have already seen the integration of computer chip and organism, with millions of cats and dogs across the world injected with identifying microchip implants underneath their skin. Brain implants have also benefitted the medical field enormously, having in some cases cured blindness (Graham-Rowe 2007) and Parkinson’s disease (Harding 2009). However, developments indicate that brain implants for personal consumer use may see the light of day. IBM, the world’s largest chipmaker, recently announced their intent to research and develop brain implants capable of controlling gadgets via brain waves by 2020 (Hsu 2009). Toyota has already successfully demoed a wheelchair that can be controlled by its rider through brain waves (Hsu). In perhaps the most jaw-dropping development, Patti Maes, a professor at MIT, is currently developing a brain implant device named Sixth Sense that would allow its wearer to access the Internet, use programs and software (such as Word or Instant Messaging) through a mental interface, and integrate it with his or her interactions (Mistry 2009). What would this technology be capable of?…...

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