Brain implants are the gateway to making high science fiction reality; a technology that can increase the capabilities of human beings, something that can build upon the abilities already inherent and then even add some more. Utopias where mental illnesses don't exist wouldn't need to be read about to be experienced, they could be lived in. But the changes that commercialized brain implants would bring to society must also be taken into account because by unlocking the potential of individual humans, the strength of the whole is increased exponentially. It is not enough to look at brain implants as an enhancement of a single human; the changes that commercialized brain enhancements would bring to society also have to be taken into account. Although brain implants would undoubtedly increase the abilities and mental awareness of individuals, it would also increase the capabilities of the human race as a whole.
One of the obvious benefits of brain implants would be the extinction of mental illness. Imagine if epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's could all be cured with a regulatory chip that would find the neural impulses that cause the illness and then intercept and extinguish/alter them. Imagine if the mentally handicapped could be given implants that make up for the lacking parts of their brain, making them fully functional at least mentally. That would all be possible down the road if neural enhancement technology was developed.
[...] But what about taking people beyond just normal and into the realms of super-humanity? Would that be possible? “The focus of visual prosthetic research today is restoring normal vision, but everything about the technology lends itself to someday providing supernormal vision,” (Naam, 2005, pp. 185). This is just one example of an ability that can be enhanced. Imagine what could be achieved if the entire brain was enhanced. Imagine if the knowledge base and computational power of IBM's Watson, the Jeopardy champion smashing super computer, could be added to the instinctual nature of the human mind. [...]
[...] More than human: Embracing the promise of biological enhancement (pp. 172-201). New York, NY: Random House. Spafford, E. (2011, May 5). The threat of data theft to American consumers. Testimony Before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade. Zittrain, J. (2008). The future of the Internet and how to stop it (pp. 36- 61). Harrionsburg, VA: R. R. Donnelly. Any information that managed to find its way into this essay that happened to be from lecture was done so unknowingly and unintentionally. [...]
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