Monday, July 13, 2009

Why am I hitting myself? Damn hackers.

Wired Magazine: The Next Hacking Frontier: Your Brain?

First things first:

Can you imagine having somebody hack your brain? What if people wanted to hijack your prosthetic limb so they could play a hi-tech version of "Stop Hitting Yourself"? Could they tweak your perceptions, giving you hallucinations? If you wanted to kill someone, could you drive them to suicide by yanking down their seratonin and dopamine? What if someone could hack your brain to make you think you're in love with them? Switch out your identity with somebody else's? Your mind could be wiped clean and controlled remotely, down to the words you say and moves you make. Welcome to the new zombie era.

On the plus side, you could hack your own brain to make yourself artificially happier. Maybe you could be a better dancer or kung fu fighter. Best of all, you could appear smarter than you really are, assuming your brain has WiFi and you can 'see' webpages without cluttering your field of view too much.

Here's what I want to know: what if you could connect your cyborg brain to somebody else's cyborg brain via WiFi? The two of you would be telepathic, right? It would be the ultimate IM experience! Also interesting: what if you could use your cyborg mind to hack other computer systems? You could change your grades or your criminal records just by thinking about them, assuming your brain's software and the server's software are compatible and your brain has the aforementioned WiFi.

I look forward to all of these issues cropping up in my lifetime. How will we harness this power for good, rather than evil?

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