on media, technology & digital culture
On our journey towards shrinking (and flattening) all the things we use on a daily basis, such as cell phones or screens, eventually we will hit the milestone where we will finally be free of all the stuff and require only this tiny little thing called “the microchip” that will substitute many things. First of them is identification, naturally. So, I won’t have to carry my ID card always with me, you say? My ID card is inside ME? AND my credit card? I’m not sure that motivates me enough to accept the concept. I don’t trust people who will control the data. And more importantly, I don’t want to be controlled, I want to be free. What else do you have?
So what else is there? For me it’s obvious, so without further ado, here are the reasons:
First things first
According to Wikipedia, a microchip implant is “an identifying integrated circuit device or RFID transponder encased in silicate glass and implanted in the body“ while RFID stands for „radio-frequency identification, which is the wireless non-contact use of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects“.
There was a case of the VeriChip Corporation who, in 2004, received approval from the FDA to market their microchips in the U.S. Three years after, in 2007, it was revealed that nearly identical implants had caused cancer in hundreds of laboratory animals which, naturally, had a disastrous impact on the company’s stock price and the production of microchip implants.” However, the link between foreign-body tumorigenesis in lab animals and implantation in humans has been publicly refuted as misleading.
I can only hope that right now, as I write, someone somewhere is testing microchip implants that are not only safe to have inside your body, but also untraceable to criminals. For instance, if someone kidnaps you, the last thing you need is a scanner used to find the implant and get it out. This means that we need some kind of Federal Reserve System for human microchip implants; an impenetrable fortress. Only on that level of security and systematization we will be able to start and further develop the microchip implant world.
We obviously need more sophisticated microchips if we want to achieve all these marvelous things. I am sure that nanotechnology will be the saviour here. I believe in nanotechnology. I also believe in artificial intelligence. AND I believe in humans – which brings me to the Singularity.
The future of artificial intelligence (AI)
Well, all my reasons go along well with the concept of singularity – us and technology, combined. I believe it is obvious now that we are headed towards the singularity. Take Google Glass for example. It’s a big step towards it. Raymond Kurzweil is so convinced it’s going to happen during his lifetime that he does everything he possibly can to prolong his life. If you need more convincing – even Google hired this guy to “work on new projects involving machine learning and language processing.” Kurzweil predicts the singularity to occur around 2045.
My conclusion is simple – the sooner we start using microchip implants for humans, the faster we’ll come to the singularity era, merely because we’ll have the solid ground for further development of the concept.
What is your opinion on this topic? Are you excited about the future? Or afraid? What are the negative possible outcomes of microchip implants in humans and the human-technology juncture?