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:
- Safety. Imagine having your child kidnapped. A truly horrible scenario for every sane human being. But what if you would never have to worry about it? If it ever happens you could easily alarm the authorities who would then contact the manufacturer and then easily locate your child. In order for this to be achievable, we need the central system of highest security imaginable that stores all the data from all the implants. Not only that, but we also need the technology so sophisticated and so hard-to-get for the “usual criminal” that it will be nearly impossible for an outsider to scan and find the implant in your body. Another scenario includes having an Alzheimer’s disease – you or your loved one(s). If you ever get lost, finding you would not be a mission impossible.
- Health. These are easy. Starting with basic features such as providing a doctor with all your medical records. In my imagination, hospitals don’t need to have databases containing this information; it can all be stored inside the central system. The system decides which data will it show to the hospitals that are connected to its servers – hospitals that want to be in the program, obviously. And no, I wouldn’t charge a fee to a hospital.
- Human enhancement. Or biological limitations reasons. How many are there? The list could be endless or short, depending on your perception of limitations and your knowledge of the topic. I can only begin to imagine all possible and impossible scenarios where the microchip implant will work for me, thus making me a – superwoman. The IBM has already made the computer chip which features components that serve as 256 neurons and 262,144 synapses. The goal is to make a processor that can work as a human brain. Sounds impossible, however, many believe it will quickly become reality.
- Convenience. These are very handy – imagine not ever having a wallet with you, instead, you just pass by a scanner on your way out of the store and your check is paid. Or entering a club the same way. Or never ever having to search for your keys. You will be able to pre-program your microchip implant to work for you.
- Advertising. I have to mention these, as I come from advertising industry. Imagine having some kind of scanners on billboards or citylights. These scanners would be able to recognize what target audience is standing in front of them and show them an advert that fits their demographics for example. Naturally, you would pay a fee to the Central Implant System (it’s what I like to call it) and thus have access to the basic information about their implant bearers. And then you can go wild: want to show your advert only to male Caucasians in their twenties who love fast cars. Or how about to pregnant women only? Finally, all those billions of dollars spent on advertising will be spent efficiently.
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?