In the future, brain implants will be able to empower humans with superpowers with the help of chips that allow us to hear a conversation from across a room, give us the ability to see in the dark, let us control moods, restore our memories, or “download” skills like in The Matrix movie trilogy. However, implantable neuro-devices might also be used as weapons in the hands of the wrong people.
When we have implanted microchips in our brains to enhance cognitive capabilities, it could serve as a platform for hackers to cause damage from a distance. They could turn on functionalities, turn off devices, or bombard the brain with random harmful messages. They could even control what you are thinking and, by extension, how you act.
Fortunately, there are several initiatives that seek to understand exactly how such technologies might work, which could give us the knowledge needed to keep a step ahead.
THE MEDICINE OF TOMORROW
As the medical wearable and sensor market starts to truly boom, it is logical to think ahead to what might follow this “wearable revolution.” I think that the next step will be insideables, digestables, and digital tattoos.
“Insideables” means devices implanted into the body, generally just under the skin. In fact, there are people who already have such implants, which they can use to open up a laptop, a smartphone, or even the garage door. “Digestables” are pills or tiny gadgets that can be swallowed, which could do things like track digestion and the absorption of drugs. “Digital tattoos” are tattoos with “smart” capabilities. They might easily measure all of our health parameters and vital signs.
All of these teeny-tiny devices might be misused—some could be used to infuse lethal drugs into a organism or strip a person of their privacy.