When it comes to technology, Neuralink is the talk of town. However, more and more people seem to be talking about its potential positive aspects instead of the numerous harms it poses.
What even is Neuralink?
Neuralink is a device that will be surgically implanted into your brain and with it, you’ll be able to communicate with machines and even control them.
To be more precise, it is a microchip that will use information produced by the neurons in YOUR brain and transmit that information to a remote device such as a phone or a computer, allowing you to control it just by thinking about it.
As of right now, this technology is mainly meant to be used for paralyzed people. However, physically fit people are also fully intended to be its consumers down the line, as stated on their own website:
Neuralink’s long-term vision is to create BMIs that are sufficiently safe and powerful that healthy individuals would want to have them.
(BMI just means Brain-Machine Interface)
Using this wonderful technology to telepathically browse social media for hours on end might be closer than we think:
Elon Musk has said that Neuralink, his brain-interface technology company, hopes to start implanting its microchips in humans next year.
It makes one wonder that with the technology so fast approaching, how much of the kinks have been worked out? For instance, what about the security issues pertaining to it? After all, every new wave of technology has a plethora of hackers riding it. And Neuralink is no different.
The Chief Information Security Officer at Crypto.com, Jason Lau, has penned down the possible security threats emerging from mass implementation of Neuralink.
Think about it. Hackers have majorly capitalized on decrypting people’s devices, finding their personal information, and exploiting them via blackmail.
Despite the existence of the Internet, where we share more than necessary information about ourselves, there are still things we keep to ourselves. Secrets that not even those closest to us might know.
So what will happen if the microchip implanted in your head was to get hacked? Imagine the things these hackers would have access to. Think about the things these hackers could make you do in exchange for you keeping those secrets safe?
This technology acts on the principle of your brain communicating with technology. And it is incorrect to believe that this is a one-way street. This is not just going to be you accessing the internet. This is going to be the internet accessing you as well.
And it’s not just hackers that will have access to you. Your own government will now have a free-pass to monitor you 24/7. And while it is unethical to have your location tracked via your smartphone, at the very least you could leave your phone someplace and be somewhere else, preventing them from knowing where you are at all times.
With Neuralink however, the device being tracked is LITERALLY in your head. Wherever you go, they know. Whatever you do, they know. And God forbid this could get to a point where they could read your thoughts, and harass you simply for not thinking the right way.
There is even the potential concern for these hackers to use certain chemical drugs in order to mess with the implant.
And even disregarding security threats, there have been actual deaths due to people putting their lives in the hands of technology:
In 2016, for instance, a Tesla driver was killed after the Model S car he was in collided with a tractor-semitrailer truck in Florida while “Autopilot” mode was engaged.
The software was apparently unable to distinguish between the sky and a white truck. What happens when the microchip implanted in someone’s brain were to malfunction? What happens if it just shuts down for no reason?
Our phones and computers are always experiencing all sorts of glitches. But what happens when that glitch occurs inside your head? What if it led to serious brain damage? Would Elon Musk fix the problem? Tesla and Nerualink are both owned by him, so let’s see what his response was to the car crash mentioned above:
While expressing sympathy for the family, Elon Musk’s company last year denied that its Autopilot system was to blame, noting that drivers “need to maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle…
This is the response. They’ll tell you that it’s your own fault. That you should have been more careful. After all, you need to consent to all this. All the access you give away, all the privacy you give away via your digital devices now is by your own will. It’s when you press that AGREE button without reading the license agreement.
The same will be true for Neuralink. So, be careful before impatiently jumping into the ‘new dawn’ of technology. Its sun may be bright, but perhaps so bright that it burns right through your eyes.