Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thought Processing

A friend of mine recently showed me an article talking about a new input device for gaming – the human mind. Far from science fiction, it’s finally happened, mankind is on the threshold of developing such a viable interface device.

Is this progress or is this another sign of technological determinism. Today we already see a world where mobile phone technology has dominated our lives. Most of us can barely fathom being unplugged, at the result becoming more and more at the beck and call and whims and fancies of all our friends and associates. True there are those ardent few who haven’t hopped onto the mobile bandwagon or draw the line where being connected is concerned. But what would the world turn into if your mind could be plugged into your computer.

One major hurdle in such an interface is the kind of concentration it would take. It reminds me of a Dale Brown novel, The Flight of the Cheetah, which talks of a experimental aircraft that is thought controlled. The author describes the process of hooking up to the aircraft to being literally nerve wracking as the computer interfaces with the nervous system. Not so the case here I expect. But will we be able to concentrate when we live lives of channel and internet surfing and our average rate of concentration seems to be plummeting? Time will tell where this technology will take us. Right now it seems like something right out of Arthur C Clarke’s 3001 Final Space Odyssey.