How Does Black Mirror Reflect Our Thoughts on Neurotechnology and the Future?
Black Mirror is a wildly successful British horror series. Some might describe it dismissively as “Twilight Zone for Millennials” but that just doesn’t do it justice!
More than being an episodic assortment of jump scares, Black Mirror is a sometimes lurid but always imaginative exploration into the future of humanity. The show is so deeply, addictively binge-watchable because it invites us to ponder the realities that are now on our doorstep.
More than that though, I’d argue that it provides some interesting insights on where we are at as a species in relation to our bodies, our brains and the technology that can provide an interface between them. So, what key realizations are Black Mirror tapping into and how real is its vision?
Technology Isn’t Just ‘Out There’ Any More.
Black Mirror portrays a world in which technology isn’t merely that slick device we carry in our pockets or a benign accessory we wear on our wrists. It’s a world in which the technology is within us and permeates how we see and feel.
Take ‘The Entire History Of You’. In that episode, people have the option to be fitted with a brain implant which allows them to access their memories as though it were data. Sure, it’s the foundation for a compelling plot about memory and betrayal, but it also begs the question of what we would do if the technology lay within our grasp to greatly extend our reach and perception.
Here’s the kicker. That future is emerging right now.
What Does This Mean in Practice?
Not long ago, it was an invasive, risky and complex task to interface our brains with technology.
Today, new technologies and software such as those being developed by Neurogress are closing this gap. We are nearing a point where neurotechnology can safely and non-invasively allow people to control an entire ecosystem of devices with their thoughts.
For example, imagine a near future in which a person may be able to radically increase their strength, speed and endurance through a thought controlled exoskeleton. The possibilities for medicine alone are amazing, perhaps even overwhelming. Companies like Neurogress are bringing this science-fiction vision into reality.
It Isn’t Just about Better Technology — It’s about Where We Go Next
Fundamentally, what Black Mirror teases and fascinates us with is the concept that innovation is no longer just about “bigger and better technology”. It’s about where we go next — at a personal and societal level.
These decisions don’t just affect climate or the economic system we live within. It doesn’t even simply affect our senses and how we perceive the world. Where we are going next with neurotechnology affects the consciousness with which we see the world.
Yes, the sublimely addictive creepiness of Black Mirror successfully reveals some unnerving (and entertaining) possibilities but what it also leaves us with is a timely reminder that we are on the verge of some really exciting, important stuff.
It’s an exciting time to support innovation in these new technologies. Neurotechnology innovation is capturing imaginations. It excites people. Invest in the interactive mind-controlled devices of the future by buying tokens now and help to promote innovation.
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