By Kevin McDonald
Humans have always strived to become smarter, faster and more creative through the use of tools. Starting with the basic calculator and advancing to the amazing computing devices we use today, our use of technology as a tool is moving ahead at breathtaking speed. We are now no longer limited by our geographic and social boundaries, nor are we held back by the limited data in our heads, the local library or the knowledge and intellect of local elders.
Once we are able to read memories and write information to the human brain, the opportunities will be endless. There is a distinct possibility that we may be able to resolve issues of dementia, mental illness and other issues through the selective retention and deletion of data and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) computing. Imagine if we could remove the damaging childhood memories that cause mental illness? Or that we could turn off delusional thinking and replace it with positive formulaic thoughts? Imagine if we could delete or replace the images of war that produce post-traumatic stress disorder? What if we could implant the equivalent of a college education in a matter of minutes, and guarantee retention because AI enhances the knowledge by combining the implanted information with experiential learning?
There is little doubt that AI integration with humans through implanted electronics promises to bring enhancements in thought processing, information gathering and creative cognitive abilities. Implants will bring back the use of limbs, speech and cognition for the injured or those born with a defect.
But these AI technologies have a darker side to them: If we no longer need to remember things, calculate or analyze data in our own minds, use critical thinking skills to make our daily and yet still important decisions, we could eventually be unable to be critical thinkers and to solve problems when we really need to do so.
Kevin B. McDonald is the chief operating officer and chief information security officer at Alvaka Networks. Kevin is a trusted technology and security practitioner and public policy advisor to some of America’s most influential people and organizations. He advises corporate executives, federal and state legislators, law enforcement, high net worth individuals and other business leaders. He is a sought after consultant, writer, presenter and trainer on the issues surrounding personal, physical and cyber security, compliance and advanced technology. Kevin has written for and been interviewed by dozens of national publications and on major television, radio and digital outlets.
Chairman, Orange County Sheriff/Coroner’s Technology Advisory Council (T.A.C)
Member, OC Shield
Member, FBI InfraGard
Member, O.C. Home land Security Advisory Council (OCHSAC)
Member, US Secret Service’s LA Electronic Crimes Task Force (LAECTF)