Sunday, October 26, 2008
Transcranial magnetic stimulation - A future tool for Thought Communication?
In my earlier posts, I discussed how mobile phones could evolve to support communicating by thoughts and how that could dramatically change human dynamics. The idea is not simply to substitute brain thoughts for voice generated by vocal chords -- that would still be serial communication -- but to enable parallel communication by sharing the thought process. It involves getting one person feel the same things that the other person feels, which includes that person's core assumptions, information, facts known, credibility they attach to entities, beliefs, logical inferences, likes/dislikes, fears, apprehensions, optimism, etc.
In other words, to take an example, if you hold certain views on terrorism (or energy and environment, a business opportunity, or any other such topic), can I feel your views in exactly the same manner as you feel them? This is beyond you thinking "Hello! How are you Ankur?" and I hearing a voice reciting that to me on my phone.
There are devices that can pick up an individual's thought signals (thought helmet). But are there devices or technical prinicples at least that can generate thought signals in recipient's brain? I recently learnt about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in a news article which talks about using TMS to cure depression. I don't know much about how anti-depression using TMS works. Does it work by generating positive thoughts in a depressed person, or at least, by removing negative thoughts? In either case, an electronic tool is changing thoughts in human brain. That is indeed a great technological advancement.
I wonder if in 25 years from now TMS could be used to generate thoughts in humans! How would a combination of thought helmet, mobile phone network/Internet and TMS pan out in next 25 years? What will be its effects?
Could it eventually lead to a kind of human super-consciousness, where all human minds are some sort of components to a giant virtual mind?