Sci-Fi Short Imagines How Brain-Computer Interfaces Will Make Us “Connected”

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Social life is defined by connections, and more than ever, the fabric of our social lives are woven digitally. Before the Internet picked up speed, local hubs like neighborhoods, churches, and community centers provided a variety of opportunities to develop relationships. Today, people often connect through social networks, where users exchange the familiarity of physical proximity for the transparency of real-time availability and exposure. But whether through physical or digital connections, there is a price to be paid for this togetherness.

Anyone concerned about increased surveillance in society has probably questioned whether sacrificing privacy is worth the perception of greater security. Just as this loss can be justified in the face of physical harm, so too does the value of privacy wane when faced with the mental anguish of loneliness.

What if technology provided the ultimate resolution of this existential crisis by allowing you to plug your brain into a boundless, cognitive melting pot with other humans?

Appealing as this may be, extreme connectedness would come at the price of privacy. For those wrestling with the existential crisis of modern life, mind-to-mind melding may be the only hope they feel they have left. "Connected", a sci-fi short film by Luke Gilford which debuted on Motherboard, gives us a brief glimpse into what the road looks like in a future that's arguably just around the corner.

David J. Hill

Managing Director, Digital Media at Singularity University
I've been writing for Singularity Hub since 2011 and have been Editor-in-Chief since 2014. My interests cover digital education, publishing, and media, but I'll always be a chemist at heart.

Discussion — 8 Responses

  • ideasware February 13, 2016 on 1:00 pm

    That was one of the most depressing short movies. Pamela Anderson was great, but amazingly dystopian, not wonderful at all. It was frightening — if that’s what it’s like, count me out.

    • almostvoid ideasware February 15, 2016 on 12:41 am

      Get creative instead of rolling over

  • Porb February 13, 2016 on 6:51 pm

    “We are whole, we are harmonious, we are healthy, we are safe, we are loved, we are limitless, we are limitless, we are limitless”

    We are Borg.

  • Eugene Yuta Bann February 13, 2016 on 11:46 pm

    Correction: water should be charged with negative ions; positively-charged ions have a somewhat negative effect on the human body.

    • almostvoid Eugene Yuta Bann February 15, 2016 on 12:41 am

      Yeah I thought that was so funny. Falling for the obvious feel good BS.

  • almostvoid February 15, 2016 on 12:40 am

    Save the world from Amerikan obsessions. How they trivialize the immaculate downsizing the great mind techniques of pure breath to something folksy and then connect with the conned. I think with my European genes living elsewhere I will be a free radical. Straight on drugs [through legal medication]

  • SweetDoug February 19, 2016 on 2:30 pm

    With my ‘connected’ brain, will the supplier of this hardware, be able to control, filter, restrict, and impose whatever they choose, in the manner that say, an app maker is able to do today?

    Think FaceBook on steroids in my mind.

    What would that look like? Would I know reality?

    How will I know I am receiving ‘the world’ unfiltered, and not the version FaceBook2.0 would ‘want’ me to receive, the way they are currently do so?

    Does anyone, is anyone, that foolish, to think a complete @$$ƕØ£Ə like myself, if I was running the show, wouldn’t want to subjugate you?

    Thank Landro from Star Trek.

    Will the government have override authority? Who would oversee the government? What would all this look like?

    Would technology and corporations advance to a form of fascism such that if I do not have one of these implants, I am significantly impaired in the interactions of our society and civilization?

    Would a segmented society evolve separately, like a techno-caste system

    How, would we be able to ‘opt out’?

    When AI evolves sufficiently, how would ‘they’ interact with us?

    What safety protocols would we be able to put in place to protect us from being taken over by AIs?

    Should I stop smoking weed before I read singluarity hub?

    We need to be asking a lot more about this tech, before we venture down this road.

    I fear the future.