Borg Beetle Portends the Future of Communications

Those Star Trek fans out there remember the Borg to be a species of humanoids who merged the best of the computational and organic worlds together allowing the perfect synergy between life, computing, artificial intelligence and networking.

If you are wondering how the real world compares to that of science fiction it may help to look at a simple experiment funded by DARPA which shows a microprocessor strapped to the back of a giant beetle can allow scientists to more or less control a beetle’s flight the way any mini helicopter is controlled by your kids.

The beetle responds to simple messages to take off, land, turn left and right. Electrodes planted in wing muscles and optic lobes convert the electrical signals from the microprocessor implanted on the beetle’s back to “commands” which the beetle follows.

Experiments such as this and others which have been done with mammals such as monkeys pave the way for the future of communications where some of us will likely connect our brains directly to computer systems. Early adopters will likely be the military.

And in my opinion there is certainly a need to connect brains directly to electronic systems so people can work even more efficiently. The downside of course is to make the connection happen today requires brain surgery which isn’t something many of us would volunteer for.

But when you think about it, we live in a world where we shoot our bodies with lasers to correct our vision and remove our hair. Technology is augmenting and improving us. At some point in the future it seems inevitable that our brains will interconnect with computers and eventually it likely won’t even require an operation to make it happen.

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