Maybe you’ve always wanted to express your feelings without saying a word? What if you could read someone’s mind, and they could read yours?
Would there be no secrets left? Would mind control become possible, too? And how would you keep your privacy if everyone could know what’s on your mind?
Let’s be honest, the way we communicate is pretty slow. It takes time from the moment the thought comes to your mind to the moment you say it to someone, even longer with your two-finger typing.
Our brain is much faster than that. On average, you have 50,000 thoughts a day. That is 35 thoughts per minute. You can’t type all of them, nor can you put them into words. Imagine how fast we could exchange information if we could just transmit our thoughts directly to another brain.
Once we started communicating through thought, we’d turn into a giant mind-melding network. Humanity would become much more innovative, since the more people shared their ideas, the more other people would be able to improve upon them.
This would boost our technologies to a level we can’t yet imagine.
Sharing our knowledge through thoughts would also make us more coordinated. This would not only benefit all military structures, but also emergency services. You’d be able to “think 911,” instead of calling them. Very handy if your phone is dead.
We’d be learning much faster and easier. Instead of verbally explaining a difficult concept, your teacher could give you a better representation of it through thought.
And don’t forget things with Artificial Intelligence. If your car had a mind of its own, you’d be able to control it with your mind. Same goes for your phone, computer, robot pet… anything that might have an AI.
While controlling things sounds awesome, what if this led to controlling people’s minds? It might sound interesting, but it wouldn’t seem that great if you were the one being controlled.
Luckily, the way it would work would be that, just like we can choose what to say, we’d be able to choose what thoughts to share with others. No one would read your thoughts unless you let them. That’s a relief, isn’t it?
This new era of mind reading would be pretty silent. Without the need to push air through our lungs and into our voice box, we might stop using our vocal cords to produce any sound. We might eventually forget language and the sound of it. But at least you’d never struggle to tell your crush exactly how you feel about them – you’d literally show them your feelings.
We don’t know much about our bundle of neurons. We don’t fully understand why we sleep, or how our consciousness works. But we do know how to read our brain.
Yes, you heard it right. Our brain fires neurons that receive, process and transmit information through electrical and chemical signals. And we can read those signals with the help of this method – electroencephalography, or EEG.
What’s more – we can now transmit information from one brain to another. But we still need a device to read our brain and send the information to another brain.
And we have the method for that – transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS. This stimulation sends electric current to the receiver’s brain, activating a small area of it – the same one that was active in the sender’s brain.
Combined, EEG and TMS worked just fine to let the two people play a game of 20 questions while sitting in different rooms. They didn’t use any words, but transmitted their “yes” or “no” answers to each other through electrical currents in their brains.
That might be not exactly the telepathy from science fiction. But that’s what talking through thought would look like in real life. And we don’t always talk – we use devices to communicate with each other.
Eventually, we’ll just switch to faster technologies – the ones that would let you send your thoughts the way you send emails.
You think you’ll be still around to use EEGs and TMSs instead of your mobile phone?
- Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future
- The Consequences of Telepathy
- The Ins and Outs of Brain-to-Brain Communication