As sci-fi thriller “Inception” topped box offices across the world, audiences were delighted and appalled by its futuristic story of a criminal gang invading people’s dreams to steal valuable data.
More than a decade on, the technology envisioned by filmmaker Christopher Nolan is likely not far off, according to experts in Chile, who have moved the security debate beyond burglar alarms to safeguarding the most valuable real estate people ever own: their minds.
The South American nation is aiming to be the world’s first to legally protect citizens’ “neuro-rights,” with lawmakers expected to pass a constitutional reform blocking technology that seeks to “increase, diminish or disturb” people’s mental integrity without their consent.
Opposition senator Guido Girardi, one of the authors of the legislation, is worried about technology — whether algorithms, bionic implants or some other gadgetry — that could threaten “the essence of humans, their autonomy, their freedom and their free will.”
“If this technology manages to read (your mind), before even you’re aware of what you’re thinking,” he told AFP, “it could write emotions into your brain: life stories that aren’t yours and that your brain won’t be able to distinguish whether they were yours or the product of designers.”
– ‘Prevent manipulation’ –
Scores of sci-fi movies and novels have offered audiences the dark side of neurotechnology — perhaps invoking criminal masterminds ensconced in secret strongholds, manipulating the world with a dastardly laugh while stroking a cat.