Fred Charles Ikle, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy under President Reagan, wrote Annihilation from Within in 2006. As a CFR member, Ikle played a major role in U.S. foreign policy. Yesterday, an article from CNBC highlighted comments from leading futurists and businessmen at the recent “World Government Seminar” in Dubai. The leading topic was the idea that humans will need to merge with computers in order to keep up with the rapid development of artificial intelligence. As many economists and trend watchers have pointed out, gaping societal divides will inevitably ensue with the further development of artificial intelligence and robotics. The political divides of the future could be between “naturals” – those who refuse to merge their minds and bodies with machines – and “ESI’s” – individuals who have enhanced themselves with technology. (READ MORE)
Unlike its predecessors which trained on data from thousands of human games before practising by playing against itself, AlphaGo Zero did not learn from humans, or by playing against them, according to researchers at DeepMind, the Google-owned British artificial intelligence (AI) company developing the system. “All previous versions of AlphaGo … were told: ‘Well, in this position the human expert played this particular move, and in this other position the human expert played here’,” Silver said in a video explaining the advance. AlphaGo Zero skipped this step. Instead, it was programmed to respond to reward — a positive point for a win versus a negative point for a loss. Starting with just the rules of Go and no instructions, the system learnt the game, devised strategy and improved as it competed against itself — starting with “completely random play” to figure out how the reward is earned. This is a trial-and-error process known as “reinforcement learning”. Unlike its predecessors, AlphaGo Zero “is no longer constrained by the limits of human knowledge,” Silver and DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis wrote in a blog. Amazingly, AlphaGo Zero used a single machine — a human brain-mimicking “neural network” — compared to the multiple-machine “brain” that beat Lee. (READ MORE)
Strathspey Crown LLC, a lifestyle healthcare company focused in ophthalmology, medical aesthetic and elective technologies and procedures, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent No. 9,662,199 covering an implantable intraocular lens with an optic (including accommodating, multifocal and phakic configurations), a camera and an LED display, and a communications module that wirelessly transmit and receive information from an external device (e.g. PDA). Robert Edward Grant, Founder and Chairman of Strathspey Crown LLC commented, “This patent represents a significant step forward in the rapidly growing sector of human cyborg technology. The eye, as a transparent medium for light, is ideal for advanced and rechargeable implantables that enable video capture of all of life’s experiences. Our broader vision is to develop ground-breaking medical-grade ocular smart implantables that integrate cellular, WIFI and 802.11 transmissions in an elegant cognitive interface that we believe will enhance human intelligence, augment perceived reality, and digitally capture experiences and individual memories. We look forward to several continuations and expansions on this important intellectual property portfolio.” (READ MORE)
Congregants come to church with upgraded hips and knees. They have pacemakers surgically installed. Some even combat their substandard vision via Lasik Eye Surgery to enhance their vision to 20/15, better than perfect, vision. Transhumanism is here. Humanity is evolving beyond its current limitations by way of exponentially increasing advances in science and technology. As a matter of fact, transhumanism is so far along technologically that the famed entrepreneur, Elon Musk, is funding a team of people working on developing functional neural-lace to improve human cognition right now. Moreover, I think it’s important to caution folks not to get too far down the “transhumanism is all bad” road. I say this because holding an overly dogmatic position in a quickly developing technological movement is likely to leave one looking hypocritical in the long run. (READ MORE)
EDITOR’S NOTE: In the countdown to the release of the highly anticipated documentary “INHUMAN: THE NEXT AND FINAL PHASE OF MAN IS HERE”(scheduled for release August-September), SkyWatch TV is running this exclusive online series on transhumanism and the dawn of the Human Hybrid Age.
With the advent of cell phones, iPods, iPads, and other “personal devices,” the ear-gates (that Sue Bradley discussed in the last entry) of an entire generation have been dangerously compromised. In addition to the obvious physical risks that associate cell phone use and texting while driving, effects have been measured on teenage language abilities and a markedly increased incidence of tinnitus, a chronic “ringing-in-the-ears.”
A recent ChildWise study found that one in four children under the age of eight had a mobile phone, a figure which increased to 89 percent by the time the child reaches eleven years.
“Teenagers: A Generation Unplugged” is a 2008 study which determined that four out of five teens carry a wireless device and found that their cell phones rank second, only to clothing, in communicating personal social status and popularity, “outranking jewelry, watches and shoes.” Additionally, over half (52 percent) view cell phones as a form of entertainment and 80 percent feel that a cell phone provides a sense of security while 36 percent dislike the idea of others knowing their exact location.
While a Who [World Health Organization] study determined that a cell phone-cancer link is inconclusive, the UN [United Nations] did acknowledge that the 2010 examination of thirteen thousand participants found up to 40 percent higher incidence of glioma, a cancerous brain tumor, among the 10 percent that used the mobile phone most. While there is near-unanimous agreement within the scientific community that it is simply too early to accurately project damage caused by radiation, even the most modest estimates acknowledge minimal consequences, the estimated 4.6 billion cell phone users “appear prepared to take the risk” without “firm assurances” that they are safe.[i]
As dire as these incidences for physical damage appear, the psychological and spiritual implications are the significantly more profound—and sinister.
“Thought reading” has come of age. First published in January 2009, cbs revealed technology conducted at Carnegie Mellon University that makes it possible to see what is happening within the brain while people are thinking. Using specialized magnetic resonance, neuro-activity can be recorded by analyzing brain activity.[ii]
While mainstream media carefully smudges the science fiction-actual science line, both government and private research groups charge the fields of neuro-fingerprinting, neuro-databases, and abject control neuro-control.
Following the Human Genome Project’s mapping of human dna, the Human Brain Project, hpb, was launched. The international research group hopes to provide a “blueprint of normal brain activity” to the goal of understanding brain function for improved health care, but inherent in the study is the very real possibility of threatening autonomous and unrestricted thought. If in 2002 the bbc was touting wireless sensors that record and generate brain waves and anatomical functions remotely,[iii] and in 2008, Scientific American reported that scientists can “selectively control brain function by transcranial magnetic stimulation (tms)” via the pulsing of powerful electromagnetic fields into the brain or a subject’s brain circuits,[iv] what might be a more current—and sinister—application?
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that electromagnetic currents directed at the right temperoparieto junction (tpj), located just above and behind the right ear (the same location mentioned above from Exodus 29:20 where the priests were to be anointed that they might hear from God), can impair a person’s ability to make moral judgments by inducing a current which disrupts this region of the brain.
By producing “striking evidence” that the right tpj is “critical for making moral judgments,” the lead author, Liane Young, also noted that “under normal circumstances, people are very confident and consistent in these kinds of moral judgments.” The researchers believe that transmagnetic stimulation, tms, interfered with the subject’s ability to interpret the intentions of others, suggesting that they are believed to be “morally blameworthy.”[v] Subsequent publications have proposed an interest by the U.S. military to use transmagnetic stimulation to enhance soldiers’ battle duration by reducing the need to stop for sleep.[vi]
With the acknowledged identification, documentation and cataloging of “brain-printing” via wireless devices, and the comparatively recent release of the morally consequential findings of transmagnetic stimulation, the premise of Stephen King’s 2006 novel, Cell, evokes a frighteningly possible scenario:
Mobile phones deliver the apocalypse to millions of unsuspecting humans by wiping their brains of any humanity, leaving only aggressive and destructive impulses behind.…
What if cell phones didn’t cause cancer? What if they did something much worse? What if they turned the user into a zombie killing machine?[vii]
Or perhaps just a glance at a keyboard before powering down: The message is clear: CONTROL ALTER DELETE
MIND GATES—FROM NIGHTMARES TO INCEPTION
From the chilling ramifications involving how the area of the right ear (which was to be anointed for priestly hearing of God in the Old Testament) is now being targeted by electromagnetic currents to illustrate how a person’s moral judgment could be impaired, to the work of neurologist Olaf Blanke that produced a “shadow person” by stimulating the left tpj at the left ear (discussed in an earlier entry), serious questions arrive in the upcoming documentary INHUMAN about the mysteries of the mind and what God may know that we don’t (and therefore why the priests were anointed there) about spiritual gateways existing in these regions. Once again, by interfacing with or manipulating the brain in this way, are we approaching a forbidden unknown?
Another example of how near-horizon neurosciences and human-machine integration may reconfigure human brains to allow borderline (or more than borderline) supernatural activity involves certain video games played before bedtime, which are being shown to allow people to take control of their dreams, to shape the alternate reality of dream worlds in a way that reflects spiritual warfare. According to LiveScience senior writer Jeremy Hsu, published studies on the dreams of hard-core gamers by Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada, found that gamers experienced reversed-threat simulation in nightmares, which allowed the dreamer to become the threatener instead of the threatened. In other words, a scary nightmare scenario turned into something “fun” for a gamer, allowing the player to assume the role of the aggressor or demon attacker. “They don’t run away; they turn and fight back. They’re more aggressive than the norms,” Gackenbach explained. “Levels of aggression in gamer dreams also included hyper-violence not unlike that of an R-rated movie,” and when these dreaming gamers became aggressive, “oh boy, they go off the top.”[viii]
(article continues below video)
WATCH THE INHUMAN TRAILER #2
From learning to influence our private dreams via game-tech to having our dreams infiltrated and manipulated by outside forces, disquieting ideas deepen. In the 2010 movie Inception starring Leonardo DiCaprio, industrial spies use a dream machine called pasiv to steal corporate secrets by means of invasion and “extraction” of private information through a victim’s dreams. In a second scenario, the film depicts ideas planted in the person’s mind (inception) so that the individual perceives them as his or her own, thus allowing the victim to be steered toward particular decisions or actions—a modern upgrade on brainwashing a la the Manchurian Candidate. While the film Inception is fantasy, it is based in part on near-future technology. Electroencephalograms, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fmris), and Computed Tomography (ct) scans are already being used to “read and even influence the brain,” points out Aaron Saenz at the Singularity Hub. But could the fundamental science that the film Inception examines actually be setting the stage for making it a reality? “We’re certainly working towards it,” Saenz adds, continuing:
In the next few decades we could have the means to understand, perhaps in rather detailed terms, what a person is thinking. Once that barrier is passed, we may develop the means to influence what someone thinks by directly stimulating their brain. [So] while the mind is still a very mysterious place, it may not remain that way forever.[ix]
This trend toward technological mind invasion and mind control is or should be a frightening proposal for most people, especially those who value the concept of free will. That is because most secular neuroscientists view free will as an outdated religious notion related to “a fictional omnipotent divinity” (God) who chooses not to interfere with the choices of individuals, thus leaving them morally accountable for their actions and future judgment. There is even a concerted effort on the part of some neuroscientists to find proof against free will to illustrate that man is little more than an automaton whose decisions are predetermined by a complex mixture of chemical reactions, past events, and even nature, which work together to determine one’s course of action. In the 1970s, Prof. Benjamin Libet of the University of California in San Francisco claimed to have discovered proof of this theory through a series of tests in which a “time gap” between a brain’s decision to act and the person’s awareness of this decision led to the activity being carried out by the individual. His findings ignited a stormy debate regarding the ancient philosophical question of free will, says Naomi Darom for the online edition of Haaretz newspaper in Israel. “Are our decisions, the basis for our ostensible free activities, made before we are aware of them? In other words, does the brain ostensibly decide for us? And to what extent do we actually make our decisions consciously?” Prof. Hezi Yeshurun explained how those engaged in the brain research concluded “the question of free will is meaningless, because¼the fact that your brain has actually decided in your absence and that I can know what you’ve decided before you do, paints a picture of an automaton.”[x]
To insinuate that a section of the human brain makes decisions ahead of man’s independent awareness of them opens a wellspring of opportunity for civil or military arms technology to target that aspect of the brain and to develop methods for “inserting” ideas in minds. Darpa, American Technology Corp., Holosonic Research Labs, and others are working on methods to adapt this science, where thoughts and ideas can be projected or “implanted” in the brain and perceived by the individual as his or her own. A while back, Wired magazine reported on Darpa’s “sonic projector” as well as troops studying the Long Range Acoustic Device (lrad) as a modified “Voice of God” weapon:
It appears that some of the troops in Iraq are using “spoken” (as opposed to “screeching”) Lrad to mess with enemy fighters. Islamic terrorists tend to be superstitious and, of course, very religious. Lrad can put the “word of God” into their heads. If God, in the form of a voice that only you can hear, tells you to surrender, or run away, what are you gonna do?[xi]
Wired went on to acknowledge how, beyond directed sound, “it’s long been known that microwaves at certain frequencies can produce an auditory effect that sounds like it’s coming from within someone’s head (and there’s the nagging question of classified microwave work at Brooks Air Force Base that the Air Force stubbornly refuses to talk about).” It is also reported that the Pentagon tested similar research during the Gulf War of 1991 using a technology called Silent Sound Spread Spectrum (ssss), which evidently led to the surrender of thousands of Iraqi soldiers who began “hearing voices.”
People of faith, including church theologians and philosophers, should find the idea of using technology to read the minds and manipulate the thoughts of individuals indefensible, as the vanguard of free will is fundamental to our religious and philosophical ethic. To humans, autonomy of thought is the most basic of doctrines in which man is unrestrained by causality or preordained by mystical powers. Yet how these issues—neurosciences, brain-machine interfacing, cybernetics, mind control, and even free will—could actually represent a prophetic confluence of events that soon will combine in an ultimate showdown over the liberty of man may be an unavoidable and beastly aspect of end-times prophecy. Featured experts in the upcoming documentary INHUMAN agree with this assessment.
TO BE CONTINUED…
[i] Frank Jordas, “Study on Cell Phone Link to Cancer Inconclusive,” Associated Press (2010) http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=10668283.
[ii] “How Technology May Soon ‘Read’ Your Mind,” CBS 60 Minutes (June 2009) http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/12/31/60minutes/main4694713.shtm.
[iii] “Remote Control Brain Sensor,” BBC (November 2002) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2361987.stm.
[iv] R. Douglas Fields, “Mind Control by Cell Phone,” Scientific American (May 2008) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=mind-control-by-cell.
[v] Liane Young, Joan Albert Camprodon, et al, “Disruption of the Right Temporo-Parietal Junction with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Reduces the Role of Beliefs in Moral Judgments,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (March 2010) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-03/miot-mjc032510.php.
[vi] Mark Baard, “EM Field, Behind Right Ear, Suspends Morality,” Sci-Tech Heretic (March 2009) http://heretic.blastmagazine.com/2010/03/em-field-behind-right-ear-suspends-morality.
[vii]Stephen King, Cell (New York: Simon and Shuster, 2006).
[viii] Jeremy Hsu, “Video Gamers Can Control Dreams, Study Suggests,” LiveScience (5/25/10) http://www.livescience.com/culture/video-games-control-dreams-100525.html.
[ix] Aaron Saenz, “Is the Movie ‘Inception’ Getting Closer to Reality?” (7/15/10) http://singularityhub.com/2010/07/15/is-the-movie-inception-getting-closer-to-reality-video/.
[x] Naomi Darom, “Will Scientists Soon Be Able to Read Our Minds?” Haaretz http://www.haaretz.com/magazine/week-s-end/will-scientists-soon-be-able-to-read-our-minds-1.291310.
[xi] Sharon Weinberger, “The ‘Voice of God’ Weapon Returns,” Wired (12/21/07) http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2007/12/the-voice-of-go/.